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Not on Earth

Destination space - complete these activities to learn all about the planets and our solar system.

Clumsy Ed

Oh no, not again! Ed has mixed up all of these labels on his space travel time line. Can you help him by placing each label at the right date?


  • What am I?
    • I begin with the letter M
    • I am the closest planet to the sun
    • I am 57.8 million kilometres or 36 million miles from the sun.
  • What am I?
    • I am the closest planet to earth I have no moons
    • I get very hot during the day (up to 484 degrees Celsius).
  • What am I?
    • I am a large planet
    • People know me because of my rings made of tiny pieces of ice and dust
    • I have 18 moons.

Journey to planet Kōpū

Ed wants to visit Wiki on planet Kōpū, but he is a little unsure of what it is like on Wiki's planet.

Information about planet Kōpū:

  • Physics:
  • Size: very small
  • Rotation: very slow
  • Tilt: no tilt
  • Select: moon and rings
  • Chemistry:
  • Atmosphere: 80% nitrogen, 19% oxygen and 1% carbon dioxide
  • Surface: 80% rock 20% water
  • Biology:
  • Bacteria, plants, visitors, and animals
  • Orbit:
  • Position: 120-300 million kilometres from the sun
  • Path: eclipse
  • Take a screen shot of this planet to print it out:
    • Press the Print Screen button on your keyboard when you see your planet for the first time.
    • Answer the questions on this planet Kōpū documentand paste (Ctrl V) the screen shot into the picture frame.

      Word icon. Planet Kōpū document (Word, 25 KB)

    • Place the curser in the picture frame.
    • Press Ctrl V (paste).

Rap it up

Ed always has trouble remembering the names of the planets. Can you help him by composing a rap that will help him learn the names of the planets in order?

  • Find out the order and names of the planets using the BBC: Space website
  • Write your rap using Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Open Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Select Blank Presentation
  • Select Blank
  • Choose Insert, Text Box
  • Record your rap
  • Select Insert-Movies and Sounds-Record Sounds
  • Ask your teacher to help you plug in the microphone
  • Select the record button to record your voice.

Ngā Whetū Ao

Māori version

  • Haere ki tēnei pae whakaata ki a Hana, ka tango mai ī te taputapu whakahaere mō Te Ao Hurihuri. Puritia ki tō papamahi.
  • Haere ki te tohu Taonga, ka pato i te pātene e kī ana 'Te Whanau a Tama Nui Te Ra', arā kei te taha katau.
  • Ka kitea ngā ingoa Māori mō ngā whetū ao i raro ake o te whārangi nei. Tēna homai ngā ingoa Māori mo ngā whetu ao e iwa, engari me timata me te rā i te tuatahi, nā te mea he whetū kē.
  • Ka taea ano e koe ki te whakaraupapa i ngā ingoa pākeha o ngā whetū ao?
Pluto Neptune
Jupiter Earth
Uranus Venus
Saturn Mars
Mercury Sun


 English version

  • Go to this website Hana, and download the Te Ao hurihuri player for a P.C. Save it to your desktop.
  • Go to Taonga, click the button on the right hand side that reads, 'Te whanau a tama nui te ra'.
  • At the bottom of the page you can find out the names of the planets in Maori. Beginning with the sun, which is actually a star, name the 9 planets including earth in Te reo Māori.
  • Can you also name the planets in order in English?
Pluto Neptune
Jupiter Earth
Uranus Venus
Saturn Mars
Mercury Sun

You're the Star

Your task is to design a PowerPoint presentation that will illustrate/show the lifecycle of a star.

  • Read about the lifecycle of a star.
  • Draw a picture of a star at each stage of its life.
  • Create a PowerPoint presentation to show the lifecycle of a star:
  • Insert each picture you have drawn onto a new slide.
  • Add a title to each page with the name of the stage.
  • Use the rehearse timings function to make your presentation look like it's a movie.

More ideas: Act out the lifecycle of a star as a play.

  • Write a script for your play
  • Act out your play in front of your Study Centre friends
  • Ask your Study Centre teacher to record your play.

Wiki's visit to earth

Wiki has just landed on earth for the first time. Pretend you are Wiki. What can you see, hear, smell, feel? What seems weird, funny, or strange to you?

  • Pick an object or thing to write about. You could choose one of these ideas:
  •  Pets and animals: dogs, cats, birds, horses, zebras, chimpanzee
  • Actions: sneeze, smile, laugh
  • Other ideas: wind, rain rugby, television, radio, opera, school
  • Use Microsoft Word to write a letter to your friend on Kōpū that describes an object, animal, thing, or action.

    Remember: they know nothing about planet earth or the things you are trying to describe.

Alien holiday

Wiki is trying to decide which planet to visit for a holiday. Quite a few questions need to be answered to make sure the planet can support life. Can you help her by answering the questions below?

  • Check out this animated movie and complete the fun activities.
  • Read the list below then decide which questions scientists ask when trying to hunt for habitable planets. Some of these are made up!
    • Is the planet in the habitable zone?
    • Is the star the correct colour?
    • Is the planet the correct colour?
    • Are there moons orbiting the planet?
    • Is there a planet about the size of Jupiter orbiting the star?
    • All of the above.

Lost in space

Ed has become lost on his way to visit Wiki on planet Kōpū. Can you draw a picture of our solar system so that Ed can find his way?

  • Use the Interned to find out about the size of the planets and their place in our solar system.
  • Use a paint program to draw a picture of our solar system. Make sure that:
  • the planets are all in proportion (they are all the right sizes when compared with one another);
  • the planets are the right colours (draw any spots or rings);
  • the planets are drawn in the correct places.
  • Insert your picture into Microsoft Word
  • Add labels for each planet using text boxes or arrows from autoshapes.

Tourism video

Wiki is trying to decide which planet she should visit for her summer holidays. Can you help her by making a tourist brochure or video about one of the planets in our solar system?

  • Use BBC: Space to gather information about a planet of your choice.
  • Use Microsoft Publisher to create your brochure. Include information about:
  • the planet: weather, terrain (mountains, seas, deserts);
  • what to see: special features of the planet; rings, spots, moons;
  • travel Information: how would I travel to the planet?
  • photo gallery;
  • general information: journey length, frequently asked questions, history.

If you would like to make a video you will need to include information about each of the headings above. You could try:

  • inserting still pictures of the planet (you will need to draw these in Paint)
  • adding sounds/music
  • adding titles, or information pages
  • using miniatures/models of the planets.

Star gazers

Your task is to take a photograph of, or draw, the moon once a day for four days.

  • Draw a night sky outline. Use this picture as an example. You could use pen and paper, a digital camera, or a paint program you have at home.

  • Decide on a time that you will draw your pictures.
  • Look at the position, size, and colour of the moon. Draw this onto your night sky outline. Take your drawing from exactly the same place each time. Label each moon with the date.
  • Repeat this every day for four days.