Instructional Video

Kepler's First Law of Motion—Elliptical Orbits

Discover the transition from circular orbit theories to elliptical orbits. An episode of a video series on astronomy models the different elliptical shapes of the orbits of the planets in the solar systems. Using string, the presenter describes the role of the foci in the elliptical shape.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Create a guided notes document for pupils to complete as they view the lesson
  • Build a flip book to record notes on Kepler's Laws of Motion
Classroom Considerations
  • Expects a basic understanding of ellipses and their features
  • This video is hosted on YouTube
  • Highlights the history of solar system models
  • Explains the mathematics related to elliptical orbits
  • None