- Revise the planets in our Solar System (see The Solar System: The Sun and the planets Worksheet). Bring ten children to the front of the class. Ask them to stand in a line, the first child representing the Sun and the other nine children the nine planets in our Solar System. Say: (Juan) you are the Sun.Point to the second child in the line and say: (Ana) Which planet are you?Continue with the other children. Elicit as much information as you can from the children about the Solar System: (Juan) is the Sun, he is the star at the centre of the Solar System. (Ana) is Mercury, the planet next to the Sun. Venus is the next planet … Who is the Earth? When you finish, ask all the children to sit down except for the Sun and the Earth.
Completing The Solar System: The Earth Worksheet
- Encourage the child who is the Earth to turn around slowly and explain that the Earth rotates. Do the same for the Sun. Then get the child representing the Earth to walk around the child who is the Sun and explain that the Earth orbits the Sun. Write rotate and orbit on the board.
- Ask the children in L1 or L2 Does the Earth move? (pause) Yes, it moves in two different ways. Encourage the children to explain how the Earth rotates and orbits the Sun. Then ask: How long does the Earth take to orbit the Sun? (365 days) How long does the Earth take to rotate? (24 hours)
- Ask the children to do Activity 1.
Answers: a-24 hours; b-365 days
- Draw a picture of the Earth on the board. Elicit information from the children by asking them questions in L1 or L2. Don’t give them too much information yet, just create interest and prepare them for the activity, eg, Is there any water on the Earth? Is the weather the same in different countries? How many seasons are there in a year? What about the light? When it is light here, is it light everywhere on the Earth? How many days does the Earth take to orbit the Sun? Are days long in summer? Are days long in winter?
- Do Activity 2 orally with the class. Read the sentences out loud and elicit the missing words. Explain the meaning of the sentences using L1 and/or L2. (Summer occurs when a hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun, and winter occurs when a hemisphere is tilted away from the Sun. When it is summer in the northern hemisphere, it is winter in the southern hemisphere. Day and night are caused by the Earth’s rotation on its axis. The Earth rotates once every 24 hours. It’s daytime in the side of the Earth facing the Sun, and nighttime in the side facing away from the Sun.) Don’t let the children write anything at this stage.
- Now ask the children to read the sentences again and write in the missing words. They compare answers in pairs.
Answers: a-one; b-night, light; c-summer; d-winter
The children act out the movement of the Sun and the Earth, demonstrating how it’s day or night in different parts of the Earth. The Sun can use a torch to illuminate the Earth.
- Elicit from the children and write on the board all the numbers they can find on the worksheet: 365, 24, 22, 21, 1. Elicit the connection between these numbers and the Earth in L1 or L2, eg 365 – The Earth takes 365 days to orbit the Sun; 24 – The Earth takes 24 hours to rotate. Try to elicit full sentences from the children. This is quite difficult for them, so they can use L1 if necessary.
- The children match the stars to the planets in Activity 3.
Answers: 365 days – The Earth orbits the Sun; 24 hours – The Earth rotates once; 21st June – summer solstice; 22nd December – winter solstice; The Earth has got one – moon
How much do you know about the Earth? Arrange the children in groups and ask them some true/false questions, eg The Earth takes 365 days to orbit the Sun. (True) The Earth has got five moons (False. It’s only got one moon.) 21st June is a very long day. (True)