Keynote Cosmic Rotation

To support grade 2 students in their understanding of our solar system, specifically the concept of planets orbiting the sun, we used the ‘create a path’ animation feature in Keynote. 

As students had never used Keynote before, we started with a quick introduction (how to delete, how to add a shape, change the color, etc.). I asked the students to keep the background white until the very end, otherwise, the shapes that they add could get “lost” in the black. 

Students created four circles - representing the sun, Mercury, Venus, and Earth. Changing the color and the size, students then ensured that all their planets fit on the top half of the screen (so they could orbit all on the same slide). 

After ‘creating a path’, in animation, for each planet, students were taught how to change the build order so that all the planets orbit at the same time. 

Here is the final product:

Asking the students to describe what was happening, they observed that Mercury came in “first place”. We talked about why this happens and then discussed how many Earth days it takes all the other planets to orbit the sun. It was a fascinating conversation, as even explaining why we are measuring specifically in ‘Earth days’ was important.


Happy Learning!


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