Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Solar System–a unit study {Part 1}

Solar System
I’ve been planning this unit for nearly a year now, since I asked the boys what they wanted to study for science the upcoming year, and they both screamed, Outer Space! 
We opted out of a formal science curriculum this year and instead I put together a few unit studies and several science experiments for the boys.  As much fun as I know they are going to have, I think I had more fun putting it all together!  I seemed to have great timing too, and came across some great teaching tools for cheap or free at just the right time.
The Solar System

I had originally planned for this to be a complete unit study, with all the basic reading, writing, and r’thmatic included. 

But life through us a big ol’ giant curve ball with an unexpected move in October, and a winter riddled with major sickness.  I just don’t think we can pack away our regular work since we have officially fallen behind. 

So we will have to add afternoon school to our schedule for the next three weeks to complete the extra work.  Which in my opinion, is all just fun stuff anyway.

I wonder if the boys will agree….


We started with a basic overview of the solar system: the Sun, and the 8 planets.  (What happened to the 9th one, anyway?)  We used this awesome Solar System Model that actually turns the planets around to demonstrate revolution.




Here are some fun printables of the planets, that we lined up in order.  We sang The Planets Song too to help the boys learn the names of the planets.


The boys put together a few sentences using these Outer Space Word Cards.  Make sure to include all the parts to a sentence!


Then we moved on to the Sun.  They were amazed to find out that the Sun is actually a star.

I used these awesome Floating Magnet Rings to demonstrate how gravity works, after we read that it is the Suns gravity and Jupiter’s gravity that keep Earth on the right track.

Floating Magnet Rings


We talked a little about what it would be like to live where there was less gravity, such as the moon, and that we would most likely bounce a bit like the magnets did.


Another fun component for the month are these Calender Connections.  Interesting facts and images of outer space, one for each day.  You can also see the verse for the week:  Praise Him sun and moon, Praise Him all you shinning stars.  Psalm 148:3.


Here’s a glimpse of the workbooks I made for them.   I printed them last summer, they were free on the TLS Webpage.

Each planet has a short article and a Q&A page after it.  I made a trek to the library and checked out several books for each planet, the sun, our moon, and constallations, and all of the kids have dived into them already.  I love that all of my kids LOVE reading…..

I’ll share a bit about each week and fun projects as we compete them. 
And about how we are all surviving with afternoon school.  (Seriously….how do kids stay focused for 7 hours in public school?)

1 comment:

Becca said...

Wow, very creative and well done! We currently use the k12 online homeschool curriculum. I do like the language arts program, but history and science are so, so boring. Even math I feel isn't challenging enough for my 5 year old who already knows shapes, colors and counting. But since homeschool is new to us, I'm not comfortable navigating my own path fully yet. But my 5 year really is interested in outer space, so hopefully I can find a way to incorporate it. I see you're from Colorado Springs. My husband and I lived there for awhile (I'm a Colorado native) and own a home their, but are currently living in Germany. Anyway glad to have found your blog!