Solar System Lapbook/Unit Study

Solar system lap books

  What a fun unit study this was!

We read several books about the solar system, and watched a couple of videos. We did several hands-on lessons as well. 

During one lesson they learned, using a flashlight and a ball, how we go from day to night as the earth rotates on it's axis. 

In another experiment we discovered why the sun looks so big and the other stars so small. For that experiment we used a quarter and a CD. Each of the kids took a turn standing at the end of the driveway holding up the CD, while the other one stood at the house holding up the quarter "next" to the CD (in the distance). They were amazed that the quarter appeared larger than the CD. 

We used boiled eggs to (very simply) show the structure of the earth. The yolk being the core, the white being the mantle, and the shell being the earth's crust. 

Finally we tried to get a sense of how far apart things in space are through an activity from the "Earthsearch" book. We used a basketball for the sun, and (on paper) made circles or dots the relative size each planet would be if the sun was basketball sized. Then we stepped off the relative distance between each planet and the sun. We started at the far edge of our 5 acres, and ran out of room before we made it to Saturn! 

I took pictures as we did the experiments and both M and R have a little photo album in their lap book with pictures of each experiment.

In addition to our hands on activities and reading, the kids each did worksheet/coloring kinds of pages showing inner and outer planets and the relative size of the earth and moon.

They also made two books for their lap books (both with print outs from Enchanted Learning). One was a mini-book about the planets, the other was a much bigger and more challenging book that showed cut-aways of each planet, a fairly comprehensive paragraph of information about each planet, and reading comprehension questions about each planet as well.

Several evenings we went outside with binoculars to look at the moon and we also looked for and found Venus. I bought each of the kids a small star chart, and taught them to use it. Their star charts are stored in their solar system lapbooks.

I also included a poem about the solar system in this unit study, and a list of vocabulary words that I wanted them to know and understand. (Our vocabulary list: inner planets, outer planets, sun, comet, orbit, asteroid belt, rotate, solar system, meteoroid)

My goal was for each of the kids to come away from this unit study with a familiarity with the planets and a basic knowledge of how our solar system works. I'm happy with how much they learned (and how much fun we had at the same time!). As we finished the lap books, R said she wished they weren't finished yet... She wanted to keep going! ***************************************************************************** Resources we used.... <!--[endif]-->

Earthsearch: A Kids’ Geography

Lesson in a Book By John Cassidy

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My First Book of Space

By Rosanna Hansen and Robert Bell <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]--> Planets (DVD) Dorling Kindersley

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Planets and the Solar System (videorecording) by Lauren Abbey <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

Scholastic Children’s Dictionary

(definitions) <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]--> The Magic School Bus, Lost In the Solar System By Joanna Cole <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]--> The Solar System By Miquel Perez <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

Ten Worlds

By: Ken Croswell ****************************************************************************   Pictures: 10-06-035.jpg   10-06-032.jpg 10-06.jpg 10-06-033.jpg

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