Some students use a geocentric model of the solar system i.e. the Earth at the centre
This can be taken further by saying that then Sun and Moon move towards and away from the Earth or by saying that the Sun and Moon orbit around the Earth together.
The following worksheets may help to identify whether students hold this particular misconception.
For more information, see the University of York BEST website.
Resources to address this
Acting out day and night (5-11)
Accounting for day and night is quite complex, and we suggest that the very best way for children to develop a helpful understanding of this is to act out a model of the process.
They also learn about the explanation of the solar system.View Resource
The solar system: what do we know? (11-14)
This activity looks at the model of the solar system, as accepted now.View Resource
Does the Earth move? photographing the night sky (11-16)
The photograph will show arcs of a circle as the stars in the northern hemisphere appear to revolve around the Pole Star. It is then necessary to explore possible explanations.View Resource
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- Pine, K., Messer, D. & St. John, K., () Children's Misconceptions in Primary Science: A Survey of teachers' views, Research in Science & Technological Education, 19 (1) 79-96.
- Plummer, D. J., Zahm, M. V. & Rice, R., () Inquiry and Astronomy: Preservice Teachers’ Investigations of Celestial Motion, Journal of Science Teacher Education.
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