Thursday, January 7, 2010

Toilet Paper?

Yes! Today we used toilet paper to learn about science! How fun is that? To better understand how far from the sun each planet is we made a model. Remember kids...I am not Ms. Frizzle and can't turn our school bus in to a rocket ship and take you to the moon, therefore we have to make a model. The solar system is way to big to "see" so we have to model it! Toilet paper came in handy today for our solar system model!
The students were put into groups today and assigned two different planets. They were provided with a chart telling them how many sheets of toilet paper each planet is away from the sun. Mercury, the closest planet to the sun, was 3 sheets of toilet paper from the sun. Neptune, the farthest planet from the sun, was 224 sheets of toilet paper from the sun. The kids did quite a bit of counting today!
I was very proud of the teamwork efforts. The students seem to take every assignment seriously in Science! Even if it does involve toilet paper!
After this activity, we went back to the classroom and made bar graphs in the science notebooks!

Solar System tips-
Students need to know the following:
The Earth Rotates as it revolves around the sun
One rotation of the Earth is one day...24 hours
one revolution is a year.
the Earth revolving around the sun is also called an orbit...
gravity holds all the planets in orbit
My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us a good way to help remember the order of the planets...Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
the sun is a star made up of gases

Today was "out of this world!"
Mrs. M


  1. I remember doing that with Mrs. Jensen!

  2. can you provide the exact toilet paper measurements for each planet? great idea!

    1. Did you ever get the toilet paper measurements

    2. You would need vast amounts of TP if your scale resulted in Earth being 7/10 of an inch in diameter. Neptune would be 2.5 inches in diameter in that scale a mere 4 miles away. The sun would be 76 feet in diameter and it would be 688 feet from earth.

  3. I would love to use this idea. I was also wondering if you could post the toilet paper measurements for each planet? I'm hoping to use this idea in about two weeks. Thanks!!

  4. Nice idea! Thanks for the post. I also would love to know the measurements for each planet.

  5. Wow! That is so neat. Could you send me the measurements for each planet? That would be excellent!

  6. I want the measurement for each planet.

  7. Any chance to get the tp measurements for all the planets?

    1. If you made earth 7/10 of an inch in diameter you would need about 688 feet of toilet paper, Neptune would require about 4 miles of TP. If you made earth 1/1000 of an inch in diameter you would only need about 60 feet of TP more Neptune.

  8. I would love to get the tp measurements for all the planets as well. Great idea!

  9. I would also love to have the measurements.

  10. Hello all! I googled the activity to find the amount of toilet paper to use for each planet. There are several links. I am using this one:

    Hope this helps.

  11. What about the Balls representing the solar system? Where did you get those?

  12. adjusting to use for 1st grade! So excited!

  13. This is great! How did you determine how your measurements in sheets of toilet paper related to the actual distance?

  14. I have this blow up planets on the ceiling of my classroom. I ordered them from Oriental Trading.

  15. this site has a nice table with distances...

  16. I found this site the most helpful with printouts included using either 100 sheets of toilet paper or 200 and it is written as an at home exploration (nice option)

  17. I'm was looking for a neat way to show my pre k class about the solar system and love this idea could you send me info in the count of tp?

  18. I tried the link mentioned above and it's no longer there, but I found an other link that has the distances in inches and in # sheets:

  19. Wow this project is a great idea! Relating distance of planets to toilet paper squares... how creative! Our projects are a bit more expensive, but we help with funding.

  20. This looks like so much fun! Do you have the sheet you provided for the students with the measurements? Thank you!

  21. Awesome post! Definitely some great tips and advice on toilet paper. I am resently posted at ready bathroom

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