To begin our space unit, we listed things that we wanted to learn about space. Most of questions centered around the planets, astronauts, and the milky way!
We decided that we would create non fiction books about the solar system. This was a long process but we did a great job! The students were really interested in all the facts they were learning! And their writing was fantastic!
We started with the sun! We made suns by tearing red and yellow paper. When we researched the sun we learned that it was not just one color!
Next came Mercury!
We colored Mercury with crayons. Then we used bottle tops dipped in paint to create the craters.
"Mercury is the closest planet to the sun. No one lives there."
"Mercury is very hot. No one can live on Mercury."
Next up was Venus!
"Venus has lots of volcanoes. People can not live on Venus."
We studied Earth next!
"Earth is the only planet that people can live on. Earth has a moon."
"Earth has an atmosphere. Earth is four billion years old."
Next we studied Earth's moon.
To make the moon we mixed flour into our paint. The gave the moon the appearance of the craters!
"Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon. It takes four days to get to the moon." "The moon is made of rock and dust. The moon has no seasons. The moon has craters."
We also read the book, "Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me" by Eric Carle. Then we made our own illustrations from this book.
We also learned about the phases of the moon. We made the different phases of the moon using marshmallows! Yum!
Next we learned about Mars!
We made Mars by painting with red paint. To give the bumpy, uneven surface of the planet, we sprinkled our paintings with sugar when we were done!
"Mars has two moons. Mars orbits the sun."
"No one can live on Mars. Mars can get very cold."
The next planet we studied was Jupiter!
To make Jupiter, we cut a circle out of manila paper. Then we used brown, yellow, orange, and white paint to make the different layers of the planet. We used a marble to create the right look! Then we added a red spot when it was dry.
"One of Jupiter's moon has live volcanoes. Jupiter has a big, red spot. It is a storm."
"Jupiter has a red spot! It is because it it a storm. Jupiter has 67 moons."
Next up was Saturn!
We made Saturn with yellow construction paper. We used brown and white crayons to make the different colors of the plant. Then we tore pieces of grey paper to represent the rocks and dust that make up Saturn's rings.
"Saturn is very cold. Saturn has 62 moons." "Saturn has 60 moons. Saturn is the second biggest planet is space."
"Saturn is a gas giant. Saturn is very cold."
Uranus was next on our list!
To make Uranus, we used blue and green tissue paper pieces that we glued down on top of white paper. Then we added blue water color over the tissue paper. To make the rings for Uranus, we used GLITTER!
"Uranus is very cold. Uranus has 27 moons. Uranus is a gas giant." "Uranus is very stormy. Uranus is very cold."
"Uranus is very cold. Uranus is the seventh planet."
And the planet we learned about was Neptune.
"It is blue. Neptune has 13 moons. Neptune has four rings, It takes 166 years to orbit the sun." "Neptune is the eighth planet. It is blue. Neptune is a gas giant."
Next we learned about different kinds of stars! We were surprised to learn that stars can be different colors!
"Stars are big balls of gas. Constellations are pictures of stars." "Blue stars are the hottest. Stars are big balls of hot gas."
We also used paper towel rolls to make telescopes. We took small pictures of the constellations we had learned about and used push pins to make holes in the paper. Then when we held the paper up to our telescope, we could really see the constellations!
Next we learned about meteors!
"Meteors are made of rock and dust. Meteors are not stars." "People call meteors shooting stars. They hit the Earth."
"Meteors can hit Earth. Meteors make craters."
We also learned about the Milky Way!
"It takes thousands of years to make it around it." "The Milky Way is not made of milk. It is a spiral shape."
"Six new stars are born each year. A black hole is at the center." "The Milky Way is not made of milk. It has a black hole."
And finally, we learned about Astronauts. We found some very cool videos of the Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. He made videos from the International Space Station. He showed how to do things like eat, brush your teeth, and sleep and space! It was really cool! (Search You Tube and you can see them yourself!)
"The first living thing in space was a dog. You're now floating in space." "They live in space for 90 days. They sleep standing up."
We then made ourselves into astronauts for the cover of our books!
We created Jet Packs to hold of our project work. We put in the non fiction readers we read, the non fiction books we wrote, our telescopes and constellations, and other things!
To make the jet packs, we used cereal boxes. We covered them with plain paper and decorated them. To make the rocket boosters, we put grey paint inside of water bottles and then shook them up!
FINALLY... It was time to present our project to other classes!
We had been singing the Story Bots space songs and we LOVED them! We decided to sing one of those songs to the friends that would come to our presentations.
To see the Story Bots version of the song, click here.
To decide who would be the planets, we asked who would like a part! Not everyone wanted to talk in front of an audience! Then we observed who was following directions and singing along when we practiced the song together and who was able to memorize the lines We did have some sharing of parts!
I was SO PROUD of the kiddos! They did a phenomenal job singing this song to the other classes who came to see our presentations!
After we did our song, we paired up with someone from the other class. We shared everything in our jet packs! We read them the books we wrote. We read them the other readers we had about the planets. We showed them how to use the telescopes and more!
This was such a fun inquiry unit! We had a wonderful time learning about space! In fact, school ended before we could finish! There was more we could have done! I'm so proud of our scientists! They have learned so much about space!