Space is an incredibly exciting topic to teach children. As a qualified science teacher I adore watching the awe and amazement on children’s faces when they learn about the vastness of space, the colours & sizes of the different planets and our missions to the moon and beyond.
Teaching children can be wonderfully rewarding. Especially Inspiring young minds and providing valuable answers to burning questions. But in my opinion, teaching is even better when you have the time and energy to be the best teacher you can be.
So often, fantastic teachers are leaving the career they love because they haven’t got enough time for their family or they feel they are spending too much time on planning or assessments and not on the actual teaching.
That’s why I was delighted to hear of PlanBee, a fantastic online collection of lessons plans and resources written by qualified, experienced and enthusiastic primary school teachers. Their aim is to thoroughly prepare, detailed and exciting lesson plans and resources to help teachers regain their work-life balance and allow them to focus on enjoying their classes again.
On our quest to discuss why space is such an important topic to teach children and how to teach it we’ve been fortunate enough to try out two of PlanBee‘s schemes of work. We tried their Earth and Space Complete Series and their the Neil Armstrong mini-scheme of work.
But it’s not just space topics that PlanBee provide resources for, in fact every inch of the national curriculum for primary is covered on their website, with lesson plans, slides, activities and worksheets. Have a look here.
So Why Is It Important To Teach Children about Space?
–Sparks Imagination and Ignites Curiosity– Learning about space is all about the unknown, the ‘what if?’ s and the fascinating questions. It helps children become creative thinkers, to challenge current theories and to question uncertainties. It’s exciting, engaging and enthralling and helps ensure our future generations of adults can think for themselves. We loved PlanBee‘s Space Resources that encourage children to do just this by questioning their understanding in fun and interactive ways.
–Space Encourages Children to Love Science – I always think space is a good ‘way in’ to science. Especially for those that might be disengaged by the subject. Space captures children’s imagination with its rockets, moon landings and different planets and stars. It’s also helped with its popularity by the many cartoons and toys that feature rockets and space crafts! Even Peppa Pig has been to space!
–Creates Our Future Scientists Who knows, that child sat in your classroom engaging in your space lesson, may one day become an astronaut or a rocket scientist. Teaching space will for some children influence and encourage their future career choices. And we don’t know what the future holds when it comes to advances in space travel and discoveries of new planets.
We are preparing children for jobs that we don’t even know about yet. Careers based on technological advances that haven’t happened yet and discoveries that haven’t yet been made.
–Teaches The Importance of Looking After Our Planet. Teaching about space helps children to realise how fragile our own planet is. And hopefully gets across the message of the importance of looking after planet earth. Whether it be through recycling, protecting our wildlife or reducing pollution- children can start from an early age to contribute to making a difference; establishing it as an integral part of their lifestyle.
-Stretches Children To Aim High– Learning about space isnt just about inspiring the next generation of astronomers, but in my opinion, it helps children to have high expectations of themselves and their own futures.
Even if Space isn’t their favourite topic, it shows them anything is possible and to aim high. The sheer size of our solar system and distances between planets (as shown in this wonderful slide by PlanBee) also helps put some of our smaller issues into perspective.