![alt text](/filestore/BlogImage/d275ff0f-a46e-4414-8ec6-42df13147daa/afb5add3-bc8e-471b-b3f7-d39e8b888e5aAstronaut-space.jpg "Astronaut") Photo by [NASA](https://unsplash.com/@nasa?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) on [Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/s/photos/space?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) Take one giant leap for your pupils and explore these KS2 space topic ideas for the classroom! We’ve scoured the internet and asked our Learning by Questions teacher family for KS2 space topic ideas and collated them for you. We’ve got space topic activities for English, science, art, maths, and more! ## KS2 space topic ideas for the classroom Take off with these out-of-this-world space topic classroom activities. ###1. ‘Is there life on other planets?’ debate Improve the critical thinking skills of your pupils by debating whether there is life on other planets or not. You can use NASA’s [pages on Exoplanet Exploration](https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/faq/5/is-there-life-on-other-planets/) as a place to start. YouTube is also awash with videos aimed at pupils to inspire them to consider life on other planets, including [this one from Crash Course Kids](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gHDCOSI5Es). Once children have explored the potential for life on other planets, hone your pupils' skills in communication by hosting a classroom debate. Learning by Questions also has [resources specifically covering this topic](https://www.lbq.org/search/english/reading-comprehension-non-fiction/science/short-reads-is-there-life-on-other-planets-1-pre-read?years=1,2,3,4,5,6&keywords=space), meaning you can do a spot of reading comprehension whilst preparing your pupils for the big debate! ###2. Create your own solar system Describing the movement of the earth and other planets relative to the sun is a statutory requirement of the KS2 programmes of study. But teaching the solar system as part of your space topic is also a great opportunity to incorporate art into your classroom. There are so many great ideas for solar system art projects on Pinterest, but we found this one from [And Next Comes L](https://www.andnextcomesl.com/2014/05/yarn-wrapped-planets-fine-motor-fridays.html), and we’re obsessed! Cut out circles that represent the different sizes of planets and then provide children with a range of yarn and beads to wrap around the cardboard. You could then take the cardboard planets and hang them from wooden dowels to create a solar system mobile. ###3. Set the scene for some creative writing It can be a challenge getting children to write at length, especially about something they have no real-life experience of like outer space. But we all know that setting the scene in a creative and exciting way can be just the ticket. Set the scene for your KS2 pupils by investing in some silver emergency blankets and fairy lights, and then using your interactive whiteboard and [trusty YouTube](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4IhCSMkADc) to get them in the mood for descriptive writing. ###4. Get the help of NASA There’s no better place to learn about outer space than NASA! They have created a [bank of resources](https://www.nasa.gov/langley/education/classroom) for teachers to use to explore the topic of space. You can look at the profiles of astronauts who are currently in space, find information on climate change and how that relates to space travel, and even find resources on sending black hole postcards. Save yourself a job and use NASA’s ready-made resources. ###5. Take a trip to the National Space Centre It might come as a surprise but the UK has its own [National Space Centre](https://spacecentre.co.uk/), which is based in Leicester. Taking a trip as part of your space topic could help to inspire the future astronauts in your classroom! Pupils will get the chance to explore a mock-up of the Columbus Module from the International Space Station, watch a show in the Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium, and look at unusual objects from space exploration history. If a trip is out of the question, the National Space Centre does provide [virtual classroom](https://education.spacecentre.co.uk/visiting-you/virtual-classroom) visits. You can organise for pupils to experience exciting challenges, hosted by Mission Commanders from the National Space Centre via webcam. ###6. Teach the history of space exploration It can be really difficult for pupils to put themselves in the place of an astronaut and imagine what it is like to be blasted into space. Shadow of the Moon (2007) shows the crew members of NASA’s Apollo missions telling their stories in their own words, including the likes of Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, crew members of Apollo 11. Pick out some clips and use them to support your teaching of the history of space exploration. ###7. Learn about famous astronauts and other physicists Doing space as a topic in KS2 is a great opportunity to study biographies. Learning by Questions has a range of reading comprehension resources exploring some of the greatest minds in space travel. Share the lives and experiences of [Mae Jemison](https://www.lbq.org/search/english/reading-comprehension-non-fiction/biographies-and-autobiographies/short-reads-mae-jemison-1-pre-readd84a0fe5-2822-4149-863a-f685dc9c66be?years=1,2,3,4,5,6&keywords=mae), [Katherine Johnson](https://www.lbq.org/search/english/reading-comprehension-non-fiction?years=1,2,3,4,5,6&keywords=katherine), [Tim Peake](https://www.lbq.org/search/english/reading-comprehension-non-fiction?years=1,2,3,4,5,6&keywords=tim%20peake), [Dorothy Vaughan](https://www.lbq.org/search/english/reading-comprehension-non-fiction?years=1,2,3,4,5,6&keywords=dorothy), and [Mary Jackson](https://www.lbq.org/search/english/reading-comprehension-non-fiction?years=1,2,3,4,5,6&keywords=mary%20jackson) with Learning by Questions. Each biography explores a different element of space travel and delves into some of the lesser-known stories in the space race like segregation and discrimination. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Related content:** [ 11 ways to celebrate reading all year round](https://www.lbq.org/Blog/waystocelebratereading) [International Day of Women and Girls in Science](https://www.lbq.org/Blog/womenandgirlsinscienceresources) [Black History Month resources](https://www.lbq.org/Blog/black-history-month) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ###8. Eat like an astronaut You can get [astronaut food](https://astronautfoods.co.uk/) (freeze-dried within an inch of its life!) fairly cheaply online. Buy some for the children to try. You could explore what they look like, why astronauts use freeze-dried food in space, and how they think it’s made. You could even go one step further and create your own freeze-dried food in class! Get pupils to pick out fruit and veg that they think could work. You can freeze dry food over the course of a few weeks in a freezer, or you can invest in a vacuum chamber to speed up the process. You could then go on to create instructional pieces of writing, explaining the process to readers. This is one of those activities that pupils will never forget and they might even try food they’ve never had before! ###9. Read science fiction stories There is so much great science fiction to use as a model with pupils before setting them off on writing their own science fiction stories. A Rag, a Bone, and a Hank of Hair, or Trillions, both by [Nicholas Fisk](https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/463770.Nicholas_Fisk), are fantastic examples of science fiction perfect for KS2 pupils. Learning by Questions also has reading comprehension resources, created especially for exploring the genre of science fiction. [Frank the Chicken](https://www.lbq.org/search/english/reading-comprehension-fiction?years=1,2,3,4,5,6&keywords=frank), [The Aliens of Ashworth Primary](https://www.lbq.org/search/english/reading-comprehension-fiction/sciencefiction/short-reads-the-aliens-of-ashworth-primary-1-pre-read?years=1,2,3,4,5,6&keywords=aliens), and [Mission to Mars](https://www.lbq.org/search/english/reading-comprehension-fiction?years=1,2,3,4,5,6&keywords=mars) are all science fiction stories that are sure to engage your pupils. ###10. Build your own spacecraft You can go to town with this project and let children’s imaginations run wild. Ask children to bring in (cleaned!) items that would usually go straight in the bin, add in a bit of glue and tape, and then give pupils a set time to create their own space rockets. Tell them that anything they add to the rocket needs to have a purpose, and then ask them to present their project to the class at the end. Alternatively, you could use this guide from NASA on [how to build your own spacecraft](https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/build-a-spacecraft/en/) that supports children in making representations of real-life satellites. ###11. Explore scale with a playground solar system It’s pretty difficult to explain or picture the vastness of space. Communicating the distances between planets in our solar system is made easier by getting out of the classroom and creating a scale model on the playground. It’s also a great opportunity to explain using scales to measure distances. We’ve found this [great guide](https://www.skyatnightmagazine.com/advice/diy/make-scale-solar-system-model/) for using 1 astronomical unit to 1 metre to get you started. And that’s your lot! We hope these space topic ideas for the classroom have been helpful for you in planning exciting and engaging lessons for your pupils. We’d love to see these out-of-this-world activities in action, so feel free to share with us via our social media channels. Finally, may the Force be with you. Sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves.