Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wait...there are only 8 planets now?

Wait...there are only 8 planets now? This is the question that I am getting from every single one of my first graders. We are doing our solar system unit, and my first year teacher salary does not have the funding to purchase newly published books...so all of my space books still include Pluto! It is so hard for them to understand that it is not considered a planet anymore!

I started my whole unit with an anticipation guide. I read the questions to my students and they had to decide whether it was true or false. It was amazing how little they knew about the solar system! We had a lot to learn!

Anyway, we are having a "blast" with this space unit ;) I got a ton of ideas from The Techy Teacher...her ideas are so awesome!

We performed her "Planet Roll Call," painted pictures of the planets, created our own constellations, and so much more!

Yesterday, we read The Magic School Bus: Lost in the Solar System. I LOVE this book. It took us almost 40 minutes to read it because it was jam packed with so much information. And it was all completely understandable to my students! They kept asking question after question!



The only tidbit my kiddos were having a little trouble with was an orbit. So I thought of an awesome activity to reinforce it!

I am lucky enough to have a special right after lunch on Wednesdays, so I ran outside to our empty parking lot with some chalk and drew my heart out! I drew the sun, and then 8 orbits around it, getting bigger and bigger for each planet's orbit. My kids got out of music and walked outside and they were speechless!







Each of my kidsgot to be a planet orbiting the sun at the same time. One of the facts in our book said that some planets have shorter and longer years than Earth based on how far away they are from the Sun. We didn't really understand it until today! The kids were able to see that the students on Mercury and Venus' orbits, made it around 5 or 6 times before Uranus or Neptune. I saw so many lightbulbs going off it was unbelievable!

We are finishing up our unit on Friday with a performance of our "Planet Roll Call" and some watercolor pictures of the Sun! Lastly, we will be going over our anticipation guide to see how much we have learned!

Enjoy this weather....snow is coming :(
Sarah

1 comment:

bnwalton said...

Awesome idea! I bet your kids really are having a "blast"! Isn't it great when you see that lightbulb going off?!

Bonnie
Living A Wonderful Life

 
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