April 25, 2006

Solar System Unit Fun


Post Updated 5/31/06! - added one link and the photo of our ceiling solar system!
Post Updated 6/21/06! - added one link!

I thought I would share a few of our outer space links with you from the Solar System Unit we did recently. There are a great many books we checked out from the library as well. The one I enjoyed the most was:

"The Planets in our Solar System" by Franklyn M. Branley (he had another one that covered the moon phases as well that was also great).

This book had a bunch of projects included that are really neat. We created our solar system "model" out of paper by tracing the lines provided in the book (and then the children colored it by looking at photos from other books of what each planet might look like). We still have not finally hung them in order by distance before we left for vacation (the book gives the exact calculations to scale) from the ceiling (photo below).


Another great book which we have in our library for the Solar System Unit is: "364 More Simple Science Experiments (using everyday materials)" by Richard Churchhill, Louis V. Loeschnig, and Muriel Mandell. They include a great many experiments on gravity and many other interesting space-related fun - such as: Make a Balloon Rocket, Astronomical White Asteroids, Blue Moon Rocks, Telling Time by the Moon, Clocks, Star projects and Sundials galore!


In addition to great books, the children's co-op "Solar System Play", a field trip to see the IMAX "Man on the Moon", and enjoying our Konos lessons about Galileo and Newton... we also enjoyed these links:



We hope you have an Outer Space Unit that is out of this world!

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Douglas said...

Do all your solar system materials consider Pluto as a planet? I believe not too many years from now, it will be reclassified as the first Kuiper Belt Object.

Sprittibee said...


Yes, most of the material considers Pluto a planet. Although, our very expensive and glossy World Atlas has a nice page showing it's eliptical orbit, and a few of the books have raised the suspicion that it might not be what it appears. Looking at it on the size comparison website I listed above, you can see that it is smaller than our moon (leading me to believe that it is more of an astroid trapped in orbit). If we get to take field trips once we go to heaven, I'd love to go back in time to see the surfaces of each planet and the surface of the earth throughout history. Maybe God has popcorn and movie night?



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