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.
(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…
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.
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)….
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…
The kids really enjoyed this, of course.
While they sat around eating their solar system, we were able to quiz them on a few things that they had learned.
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.
So he and the boys got to work creating the Orrery so that Logan could bring it to his presentation.
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…
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.
And he gave his presentation. 🙂
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.)!