Ideas for lessons on the solar system?

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by PennStateCutie, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. PennStateCutie

    PennStateCutie Companion

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    Feb 22, 2009

    Does anyone have any ideas for solar system lessons for 4 year olds that they could throw my way? I have slots for 2 lessons this week before our field trip to the planetarium on Friday & I would love to be able to teach the kids a little bit. I planned on doing a KW of a KWL, but I know we don't have much time (we were doing dental health last week, Valentine's day before that & Groundhog Day before that!). Feb. is just too jam-packed...the lessons can extend past this Friday's trip, but I want to at least give them some background. Any ideas?:thanks:
     
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  3. casey

    casey Rookie

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    Feb 22, 2009

    You could make a mobile of the planets with the sun in the middle, the kids could color the planets. An interesting lesson is comparative size of the planets and the sun. EnchantedLearning.com has some good ideas, too. You can also use a tube with a flashlight shining through it to show how night and day works.
     
  4. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Feb 22, 2009

    Tough concept for that age group. Don't get into details. Talk about stars, planets, and sun.
     
  5. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Feb 22, 2009

    Usually I just do Our planet and the globe, then the fact that there are stars and they are planets or suns out there far away. Then sometimes the stories about who sees constellations-but never really where one is. Then sun and moon. In a really high group perhaps that they move in a circle/orbit. that is why the stars are long before the sun/moon talk. not everything in space moves in an orbit type elipse. just as pluto-he didn't fair well there.

    but yes, it is hard. don't have details. try not to teach pluto w/pictures or puzzles. it will be confusing for years and years to come. why start the confusion now.
     
  6. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    Feb 24, 2009

    we made "star gazers"-- allyou eed is aluminum foil, toilet paper or paper towel tubes, tape and a pen or large needle9only the teacher uses this) the children paint the tube black --like the ngiht time sky. you fold a square of alumnum foil (i actually doubled it to make it a bit more durable) and tape it around one end so it covers one end of the tube. then you poke little holes all in the foil, but not so close together that it tears. The children hold it up to thier eye like a telescope and look toward a light soure and the light shines throught the little holes andit looks lile you are looking at a night time sky and seeing the stars. You could do two tubes each and staple themtogheter before putting the foil on and make binoculars too
     
  7. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Feb 24, 2009

    Yep, I have done this as well, we have used film canisters on some occasions and sometimes the tp tube. We have also used soup cans ontop of flashlights. The flashlight shines through the holes.
     
  8. MrsOrion

    MrsOrion Rookie

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    Feb 24, 2009

    Add glow in the dark solar systems with your final plan it works wonders! They love those.
     
  9. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    Feb 25, 2009

    I realized this past summer when my husband and i were getting ready to paint my room that the previous teacher had put glow in the dark stars all over the ceiling. That's how much a waste of money there were. I'd already had the classroom for a yar. They totally blended in with the ceiling and the room never got dark enough to even make them glow at nap time! You could cut out the letters for the names of the planets and put pitures of the planets all around the room ont he wall at their level. have the name of the planet written out and taped on the wall and they have to match the letters to spell the planets name--good for visual discrimination and letter matching
     
  10. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    Feb 25, 2009

    If you go online and print out pictures of the planets all of the same scale you could cut them out and laminate them and have them line them up from smallest to biggest
     
  11. PennStateCutie

    PennStateCutie Companion

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    Feb 25, 2009

    Thanks everyone! I ended up giving them a journal prompt this morning "If I were an Astronaut..." and then I made it into a book. We also looked through a star scope (foil on the paper towel tube w/ holes punched in) and I will give them each their own on Friday to decorate for their morning task. We also used a flashlight on the ceiling with lights on and off to show why we can't see stars in the daytime. We are going to make a "God made planet Earth" paper plate craft on Friday before we leave on the trip & then we'll do more next week to close up the unit after the trip! Thanks again!
     

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