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I can't believe this is the very last week in June, which means it's the very last week of our Astronomy Unit, and also the very last week of our school year! Part of me is SUPER excited, but another part of me is quite nervous about the year ahead. Seeing as we homeschool year round, July is the start of our new school year. Next week you'll notice a few more activities on our shelves. (Crazy to think about, I know.) There will be activities in a few more subject areas. So much to plan and think about...
I'm hoping, I will be organized enough by the end of the week to write a post about our schedule, classroom, calendar etc., but we'll see. I'm making no promises. My husband is in the process of returning to work after two years of being home, so it appears that everything will happen all at the same time, which means it might take me longer to be as organized as I want to be.
Still, we're moving forward. I've gotta say I'm very excited about this week's activities. My husband and I spent so much time reading and studying for this week, as neither one of us knows much about the planets or the solar system. We have stacks of books from the library. Pathetic I know, but I always want to make sure I know and understand everything I'm teaching the kids, so if they have questions, (which Dinomite usually does), I can answer them with confidence.
My goal for the week was to create one activity for each planet. Then also to present the solar system, order of the planets, asteroids, etc. It's worked out pretty nicely. I already know the kiddos are going to have a great week!
My printer stopped working towards the end of the week, so you'll notice many hands on activities without directions or control cards. All activities will be demonstrated before the children attempt them.
The Solar System
This activity is simply 3 part nomenclature cards for all of the planets, moon, sun, and a few other vocabulary terms.
The Planets by Name
Bulldozer still really struggles with his writing, so I'm hoping these tracing pages will make him quite happy. The more he practices the better he'll get!
The Planet Mars
This is just like last week's moon surface activity. The kiddos will identify the items on the 4 cards and then find them on the planet using the magnifying glass if needed. When they are finished, Dinomite will write each of the words on his erase board. Princess and Bulldozer will write the first letters of each word.
Source: I created this activity using images from Wikipedia.
Solar System Patterns
The kiddos have all graduated from simple finish the pattern tasks. I'm hoping they'll do just as well with this activity. It's been a while since we practiced cutting.
Source: This printable was part of a pack at 3 Dinosaurs.
Addition with Moons & Asteroids
As I've said before, Princess LOVES addition and subtraction, just numbers in general. She'll be thrilled to see this activity back on the shelves. I love that I can acclimate it to any theme we have!
Source: The free addition wheels are from Montessori for Everyone.
Our Planet: Earth
There were a million ideas I could have used to incorporate geography in our planet study, but I opted to go easy, and have them review their continent names. The kiddos will color the continents green and oceans blue, labeling them all as they go.
Source: This printable is from Crayola.
Planets in Order from Closest to Farthest From the Sun
The kiddos each have a bag with all 8 planets labeled. Also included in the activity is a giant sun they'll glue at the beginning of their paper. The kids will color each of the planets. Using glue, the kiddos will glue their planets in order from closest to farthest from the sun. It may take a little while, but I do believe the kiddos will really enjoy it. I'm not sure if you can see the control card at the top with the order of the planets.
The Planet Earth: Living vs. Nonliving
Considering our planet is the only planet with life on it at this point, I figured it would be great to talk about the difference between living and nonliving things. The kids will separate items in the basket into the two categories.
The Planet Jupiter
There were so many things I would have loved to do to teach about the planet Pluto, however, Dinomite kept talking about the Great Red Spot, so I knew I should probably focus on that. Several sources stated the Great Red Spot as a hurricane of sorts, that has continued to rage for a very long time. The activity above will demonstrate how a hurricane is formed and also will look very much like the Great Red Spot. The kiddos pour in a couple drops of both red and yellow food coloring . With a spoon, they stir the water. The colors will spread and spin, showing what a hurricane does. They'll notice after they stop stirring, the hurricane will still continue to move.
The Planet Venus
The kiddos will scoop about 1 teaspoon of baking soda and a couple drops of red and yellow food coloing into each little cup. They will then pour the vinegar into the large pouring container, using the funnel. One by one they'll add vinegar to each of the cups, watching four volcanoes erupt. I chose four, because I knew the kiddos would not be okay with just doing it one time. They will be able to add more vinegar until it is gone.
The Solar System
It's one thing to learn the planets order in relation to the sun, but another thing to learn that they all move around the sun, just like the Earth. In this activity the kiddos will use the image in the book provided to create their own solar system, putting the planets in the right order moving along in their own space. The paint brush will be used to draw the lines shown in the book.
Practical Life & Sensorial:
The Planet Neptune
The Planet Mercury
The Planet Saturn
Saturn is known to have the most beautiful set of rings surrounding it. What better way to celebrate beauty than with "jewels" or glass beads. The kiddos will create the planet using glass beads, to see just how beautiful it looks!
The Planet Uranus
I'm hoping with individual activities for each planet, the kiddos will remember them better and associate them with at least one theme or topic. Most important, I do believe they'll be having lots of fun in the process. Hopefully they will have as much excitement as I do about all the different activities!