The Observable Universe


1, 3, 5, 7 & 10

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Space is a vast space to explore so get familiar with the key terms involved.

This lesson plan and student activity help Earth and Space science students in Years 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10 familiarise themselves with key Scientific vocabulary used to describe the Universe.

Video Length: 5:21 mins

Astronomers have found a way to estimate the number of stars in the universe. Credit: Comstock Images via Getty Images 

Learning Intention

Students will become with familiar with key terms used to describe the Universe.

Success Criteria

All must be able to identify or describe some observable features visible in the sky.

Most should be able to describe Earth’s position within the Solar System and state some of the other features within it.

Some could state some of the objects within the wider Universe, describe what they are and their identifiable features.

Key Vocabulary

The key vocabulary is outlined in this lesson. The key vocabulary is outlined in this lesson.

Prior Knowledge

N/A – this introductory lesson sets the foundations for future learning.


Watch the video of Astrophysicist, Professor Alan Duffy. Here, he describes the origin of the Universe and some of the key features in it.


Each student should choose one keyword or phrase from the video that they didn’t know before. They should then use the resources available to them (internet, books, etc.) to find out more about this term.

Students should take notes about what they find. They should try to define or explain the term in their own words, avoiding copying directly from the source.


Students should now form small groups where each student has a different word. They should take turns to explain their keyword to others in the group. This explanation should only be about 1 minute long.

Next, the others in the group should ask any questions about the explanation to the student. If they can’t answer it then time should be given for the group to find the answer.


Provide the list of keywords below and ask the students to write a definition for each of them in groups (the intention is that some of them will already be done in the previous section, they may already know some of the definitions, and others can be researched together).


Bingo: Give students a 3×3 grid and ask them to write a key space-term from the table above in each of the cells.

Read out each definition (examples provided below) one at a time.

If the student has the word corresponding to that definition they cross it out on their grid.

When the student has all 9 terms crossed out, they shout bingo. Terms can then be cross-checked with the class and you can also choose to just do a row, column or diagonal three for a shorter activity.

This lesson was created for the Jane Goodall Institute Australia’s Roots and Shoots school resource box. Find out more about it here.

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Years: 1, 3, 5, 7, 10


Earth and Space Sciences – The Solar System, Big Bang Theory

Concepts (South Australia):

Earth and Space Sciences – Earth in Space


1, 3, 5, 7 & 10