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Earth & Space - The Earth in space - Space & the Solar System - G18
This is the Teacher's Guide for this targetThis is the Teacher's Guide for this targetTeacher's Guide


1. Use a globe to remind the children that as the Earth spins one side turns away from the Sun and it becomes night time. As it continues to turn that side comes around to face the Sun and it becomes day time.

Use a torch or a desk lamp as the Sun and set up a globe a short distance away. Sit a group of children (maybe four or five) around the globe and ask them to imagine they are on a nearby stationary starship. Ask them to draw their view of the earth (Worksheet E1a (G) has been designed for this activity). Then, with the children staying in their positions turn the Earth through a chosen interval (90 degrees for six hours) and ask the children to draw what they can see now. Repeat this twice more so that the children see one complete rotation of the Earth from one position.

It is important that the children only draw the portion of the Earth that they can see from their position.

More able children may be able to label the countries they have drawn.

2. The orbit of the Earth around the Sun again is best shown to the children rather than talked about. Place a lamp - preferably one without a shade) on a table in the centre of a darkened room. Sit the children in a large circle around it and then use a class globe to show how the Earth orbits the Sun and how the tilt of the Earth gives us the seasons. (See teacher’s note below.)
Space Probes
Galileo - 1989 sent to Jupiter. Was crushed by Jupiter’s atmosphere after 57 minutes. Magellan - 1989, sent to Venus and mapped the whole of the surface. Was destroyed when it entered Venus’s atmosphere in 1994.
Giotto - 1986 was launched to meet Halley’s comet and gave the first pictures of the comet’s core. Mariner Series - A series of 10 probes, achieved many different tasks. No. 4 flew past Mars in 1964, No.9 orbited Mars in 1971
Pioneer series - first launched in 1958. Nos.5 and 9 orbited the Sun and sent back information for 20 years. Nos. 10 and 11 went beyond the asteroid belt. Japanese probes Sakigate and Susei launched in 1985. Both travelled around the Sun then met Halley’s comet in 1986.
Vega - 1984. Two probes both dropped small balloon probes to explore atmosphere of Venus then went on to meet Halley’s Comet. They sent information back to help target Giotto. Ulysses - Launched from the Space Shuttle in 1990, it flew to Jupiter and then used Jupiter's gravity to launch out of the plane of the planets to orbit the Sun at 90 degrees to Earth’s orbit. In 1994 and 1995 flew over the Sun’s South and North poles.
Venera - 1961 to 1983. Thirteen probes sent to Venus to map surface. Voyager 1 and 2 - Launched in 1977 used the unusual alignment of the gaseous planets to pass Jupiter -1979, Saturn - 1981, Uranus - 1986 and Neptune - 1989. Have since left the Solar System.
Viking - 1975. Arrived at Mars in 1976 and successfully landed on the surface. Continued to send back data into the 1980’s

3. The Moon takes 28 days to orbit the Earth and as it does, its position relative to the Earth changes. Since the Moon does not produce its own light but merely reflects the light of the Sun its appearance changes over the orbit.

Worksheet E1b (G) is for the children to record the changing sequence of the Moon over a period of four weeks. You may like to give the children time to do some research about the Moon.

The children can use Worksheet E1c (G) to record the things they find out about the Moon. The ‘Teacher’s Note - The Moon’ provides some information which may be useful.

Worksheet E1d (G) provides spaces for the children to ask some more questions and answers.

 1. See table for gases of the air.

See Planet Information Table for information about the atmosphere of the other planets.

Worksheet D7 (G) can be used for the children to record a pie chart showing the relative amounts of the gases of the atmosphere.

Air =

78% - Nitrogen ( a gas which doesn’t react with other gases)

21% - Oxygen

1% - A mixture of other gases including Carbon Dioxide.

There is also an amount of water vapour in the air but the amount depends on the weather conditions at the time.

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