How big are the other planets compared to Earth? How far away are they from the Sun? Here are some activities that will help students get a feeling for the vast scale of the solar system!
Students draw graphs of planet sizes and planet distances and then answer some questions about the planets.
Students draw dots on a line to show the relative distances of the planets from the Sun. This is another way of representing information about the planets. Teachers can print the document and then cut it into 3 sections.
The students can use the data from the worksheets above.
In this activity, students use a compass to draw the planet sizes to scale.
There are two sheets. One is A4 size and one is A3.
The A4-size sheet should be enlarged to A3 or students can complete their scale drawings on some poster paper.
The A3 sheet can fit all 8 planets but some students choose to draw some of the planets on the back.
Planets Drawn to Scale – This document is A3.pdf
Planets Drawn to Scale – Enlarge to A3.pdf (The pdf is A4 sized.)
This activity gets students to use a Google Sheet spreadsheet to compare the relative sizes of the planets and their distances to the Sun. The instructions are on the Google sheet but you can also watch the short video below that explains how to draw graphs (or charts) on Sheets. The video uses a line chart as an example, but students should select “Column chart” for this activity.
Relative Sizes and Distances in the Solar System (Google Sheet)
Drawing Graphs on a Spreadsheet.
Practice Graph (Google Sheet) (same as the one in the video)