I was one that was taught that our solar system had nine planets. See that tiny dot on the right end? Pluto. Yes, the planet Pluto.
So, after doing a little research for my sissy, I found that from 1979-1999 Pluto was the eighth planet from the sun because of its odd orbit. This orbit is one of the things that has caused the controversy over whether to call Pluto a planet or not.
When they demoted it to a Dwarf Planet in 2006, I did not like it at all. I believe when we did anything with planets any time after that, I told the children that I’d been taught it was a planet and now they say it isn’t. I don’t believe we went into it too much because although I am open-minded, I am a bit stubborn. But it has now been 10 years and they haven’t changed their minds, so I guess it’s time to bend.
I found a good and informative but easy to ready website to help with this information. Here’s a link to the page on space.com. It’s really good because it puts the info about the reasons behind Pluto’s demotion right up front, followed by info about dwarf planets, and then a bit more down near the bottom with the information on Pluto itself. It also has a few details about each of the planets. I found it quite interesting.
I felt that was enough information but if this topic is interesting to your child, you might want to let him/her check out this website. Now, I will tell you that right on the main page it says that Pluto is the ninth planet. It was last copyrighted 2015, so I think this may be the reason why. However, it does mention that some don’t consider Pluto the ninth planet and talks about it more on the page dedicated to Pluto. I think it would be good to show this to your children because then you can talk about why it might have different information, how you cannot just take the word of one website, and show them how to look for the copyright (usually at the bottom of the page). All of this helps with critical thinking and teaching them not to take everything they read as fact. This website also has some coloring pages and a planets quiz.
While I was looking for a picture to post with this post, I found some other interesting pictures. Some of them would make a great picture for your children to make up a story about. You can put whatever requirements you want on the paper/story they write or you can just let them go wherever their imagination takes them. Maybe they’ll just use the picture as a basis for some imaginary playtime later, or maybe they’ll want to use several of them. There really are some nice ones here.
I hope you enjoy and I hope this helps, Little Sis!
Until next time, God bless,