For science this year we are using Apologia Astronomy . Apologia uses a system called notebooking, where the kids retell the information they've learned and add it to a notebook for future reference. I love this, because it combines several different learning styles into one lesson. My sister Abby B, and my friend Abby P also are doing Astronomy this year, so we decided to get together for a collaborative group of astronomers once or twice a month. We call it Space Club.
Our first meeting was mostly just for the purposes of kicking off the year, and to let the young explorers get to know each other. So mostly, it was about playing in the inflatable pool in my backyard. It was also a little bit about eating space food and making a spacey art project.
Abby B made these rockets from strawberries, marshmallows, and cantaloupe. Her advice is to use under-ripe melon for the flames, and a flat skewer for the stick, to help keep everything from sliding immediately off of the stick. Also, it helped to stick a littlee more marshmallow under the mellon. It kinda looks like smoke. We got the idea here.
Abby P brought some hilarious mini UFO's and cheese cut into star shapes.
She also made this excellent meteor of a snack. It's chocolate cereal, butter, and marshmallows. We cut off meteorite chunks and ate them up. I minutes there was nothing left but a crater where the food had been.
The project was one that a I found on this website. There weren't any directions, so I just made them up.
What you need:
black construction paper 9x12
white printer paper
crayons or oil pastels
a black and white photo about 6.5 inches square – we printed ours (fast print) on regular printer paper.
1. Take a profile photo of your space person. This is not easy with kids for some reason, so we had a second person stand to the side and tell them to think of getting a giant birthday cake. The faces were pretty much what we wanted.
2. On the printer paper, draw 8 or 9 circles to represent the planets. They do not have to be to scale, and they do not have to have rings, unless you want to include them. There really don't even have to be the right number of them. Add a few big stars in there if you feel like it. Then, have your little artist color in the circles and shapes with crayon or oil pastel.
3. Cut out your space helmet. I would have loved to include a template for you, but my internet is down at the moment, and I'm typing this at McDonald's. Sorry. Print out a quick-print copy of your child's profile in black and white. Make sure it fits in the opening you made for the helmet.
4. Glue down helmet, portrait, and planets. If they are still not finished, ask them to add some stars or comets in the background. Add some decorations to that helmet too!
Oh my goodness I love these.
For the rest of the afternoon, we learned what baby Landon had to say about the solar system, although he talked so fast none of us could really understand him.
And we played with this Inflatable Solar System.
Next time at Space Club, we hope to make some kind of official space club t-shirt, and we'll be doing experiments with the sun. Stay tuned!
ps. If you know any great space puns, we could use some more ideas for our t-shirts.