This first lesson took us 2 days to complete. But it was full of fun! We went and checked out a whole bunch of books about space and astronomy... I also bought a cheap telescope!
I got the kids excited about astronomy a few days ago by taking them to the Morehead State University planetarium. We watched a show called "Dawn of the Space Age" It was so interesting. I feel like I should have known more about these things... like how Russia was the first in space and sent a dog (who died of heat exhaustion poor thing!) or the race to space. Space missions have got to be some of the most amazing things us humans have ever done. I think of how BRAVE those first people had to have been to go up into the unknown. I think about all that we have accomplished and learned and how much more we have to accomplish and learn and it's a bit overwhelming, really! But SO interesting!
To start the lesson, we looked at a bunch of pictures from the Hubble telescope. Wow is our universe amazing! Since my kids have trouble focusing during any kind of talking, I have been trying a few different things. While Landen needs to concentrate, I give him a bag massage and it works wonders! But so does coloring and giving the kids something to do. They loved coloring the planets and cutting them and pasting onto black construction paper.
We then went to visit our local Living Arts and Science Center where they have a Space exhibit! It's really really cool and the kids had a lot of fun playing around with all of the activities. Landen especially loved dressing up as an astronaut.
Learning the scale of the Solar System is also very interesting. If you use THIS activity (go to the bottom where it says students can try the Universe lesson plan on their own. It's SO neat!!), you can get a good idea of how big the universe is in relation to where you live. We also really love the following videos:
So beautifully done.
I was tempted to stop watching this one when he started a little advertising talk, but I skipped over that and watched the end. It's what amazed me the most.
Instead of making a model with only correct size proportions, we decided to do a scale model of our own with approximate sizes and distances in locations that we were familiar with. We started with Jacobson Park, a place most Lexington residents are familiar with, and headed toward downtown. Now every time we drive down Richmond Rd, we will be thinking of planets... and I think that's pretty neat!