Printable pictures of planets are useful for educating and engaging kids in astronomy and space exploration. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration suggests using printable pictures in the classroom to create models of the solar system and to teach astronomy to young children.
As opposed to displaying them on a monitor, printing out pictures of planets provides students with an opportunity to use the pictures for interactive lessons, including those comparing planets by size and color. NASA suggests using pictures rather than three-dimensional models for children below grade 5. Many printable pictures, such as those available from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology, come with informational materials that provide additional details and explanations for the pictures.
Students can use different printed pictures to observe planets during different times in their rotations and orbits. Students can make comparisons by using pictures taken by different methods, such as infrared imaging, spectroscopy and elevation mapping. Students can also use modern pictures, such as those from the Hubble Telescope, and compare them to images from early technology and even imagined drawings from the past. NASA also suggests using interactive pictures as a way to draw in otherwise uninterested students by providing arts and crafts-related activities. NASA suggests that students use pictures of other planets as prompts for creative writing assignments.