Our Place in Space - Unit Plan

Teach Starter Publishing
9 x lessons | Suitable for grades: 5

This Earth and Space Sciences unit explores the concept that Earth is part of a system of planets orbiting around a star (the sun).

It consists of 8 lessons of approximately 60 minutes duration.

The sequence of lessons and suggested time frames should be regarded as a guide only; teachers should pace lessons in accordance with the individual learning needs of their class.

An assessment task for monitoring student understanding of the unit objectives is included and will require an additional lesson.

Teachers are encouraged to collect samples of students’ work throughout the unit to add to a learning portfolio. These can also be used to assess students’ understanding of the unit objectives.


  • To explore the circumstances and processes that led the formation of the solar system.
  • To explore the role of the sun as a provider of energy for the Earth.
  • To develop an understanding of the processes that formed Earth and then create a presentation that explains them.
  • To identify the terrestrial planets of the solar system and compare how long they take to orbit the sun.
  • To identify the Jovian planets of the solar system and compare how long they take to orbit the sun.
  • To investigate the relative size of and distance between Earth, other planets in the solar system and the sun.
  • To identify other celestial bodies present in the solar system.
  • To research Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ understanding of the night sky and its use for timekeeping purposes.
  • To assess students understanding of the concept that Earth is part of a system of planets orbiting around a star (the sun).

Preparing for Learning

This Science unit provides excellent opportunities for cross-curricular integration. Look for ways to meaningfully integrate the content of the unit with other learning areas.

Prior to commencing the unit, develop a classroom display which focuses on electricity. Display posters, word wall vocabulary, and learning goals that the students will engage with throughout the unit to stimulate their learning. For examples of additional teaching resources to display in your classroom, browse the Space and Solar System collection on the Teach Starter website.

The lessons and science experiments within this unit are structured in accordance with the scientific method. Ensure that the students are familiar with this process before commencing the unit. A PowerPoint presentation addressing the concepts of fair testing in Science can be downloaded here.
Some of the resources which accompany this unit plan will need to be prepared prior to teaching. For this reason, it is advised that teachers browse through all lessons before commencing the unit.


Teach Starter Publishing

Teach Starter Publishing

We create premium quality, downloadable teaching resources for primary/elementary school teachers that make classrooms buzz!

Find more resources like this


Write a review to help other teachers and parents like yourself. If you'd like to request a change to this resource, or report an error, select the corresponding tab above.

Login to comment