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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Hands on Learning about Space

space2

Walking the Solar System

So today we walked the solar system!  So cool!!  I have a great friend who use to teach public school (she now homeschools her children).  She offered to share some of her space lessons with us and have some group study!

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The distance is so great that I couldn’t photograph the entire thing (that and we live on a curved road, a straight one would work much better).  It was a real eye opening experience for the kids on how big the solar system is and how far all the planets are from the sun!  Pictured above the blue ball is the sun, they are at Venus.

Here is the scale information we used:

Sun – ball 8 inches in diameter

Planets –  (she used a variety of materials that matched the indicated sizes, however suggestions are made below)
Mercury = .03in (pinhead)
Venus = .08in  (peppercorn)
Earth = .08in (peppercorn)
Mars = .04in (pinhead)
Jupiter = .9in (chestnut or pecan)
Saturn = .7in (hazelnut or acorn)
Uranus = .3in (coffee bean)
Neptune = .3in (coffee bean)
Pluto = .02in (should you choose to include it, pinhead)

stick the items to 3 x 5 cards

Spacing them-

One pace is a 3ft long step…..

The Sun is the starting point
From the Sun to Mercury is 10yrds (~about 10paces)
From Mercury to Venus is 9 yrds (paces)
From Venus to Earth is 7 yrds (paces) (from Earth to the Moon is 2.4in)
From Earth to Mars is 14 yrds (paces)
From Mars to Jupiter is 95 yrds (paces)
From Jupiter to Saturn is 112 yrds (paces)
From Saturn to Uranus is 249 yrds (paces)
From Uranus to Neptune is 281 yrds (paces)
From Neptune to Pluto is 242 yrds (paces)

Total distance is 1,109 paces or 3,000 feet approx

The kids had a great time, and kept turning around to see if they could still see the sun.  Again works much better on long, straight, flat surface….our road has some small hills and curves…but still it made the point!

Moon Phases

2014-01-28 14.33.48

This has been around the web a few times on a few different sites.  I got the moon phase cards from a Montessori class I took.  But you can get them from Montessori Print Shop for $2.29, which includes charts as well. 

Then all you need are some Oreo cookies!

Sorting Planets by Features

2014-02-03 09.56.20
Bigger than Earth v/s smaller than Earth

2014-02-03 10.00.34
Has moon(s) v/s does not have moons

2014-02-03 10.03.21
Has rings v/s does not have rings

2014-02-03 10.10.14
Has moons and has rings

2014-02-03 10.24.14
Has moons, has rings and is bigger than Earth

These are the planets we used…

we also used these printable planets from 1+1+1=1 to help us determine which planets were which from the kit. 

We arranged them from largest to smallest, and then lined up the 3D planets with the pictures.

We were able to determine the following from our Venn Diagrams:

All the planets with rings have moons
All the planets bigger than Earth have rings (and moons)

Planet Fact Cheat Sheet

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7 comments:

  1. These space activities are so great! I love taking the boys outside to show them the scale distance between planets. What a super way to show perspective.
    Oreos are dangerous in our house. I'd be afraid that mommy and daddy might eat all the moons:).
    Loved this post!
    Abetterwaytohomeschool.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those are great ideas. My daughter has special needs but loves science. Hands on (and well feet too) learning is great for her. We are going to try a walking the solar system and I know she will love using cookies to learn the phases of the moon!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes to Oreos for phases of the moon! Our kiddos loved that activity. Brilliant idea for teaching about the distances between planets. Thanks for sharing!

    Renae

    ReplyDelete
  4. These are great ideas! I'm featuring you on this week's Hearts for Home blog hop!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This was the most clicked on post in last week's Hearts for Home Blog Hop! YAY! :-) Congrats! You will be featured on all of our blogs when the post goes live tonight.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What great ideas for teaching about the solar system in a hands-on way! Fabulous. Thanks for linking up at STEM Saturday!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving a comment, I love to hear from my readers!

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