After having stayed up to watch the moon eclipse a couple of weeks ago, I decided to take a break from our current study of ecosystems and study a little of our solar system. My son was all for that study!
So, I took a couple of days to put together our study. Here are the books we used in our study that we had on our bookshelf.
Of course not all the books were non-fiction, but one must add some reading fun into any unit study. Here are a few other just for fun books we added this week to our space theme.
After looking through the books that we had, I decided to make some worksheets to go along with our space theme study. I created a fiction book report, astronaut biography report, and a planet report. These are in one pack located in my TpT Store.
My son enjoys reading, but writing reports? Not so much. He would rather tell me aloud what he read or act it out with legos I think. Although, I encourage both of those outlets of expression, I also want him to learn to write well. That is why I created the report worksheets with a “journal” flair. My son liked getting to show a touch of color on these projects along with doing some research and writing.
With having taught for over 15 years in the classroom, I found that most of my students really liked getting to do projects in class and out. Having something tactile to work on helps many children to remember what they are learning. Keeping that in mind, my son is no different in that area. He likes to work with his hands.
I’m always on the look out for educational items to use now or in the future. Two places I have found to be great in this area are Target Dollar Spot and the Dollar Tree. I also like saving money when I can. Who doesn’t? I found a great Crayola planet mobile project for $1.00.
There are some really great stem project boxes that a person can order monthly for children. One of those is Kiwi Co science boxes. My son has thoroughly enjoyed working on these projects. To go along with our space theme, we added the bottle rocket project to our space unit. And since my son had read the book Stanley in Space from the Flat Stanley Adventure Book Series, we decided to print off a little Stanley and send him on the rocket for a quick trip. After making the rocket and packing our bike basket, we rode our bikes down to the park and “let him fly.” It took a few attempts to get the rocket to go, but we had a lot of fun!
A site that has really helped us in all of our studies is Superteacherworksheets.com. They didn’t disappoint in this unit study either. We found three great areas from which to learn using worksheets from their site: Cipher Wheel: Secret Code Facts Planets in Our Solar System, Name the Moon Phases, and Calculate Your Weight on Other Worlds.
Here’s a tip: Be on the lookout for end of the school year and after Christmas sales at Michael’s, Jo Ann Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, and teacher stores. Sometimes you can find great deals on stem projects and experiment kits. We found the bouncy ball planets kit (below) from such a sale. I purchased it a couple of years ago, and after remembering we had it (LOL), decided to pull it out for our space unit study. My son was ecstatic when I pulled it out. It was quite fun to see it how the components bonded together to form a bouncy ball. After we were done, of course they ALL had to be tested. A-bouncing we did go!
A final project we did, involved all three of us–my hubby, son, and myself. We pulled out our son’s rocket and went to a large open area where he and my hubby put it all together. They hadn’t flown this specific rocket for a while, so it was quite exciting to see it in action. All safety measures were taken and my husband brought along his drone to capture the flight midair along with calculating the height of the flight and distance across the ground it travelled as it descended. These measurements were put into the Pythagorean theorem and the hypotenuse of the measured right angle of the rocket’s trip was figured out. Nothing like having a bit of geometry with a little pre-algebra thrown in! I created a worksheet for just the occasion called 3, 2, 1 Blast Off! It is a FREE download here.
As my son worked on his planet project, I decided to create some planet fact cards for not only his use, but ones others might like to purchase as well. They are located in my TpT store. I’ve included a solar system mini poster in this packet as well.
No study unit would be complete without a trip to the public library! We don’t get there as often as we like, but I made sure we took the time to do so for this project. We invited another homeschooling family to join us for the morning at the library and afterwards went to eat some Greek food! Yum!
We had a blast (no pun intended) going through this short space themed unit study. Of course we only touched a small amount of what could be learned about our solar system, but more will be learned and focused on in our future studies.
I do hope our journey “from beyond” has inspired you to take a deeper look into our solar system in your own home studies. I would love to hear some of your ideas as well and hope that you will check out the mentioned sites and projects for your children to enjoy.