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St Patrick's Primary School

Together Everyone Achieves More. Journey to Learning

Planet Earth in Space

Learning Intention

 

To investigate the relative sizes of the planets in our solar system 
To understand that size comparisons between planets can be surprisingly tricky.


This activity allows pupils to model, in three dimensions, the relative sizes of the planets.

the children will visualise the relative volumes of the eight planets and the dwarf planet Pluto in the

solar system.

 

1. Divide the Entire Ball of Play-dough into 10 Equal Parts

You may find it easiest to start by rolling the ball into one big hot dog shape.

  • Combine 6 parts together and put them into the Jupiter box.
  • Similarly combine 3 parts and put them into the Saturn box.

2. Cut the Remaining Part into 10 Equal Parts

  • Take 5 parts and combine them with the ball in the Saturn box.
  • Combine 2 parts to put into the Neptune box.
  • Combine 2 parts to put into the Uranus box.

3. Cut the Remaining Part into 4 Equal Parts

  • Take 3 parts and combine them with the ball in the Saturn box.

4. Cut the Remaining Part into 10 Equal Parts

  • Put 2 parts into the Earth box.
  • Put 2 parts into the Venus box.
  • Take 4 parts and combine them with the ball in the Uranus box.

5. Combine the Remaining 2 Parts and Cut into 10 Equal Parts

  • Put 1 part into the Mars box.
  • Take 4 parts and combine them with the ball in the Neptune box.
  • Take 4 parts and combine them with the ball in the Uranus box.

6. Cut the Remaining Part into 10 Equal Parts

  • Put 7 parts into the Mercury box.
  • Take 2 parts and combine them with the ball in the Uranus box.

7. Cut the Remaining Part into 10 Equal Parts

  • Take 9 parts and combine them with the ball in the Uranus box.
  • Put 1 part into the Pluto box.

Finally:

Now that you have divided the play-dough to represent the planets by volume, roll the pieces in each planet’s box into balls to best represent the shapes of the planets.

Play the ‘What planet am I?’ game with friends and family. Tell them facts about your planet and ask them to guess the planet.

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