Solar System Unit Study

2DEA777D00000578-3306656-A_new_study_challenges_the_Nice_Model_according_to_which_the_Sol-a-7_1446822659335

Along with the other members of our wonderful homeschool group, we decided to do a little unit study on the solar system during the month of March.  Since this was our first ever official group unit study, we were kind of feeling our way through what it might look like.

We kicked off the month, and got the kids excited, by taking a field trip to a local community college’s planetarium.

IMG_20160309_130014

(Almost all of the kids…there are 23 of them, total, ranging in age from 1 to 8…plus one more on the way!)

First we went into the planetarium to watch a video…

IMG_20160309_130622

IMG_20160309_133759

Then the wonderfully patient lady taught the kids about the relative distance between the planets by having them chart it out on a long strip of paper.

IMG_20160309_133923

IMG_20160309_134249

This was a great way for them to see that the planets aren’t just equally spaced apart out in the solar system, which is how they are usually represented in most pictures.

Then we went outside so that she could show them how to make a homemade comet using common ingredients like windex and dry ice (and a few other things I can’t remember)….

IMG_20160309_141157

IMG_20160309_141427

IMG_20160309_141653

IMG_20160309_142128

IMG_20160309_142214

IMG_20160309_143137

It was a great field trip!

Each of the older kids (ages 5 and up) was assigned a planet to learn about so that they could present their findings to the whole group.  We gathered once at my house to have a few of the kids present and to give them a fun solar-system inspired snack…

IMG_20160315_121533

IMG_20160315_124053

IMG_20160315_124200

IMG_20160315_125500

The kids really enjoyed this, of course.

IMG_20160315_130455

While they sat around eating their solar system, we were able to quiz them on a few things that they had learned.

IMG_20160315_130753

IMG_20160315_130944

Presentations:  None of my kids have any previous experience with public speaking or giving presentations, so they were both a bit nervous.

Logan was assigned the Earth as his planet.  Raphael found a neat tutorial on-line about how to make a LEGO Orrery, which is a model of the Sun/Earth/Moon relationship and how they rotate around each other.

https://youtu.be/chFF_t79qOM

So he and the boys got to work creating the Orrery so that Logan could bring it to his presentation.

IMG_20160326_170148

They found almost all the pieces they needed, but did end up having to order a couple of specialty pieces that they were missing.

The finished product…

IMG_20160331_080045

IMG_20160401_110557

(Logan’s presentation)

IMG_20160401_110502

Conner was assigned Neptune as his planet.  We couldn’t find any neat LEGO tutorials for Neptune, so they just created a big blue planet out of LEGOs instead.

IMG_20160401_110327

And he gave his presentation.  🙂

IMG_20160401_110249

We had a good time and learned a lot (And yes, I do mean “we”…I learn new things every single day that I never learned when I was in school.)!

 

Leave a Reply