The Earth, the Sun and the Moon

Information for Teachers

Curriculum links

Australian Science Standards

ESS (ACSSU078) The Earth is part of a system of planets orbiting around a star (the sun)

ESS (ACSSU078) Identifying the planets of the solar system

ESS (ACSSU078) The role of the sun as a provider of energy for the Earth

NDS (ACSHE081) How scientists were able to develop ideas about the solar system through the gathering of evidence through space exploration

New Zealand Science Achievement Objectives

PEB: Heat from the sun, the earth, and human activities is distributed around Earth by the geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere

PEB: The interactions between the solar, lunar, and Earth cycles and the effect of these on Earth


Helpful websites

You may want to direct your students to some or all of these websites to help with their investigations.

The Kids Astronomy website has lots of excellent information: Search: our solar system

Students can see how scientists look into space in a video about amazing telescopes:

Students can take a tour of the universe with the Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics:


How to search the internet

1 Keep your request short

Fewer words will give a more accurate search.

2 Choose exactly what you want

For example: Arctic Circle Climate

3 Use quotes

Double quotes around a set of words tell the search engine to consider those exact words in that exact order without any change. For example: “Arctic Circle Climate”

4 Use the plus sign (+)

If you add a plus sign (+) between words, the internet will search for all the words. For example: migrate+birds+whales+mammal

5 Use the minus sign (–) to say what you don’t want

Use a minus sign (–) to show words you do not want to appear in your results. For example: if you search for burrowing animals and do not want mammals in your search,  –mammals will exclude mammals. Note that you need to put a space before the minus sign for the word to be excluded.

6 Be very clear about what you don’t want

Part 1
Ask questions and make predictions

After reading The Earth, the Sun and the Moon, you may have questions about these parts of the solar system.

List your questions

  • Compare your list with questions that others have.
  • Choose a question you would like to investigate.
  • You can work alone, with a partner, or in a small group.

You may want to choose one or more of these questions to investigate

Q1. What information is being collected about the moon? How is it collected?

Q2. What information is being collected about the sun? How is it collected?

Q3. How do scientists study the earth, the sun, and the moon? Why is it important?

Go to Part 2 Plan and investigate →

Part 2
Plan and investigate

Do searches in the internet or in books or talk to people who can help to find the information you are looking for.

Your teacher may suggest suitable websites for further information.

Go to Part 3 Record and analyse data →

Part 3
Record and analyse data

Find a way of recording your information that will allow you to see any patterns in the data.

This table may help you to collect data as you do your research.

Main question______________________________________

Download Chart
Go to Part 4 Evaluate the information →

Part 4
Evaluate the information

1. Look over the information you have gathered and the patterns you have found.

What have you learned about the earth, sun, and moon?

What did you learn about the movements of the earth, sun, and moon in relation to each other?

Why are these movements important?

What do you know about the relationships between the earth, sun, and moon?

2. Search for other patterns.

3. Makes notes about what you find.

Go to Part 5 Communicate and share ideas →

Part 5
Communicate and share ideas

Look over all of the information you have gathered and the thinking you have done.

What are the most important ideas about the earth, moon, and sun?

Make a chart showing the most important of these ideas.

Download Chart
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