Science KS2: The work of Nicolaus Copernicus

This film shows how Nicolaus Copernicus; an early astronomer, scientist and priest in Poland, thought the sun was at the centre of the solar system.

This theory was known as the heliocentric model. It was controversial, as accepted wisdom at the time (supported by the church) was that Earth was at the centre of the universe.

In this vlog style film, he compares his ideas with Aristotle and Ptolemy, who believed the celestial model of Earth at the centre of the solar system, with the sun and other planets in its orbit.

This clip is from the series Scientists and Scientific Method.

Teacher Notes

As a starter to introduce a practical science activity, you could write a simple quiz to encourage pupils to capture the keywords shown in the video.

Pupils can write their own definitions from these words using the internet or science dictionaries to improve their scientific vocabularies.

To consolidate their knowledge, you could get pupils to make booklets that include key information about the work of Nicolaus Copernicus.

They could define the keywords featured in the film, and find five or more pieces of additional pieces of information about the work of the scientists using books, encyclopedias or the internet.

Curriculum Notes

Suitable for teaching Science at Key Stage 2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and at 2nd Level in Scotland. They also have cross-curricular links with History and Literacy.

More from Scientists and Scientific Method:

The work of the ‘father of optics’ Alhazen
The work of Mary Anning
The work of Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace
The work of Galileo Galilei
The work of Caroline and William Herschel
The work of Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov
The work of Carl Linnaeus
The work of Sir Isaac Newton