This list consists of lesson plans, activities and ideas to support the teaching of science through the topic of Space. It contains ideas for how to link science to the topic, tips on using the resources, suggestions for further use and background subject knowledge to support teachers in delivering the science objectives through this topic. Resources support the teaching of plants and animals, including humans, they also support early ideas around forces.
Visit the primary resources for cross curricular topics webpage to access all resource lists:
Links and Resources
The activities written for younger learners are 1, 2 and 3 and 4:
Using interactive games, children will learn to recognise the names of the eight planets in the Solar System and they will learn that planets revolve around the Sun. This introductory lesson will give children an understanding of planets in the Solar System, in preparation for further topics on other objects, such as asteroids and comets. This Solar System song is a lovely way to start the lesson nad is also very catchy!
Meteorites are heated on their path through the atmosphere of the Earth. Using this context, children will learn the difference between a star and a ‘falling star’, and how friction can cause heating effects. Lots of links to drama activities.
In this activity, students learn about craters that can be created by impacts from space. The resource describes an activity to measure the size of craters by varying the mass of balls, or by varying the height dropped into sand. Children can create graphs to present their findings.
This activity uses the context of Philae's landing to explain why unsupported objects fall towards Earth and why spacecraft need to make a soft landing. It is also great fun to make and design a lander to protect an 'egg' astronaut.
These short animations tell the story of Rosetta and Philae and are a great introduction to running activities.
This collection of short animations introduce us to Paxi, the alien explorer and European Space Agency mascot. Paxi introduces himself, then explores the Solar System, investigates comets and looks at how scientists aim to find out if there is evidence for life on Mars. These animations are a great introduction to learning about space and ESA missions in a way that is accessible to children.
The Principia Mission Space Diary aimed to help children find out more about the Tim Peake's Principia mission and to strengthen literacy and visual literacy skills and engage children in STEM learning. The diary is supported by lesson plans for use in class.
The Rocket Science Primary Resource Pack contains three classroom activities that consider the potential for our long term survival there. The activities have been designed to support learning in Maths, English, Design and Technology and Art. From what plants need to grow and the parts of the plant that we eat, to a more advanced understanding of the role plants play in a healthy diet and ecosystem, and the way they can adapt themselves to changing environmental conditions.
Water rockets can be made using plastic bottles and these are propelled by pressurised water. The rockets need to be launched in a suitable open area such as the school playground. Teacher guidance gives information on the materials required, scientific context and an outline of the activity.
A wealth of resources, including videos and activity ideas. The primary school collection will help support learning more about healthy eating, health and cooking – all through the exciting context of space.
What could be more fun, than creating the Solar System. Children learn about the relative sizes of the various sizes of planets in our Solar System using mostly fruit, with some other items. The class discussion before the activity encourages students to take an educated guess as to which planet each item represents.
Use the context of Earth Observation, using astronaut and satellite images of the Earth to develop understanding of maps and keys. The resource also includes a series of four images of the British Isles in different seasons, allowing children to opportunity to identify which season they think it might show and say why they think this.