Circling the Sun
You have been studying the planets in our solar system. This activity can help you better understand the sizes, features, and orbits of the nine planets circling the Sun.
- round piece of cardboard, at least one foot across
- colored pencils, crayons, paint, or markers
- drawing compass
- construction paper or plastic-foam balls of various sizes
- scissors and string
Ask an adult to help you mark the center of the large, round piece of cardboard. That point represents the location of the Sun. Use the drawing compass to make nine circles at different distances around this center mark. These circles will be the orbits of the nine planets in our solar system. Punch one hole on each circle. Using either construction paper or plastic-foam balls, make the nine planets. Attach a piece of string to each planet and hang the string from that planet's orbit. Tape all the strings to the top of the cardboard. Use other strings to hang your model of the solar system.
What did you learn about the solar system? Does your model accurately reflect the sizes of the planets and their orbits?