Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Solar System Unit Study

Our format for the solar system unit study is:
read a book
discuss it (do a narration page when possible)
do a book-related craft and/or activity
have the older student read a related book as reinforcement during quiet time
play space-related online games on the weekend to reinforce the week's learning


"How We Learned the Earth is Round": This book is a fine place to start. It gives a very readable history of our growing understanding that the world is round. Plus, it has a couple of easy experiments thrown in for hands-on learning. Students of all ages can then check out
this site about our beloved planet. Older students (or young ones who have patience) may try to make a papier-mache globe.

"Don't Know Much About the Solar System": Good text for the basis
of the unit study. Every two pages is on one subject. For example, "The Universe and Galaxies" are pages 8 and 9. The next day, you can do "The Solar System and Gravity" on pages 10 and 11. It's perfectly set up for a unit study. You can use this book for narration pages or the kids can color or draw while you read to them. A good online resource to complement this book is Be sure to peruse the available worksheets and coloring pages.

"Me and My Place in Space": Now and your little student can enjoy a very colorful, informative book about the planets. It's the right length and size for the young crowd. We would read this together then do a coloring page for the planet. I only have one bit of criticism: the hideous grammar in the title. Some people might object to the last two pages, which suggest life on other planets. You can skip it if you'd like.

"Sun": This book is so beautiful and colorful that I will need to get my own copy and not abscond with the library copy. This informative, folk-arty book about the sun is hot. Students can do this
easy activity (though you need some patience) to see the effects of sunlight.

"Magic School Bus: Out of This World": (a book about space rocks) has its own hands-on activity and lesson sheet. Cap off the unit study with a viewing of the DVD based on the book. (Or do it instead of the book. Shhh, we won't tell.)

"Zoo in the Sky": This gorgeously illustrated book is for the younger set , but it's beautiful enough that older students will appreciate its artistry. You can read the book and find some constellations on this virtual telescope.

"The Magic School Bus Sees Stars" (book and DVD) has a lesson plan to follow.

"The Moon Book": This nice basic readable book about the Moon is kid-friendly and informative. After reading this book, check out this craft for learning phases of the moon (for little ones) or older students can keep a moon phases calendar or do these worksheets.

mobile sheet: (for younger kids)

Solar System model

Make a model of the solar system (for older kids).

Solar System printables

Mnemonic device for learning planets in order

Printable chart of the solar system

Lined Pages with Solar System Clipart

Printable Planet Book for Fluent Readers

Solar System Coloring Book (for beginners)

Solar System Coloring Book (for intermediate readers)

Interactive learning about the planets

BBC's Solar System Jigsaw (Turn help on for younger students.)

memory game



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