Outstanding Science | Primary Science Resources for the National Curriculum

Primary Science Resources for the National Curriculum

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KS2 - Year 5 Earth and space

Learning objective

I can research and compare the different planets in the solar system.

Children learn about 3 different planet classifications - terrestrial, gas giant, and ice giant. They carry out a networking activity where each child has a sheet containing incomplete information and they find out the missing data from their classmates. They discuss various ways of comparing, grouping and ordering the planets.

  • 5d1: describe the movement of the Earth, and other planets, relative to the Sun in the solar system
The Solar System consists of the Sun, eight planets, and various smaller bodies, all of which orbit the Sun directly or indirectly.
Year 5 Earth and space | Outstanding Science

The solar system Worksheet

Outstanding Science Year 5 | Earth and space | OS5D001

Learning objective

I can explain how the Earth and the other planets in the solar system move.

Children cut out pictures of the Sun and the eight major planets of the solar system and use them to complete a diagram by placing them in order of distance from the Sun.

  • 5d1: describe the movement of the Earth, and other planets, relative to the Sun in the solar system
Ancient astronomers developed the geocentric model because it was the best explanation available at the time.
The heliocentric model superseded the geocentric model for scientific reasons - because it agrees more closely with observations.
Year 5 Earth and space | Outstanding Science

Earth, Sun and Moon Worksheet

Outstanding Science Year 5 | Earth and space | OS5D003

Learning objective

I can explain how the Moon moves.

Children learn how the Moon moves around the Earth. They learn about theories of the Moon's formation, and that it has been explored. Children create an information text answering the questions 'How do the Earth and Moon move?', 'How was the Moon formed?', and 'Has the Moon been explored?', and complete a diagram showing the movement of the Earth and Moon.

  • 5d2: describe the movement of the Moon relative to the Earth
The Moon orbits the Earth once every 30 days.
The Moon slowly rotates so that the same side always faces the Earth. This is called tidal locking.
Scientists think that the Moon was formed when the young Earth collided with a Mars-sized body called Theia.
Year 5 Earth and space | Outstanding Science

The lunar cycle Worksheet

Outstanding Science Year 5 | Earth and space | OS5D004

Learning objective

I can explain how the Moon's appearance appears to change when viewed from Earth.

Children complete a diagram showing the eight phases of the Moon and why the Moon's appearance seems to change.

  • 5d2: describe the movement of the Moon relative to the Earth
The Moon is not a light source. We can see it only because it reflects light from the Sun.
The appearance of the Moon changes over a 30-day period because of its orbit around the Earth.
Year 5 Earth and space | Outstanding Science

The formation of the solar system Worksheet

Outstanding Science Year 5 | Earth and space | OS5D005

Learning objective

I can explain how the solar system was formed.

Children complete an information text explaining the latest model of the origins of the solar system.

  • 5d3: describe the Sun, Earth and Moon as approximately spherical bodies
The Solar System was formed when a cloud of gas and dust collapsed under its own gravity, compressing the centre until thermonuclear fusion began and the Sun was formed.
The planets and other bodies accreted from smaller objects over time because of gravity.
Massive bodies such as planets and larger moons are approximately spherical because they are rounded by their own gravity.
Year 5 Earth and space | Outstanding Science

Comparing the planets Worksheet

Outstanding Science Year 5 | Earth and space | OS5D006

Learning objective

I can compare the sizes of the planets in the solar system.

Children look at diagrams of the planets which are in proportion to one another. They use an 'Earth ruler' to measure the diameter of the planets in Earth diameters in order to compare them to the Earth. They then use a ruler marked in cm to measure the diameter, before using a formula to calculate their true size. They record their data in a table and look for patterns. Children can use the planet diagrams to make a display.

  • 5d3: describe the Sun, Earth and Moon as approximately spherical bodies
The planets in the Solar System can be classified as terrestrial planets, gas giants, or ice giants.
Terrestrial planets are largely composed of rocks and metals and have a solid surface.
Gas giants have huge outer layers of hydrogen and helium that surround a compressed core, and do not have a clearly-defined surface.
Ice giants are massive planets but contain heavier materials than gas giants.
Year 5 Earth and space | Outstanding Science

Day and night Worksheet

Outstanding Science Year 5 | Earth and space | OS5D007

Learning objective

I can explain how day and night are caused.

Using a split pin, children create a moving model showing how the rotation of the Earth causes day and night. They move their model through a day and night cycle, using speech bubbles to explain what they would experience at each stage of the cycle.

  • 5d4: use the idea of the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night and the apparent movement of the sun across the sky.
The Sun appears to rise in the east, move across the sky, and set in the west.
Day and night are caused by the rotation of the Earth, and that the Sun only appears to move across the sky.
Year 5 Earth and space | Outstanding Science

Making a sundial Investigation

Outstanding Science Year 5 | Earth and space | OS5D008

Learning objective

I can make a sundial and explain how it works.

Using a template, children cut out and assemble their own sundial. They carefully attach the gnomon (shadow caster). On a sunny, rain and wind-free day, children calibrate their sundial by fixing it in position and marking where the shadow of the gnomon falls at 9am, 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm. Children predict where the 4pm shadow line would fall.

  • 5d4: use the idea of the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night and the apparent movement of the sun across the sky.
A sundial is a device which uses the shadow cast by the Sun to show the time of day.
Year 5 Earth and space | Outstanding Science