Children love space, so teaching the planets for children is a rewarding topic for any educator or parent. We will take a look at the eight planets that make up our solar system, find strategies to help young students and hopefully even a little more as we learn astronomy online.
The Sun is the star that sits at the center of our solar system. The eight planets move in circular orbits around the sun. Amazingly, every planet moves in a counter-clockwise direction. That means that it moves opposite the way that the hands on a clock move.
It makes sense to learn astronomy online starting at the planet closest to the Sun and moving out from there. Structure is very important for young learners so I suggest covering the following aspects of each planet to start and then broadening the scope of the learning. I can’t stress enough how important it is when attempting to learn astronomy online and teach the planets for children to have a plan and setup a structure. Here are the aspects that not only appeal to young learners, but are easy to teach; size, composition and temperature. Inserting one other interesting fact for each planet is a good way to help your child memorize the information. It gives them an anchor which is important in any learning, but especially important when trying to learn astronomy online.
The Planets For Children Key Points: Mercury — A small, rocky planet with temperatures ranging from -183C (0C is the freezing point here on Earth) to 427C (100C is the boiling point on earth). It is very, very cold and very, very hot on Mercury. If you use a set of binoculars you can usually see Mercury just as the sun sets or rises. It is always very near to the sun.
The Planets for Children Key Points: Venus — Though slightly larger than Mars, Venus is still a small, rocky planet. Venus is covered in clouds of poison sulfuric acid which trap in the Sun’s heat. The surface of venus is 400C.
The Planets for Children Key Points: Earth — The Earth is similar in size to Venus and is also considered a small, rocky planet. Temperatures on Earth are familiar to us all and allow Earth to be the only planet that we know of that supports life.
The Planets For Children Key Points: Mars — A small, rocky planet with temperatures from -173C to 18C. Mars is often called the red planet because of the colour of its soil. When it is in the night sky, Mars is visible to the naked eye, but its brightness is dependent on how far away it is from Earth.
The Planets For Children Key Points: Jupiter — A giant, gas planet made up of 90% hydrogen. Jupiter is 318 times larger than Earth! Jupiter has no solid surface. Temperatures on the very outside are absolute zero, while temperatures at Jupiter’s core are believed to be 7500 Kelvin. That is very, very hot! If you look at Jupiter with binoculars you can even see its moons!
The Planets For Children Key Points: Saturn — A giant, gas planet made up of 75% hydrogen. It is famous for its beautiful rings. The temperature in Saturn’s rings is -175C while scientists guess that the temperature at the core is 11700C. Have you noticed that as you learn astronomy online the larger planets seem to have the hotter core temperatures? Why do you think that is? With a small telescope you can see Saturn in the night sky.
The Planets For Children Key Points: Uranus — A giant gas planet with rocks and ice. It spins “sideways” unlike the rest of the planets. The temperature ranges from -355C to 12600C.
The Planets for Children Key Points: Neptune — A giant gas planet made up of rocks and ice. Neptunes blue color is from the methane gas in the atmosphere. We don’t know the temperatures on Neptune, but scientists guess that they are even more extreme than those of Uranus. Neptune can be seen with binoculars, but a telescope is required if you want to see anything more than a dot.
Remember, if you make it fun it will be easier not only for you to teach for your students to learn astronomy online . Once you have covered the basics above you can move on to more advanced topics and even the use of 3D simulation software to enhance the learning experience.