While competing in a game show, Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilei explain how they discovered the movement of the Earth around the Sun. They describe how they investigated and developed theories about the movement of the Earth, and proved that it spins on its axis around the Sun.
Students could discuss the new ideas of Copernicus and Galileo – why was this so revolutionary for the time? Why was Copernicus unable to tell people about his idea? When Galileo told people about his discovery he was locked up. What does that tell us about life in the 16th century and attitudes to science at the time? Students could consider what would happen if a shocking scientific discovery was made today. What would the attitudes be? Students could role-play a modern-day science conference, and take it in turns to announce a shocking scientific revolution. Other students could try to refute the claim. What kind of arguments might be used?
Students could explore Copernicus and Galileo’s discovery by making their own classroom model of the solar system. They could explore the movement of the planets by taking their model outside and each planet could be held above a student’s head. Students could then move around the sun to demonstrate this orbit.