How To Teach About Earth And Space

Written by Dan

Last updated

Teaching primary school students about earth and space can be a fun and rewarding experience.

Using various instructional strategies, you can help your students learn about our planet, its place in the solar system, and other fascinating topics.

Here are some tips on how to teach earth and space in primary school.

Related: For more, check out our article on Teaching Electricity In School  here.

EYFS: Explore The Natural World

Giving primary school students the power to explore the natural world around them through experiential learning can transform their understanding of Earth and Space.

Integrating aspects of the EYFS curriculum into a teaching approach that values discovery, collaboration, and critical thinking can engage pupils in Earth and Space activities, observing plants and animals’ growth and collecting data on animal activity in nature.

By introducing them to topics such as winter storms, flight patterns of migrating birds, or tips on how plants need water to survive, pupils will gain a more robust understanding and insight into these concepts with exciting hands-on experiences that combine knowledge acquired in class with questions they bring back from their outdoor adventures.

KS1 – Understand The Effect Of Changing Seasons

Teaching KS1 about the changing seasons provides essential opportunities to explore how the environment around us adapts as time passes.

By studying seasonal differences, children will better understand the impact on animals, nature and plants at different times of the year, from hibernation and migration to light levels.

Through activities such as going on nature walks or observing seasonal changes in weather and temperature, young learners can foster a deep appreciation for life cycles and their relationship with nature.

Ultimately, these activities build a valuable foundation for learning about natural phenomena at all levels of education.

KS2 – Recognise Light And Dark Properties

Introducing a primary school lesson about Earth and Space provided an essential opportunity for students to not only learn about the concept of light but also understand that the absence of light causes darkness.

Developing this understanding early in their educational journey was pivotal as it helped young learners better grasp day, night and the solar system.

Teaching students how to differentiate between dark and light helps lay down the foundations of making sure they recognise the importance of defining terms constantly while they develop their knowledge further.

The Dangers Of Light

As primary school teachers, it is essential to consider the safety of our students when teaching about earth and space. In particular, young children are particularly susceptible to the harmful effects of sunlight.

Therefore, we must not only educate our students on the fact that light from the sun can be dangerous but also equip them with ways to protect their eyes from potential damage from UV rays.

This could include discussing how wearing sunglasses, or hats can help safeguard children’s eyes from exposure to intense ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

Ultimately, there is no doubt that by providing students with this information and showing them how to stay safe in the sun, we are giving them invaluable life skills for years to come.


No matter the age group, introducing the concept of shadows can be a great way to spark a student’s natural curiosity. When teaching primary schoolers about earth and space, one simple but engaging activity is to explain how shadows are formed when a solid object blocks a light source.

Ask the students to find an example in their classroom and observe how different shapes cast shadows on the wall or floor.

Once each student has attended, discuss why this phenomenon occurs with an interesting story explaining why objects cast shadows when light is blocked.

Visual and interactive activities such as this can help capture their attention and let them engage with this scientific concept in a fun way.

The Movement Of Earth

Learning about the solar system can be a wondrous classroom experience! Students can explore the orbits and positions of all planets, including Earth. The Earth revolves around the sun, with one complete revolution taking 365 days!

Meanwhile, other planets such as Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn also have their courses around the sun at different speeds—allowing students to begin understanding orbital speed and movement. Students can better understand how our solar system works by exploring this fascinating concept!

Earth’s Rotation

When teaching primary school students about Earth and space, the concept of the Earth’s rotation effectively explains why day turns into night and why the sun appears to move across the sky.

Children can visualise what is happening simply by emphasising how the earth rotates on its axis. As day turns into night and back again, children gain a concrete understanding of why this occurs and the idea can be applied to other celestial phenomena.

A hands-on activity could be incorporated in which a globe or rotating model is utilised so that students can further explore the idea for themselves. Explaining earth and space through this concept helps children truly comprehend these mind-boggling scientific aspects.

The importance of science isn’t up for debate. Teachers must ensure our students understand earth and space from an early age.

Children can receive an invaluable education about the Universe by introducing basic concepts in a meaningful way, such as how the sun’ssun’s light produces shadows or how the earth’s rotation affects day and night.

Many of these concepts can be taught in fun and interactive so that students appreciate the importance of science.

By the time they finish their primary school years, children will have a strong foundation of scientific knowledge to build upon for their future studies.

FAQ About Teaching Earth and Space

What subjects should be taught when teaching earth and space?

A. The curriculum should include topics such as the solar system, stars, galaxies, planets, gravity, and other forces in the Universe when teaching about earth and space.

Additionally, issues like astronomy, geology, geography, meteorology, climate change and other Earth sciences should also be considered for a comprehensive study of the earth and space.

How can I make learning about Earth and space more engaging for my students?

A. Making learning about Earth and space more engaging is critical to ensure that students remain focused on the lesson content. Various activities can be used to engage with students, such as hands-on activities like building 3D planets or creating interactive projects like mapping out constellations in an outdoor setting.

Additionally, multimedia such as videos or podcasts can help demonstrate concepts visually or audibly, which may be more accessible for some students to understand than just lecture-style instruction alone!

What scientific data should I use when teaching about earth and space?

A. There is a wide variety of scientific data available on Earth and Space topics, including imagery from satellites/telescope observations along with graphical representations of data collected from research experiments or simulations, all of which help to support a comprehensive understanding of our Solar System or other phenomena happening around us in the Universe!

Are there any resources I can use when teaching about earth and space?

A. Yes! Resources for teaching about earth and space include online websites such as NASA’s digital library, which has plenty of information on astronomy-related topics, and tools like Google’s sky map, which helps show images from across our sky in real time!

Your local library may also have books on Science-related topics, so it’s always worth getting creative when seeking out materials that could be useful in class too!

What safety precautions should I take when doing outdoor experiments related to earth and space?

A. safety is paramount when conducting outdoor experiments related to celestial objects. Hence, it’s essential to ensure that you have taken appropriate steps before carrying out any observation activity with your students, such as using protective eyewear while viewing objects through telescopes to avoid potential eye damage caused by strong light sources that might come from high-powered astronomical equipment like lasers etc.!

Additionally, ensuring you adhere to strict guidelines set by your school/institution regarding handling/using any equipment will help you stay compliant with relevant laws too!

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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