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!
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
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!
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
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)
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