Space Exploration: Planetary Axial Tilts and Seasons

Space Exploration: Planetary Axial Tilts and Seasons
Take a "stroll"' through the solar system to investigate Earth in the context of other celestial bodies in our solar system, including other planets and moons. Students will be led through a brief lesson on the characteristics of the planets, including some of their moons and their own attributes. A special focus will be put on the planets and their axes, particularly Earth's own axis and how it - in relation to the Sun - causes seasons on Earth's surface. In this unique space, students will be able to experience in three dimensions how the Sun's energy is distributed across Earth unevenly due to its tilt. Students will be challenged to consider the effects that has on Earth's surface, as well as any potential similar effects on other planets according to their own tilts.

Curricular Connections

Grade 5 - Space: How are astronomical phenomena observed and interpreted?


Critical Thinking
Pattern Recognition
Content Mastery
Physical Manipulation


Tour Through the Solar System (Planet axis focus)

In this teacher-led tour, students will experience the wonders of our cosmic neighborhood, gaining a deeper understanding of each planet and its unique characteristics with a special focus on each planet's axis and how it may impact its surface similar to different seasons on Earth.
Objective Description
Planetary Axis Identification Students will observe planets of the solar system according to their axial tilts.

Activity Bubbles: Ordering the Planets

In small groups, students will enter "activity bubbles" to engage in an interactive activity that allows them to pick up, move, and place the planets of the solar system in the correct order.
Objective Description
Order the Planets Students will describe the order of the planets in our solar system.

Scale in the Solar System

In this whole-class experience, students will be interacting with the planets of the solar system to create a more "to-scale" representation of their actual distances in space.
Objective Description
Recognize Scale of the Solar System Students will recognize with modeling a more accurate scale of the planets in the solar system.

Earth's Axis and Seasons

While observing the Solar System, take a stop at Earth to observe its axial tilt. Consider the combination of Earth's tilt and its revolution around the Sun and how it impacts seasons on Earth's surface with the guidance of an engaging teacher-led lesson!
Objective Description
Season Identification Students will observe and recognize Earth's relationship with the Sun and how Earth's tilt causes seasons on the surface.

Scavenger Hunt

A question-based scavenger hunt to assess student knowledge of concepts covered.
Objective Description
Describe Characteristics of Celestial Bodies Students will identify celestial bodies according to their characteristics.

Asteroid Dodgeball

Watch out for that asteroid! Get active and play a tag-like game called Asteroid Dodgeball. Divide into teams, hold your blaster, and launch asteroids at the other team! The team with the highest number of tags is the winner.