My little guy just learned the names of the planets in the solar system...I never took it farther than that, but mostly because he didn't care to learn more than that... I found some song at one point that went through all the planets. It even went over that Pluto is no longer a "planet".
the preschoolers im teaching are very interested in the whats up there in the sky so we are putting a sky on our ceiling, with the planets hanging down,
we cut out the planets from large cardboard boxes, we paint them the colors of the planets, and talk about them, then hang them up
at night i show them where the planets are in the sky and on a sky map
we will read stories about the sky, they will draw the planets for their notebooks,
we are going to learn the planet names by making up a song about them
this site is good http://www.planetsforkids.org/
they might not understand it now but i show them this and explain whats happening http://www.kidsastronomy.com/solar_system.htm
another site http://www.manatee.k12.fl.us/sites/elementary/samoset/psgk3ex.htm
ive not used this site yet but looks interesting http://www.neok12.com/Solar-System.htm
various things on here to use http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/StarChild.html
You could print out pictures of the planets to color & talk about their names & where the names came from. Also you could make a model of it that is a mobile you could hang up for them to look at.
Free solar system worksheets printable & activities
I came across this today & thought you might like it.
I just finished pooling a bunch of resources for learning about the solar system/outer space. Here's some stuff:
You can find free space nomenclature cards online to print. (I dont have a link, but you can google it.)
You can make all sorts of models/art prjects depicting the planets out of almost anything. Make mobiles, play with clay, draw/paint, etc.
Solar system hopscotch - draw the planet line up with chalk on the sidewalk/driveway. Ask kids trivia questions - if they get them right they get to hop to the next planet. First one to the sun wins!
Google a printable "planet roll call" poem/song. It's cute.
The Magic School Bus: Lost in the Solar System - there's a book and a movie - you can watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh9SHUh42GY
I used pinterest, teacherspayteachers.com, and other places to get a bunch of free printables, activity instructions, etc. Good luck!
We made solar system cookies (sugar cookies) to scale. Earth, Mars, etc are quite small - about 1" - and cook really fast! The gas giants are considerably larger. I got the idea from a homeschooling magazine at the library. You can't make a sun but you can talk about how big it'd have to be (ours was as big as our dining room). We also frosted/decorated them with candies and laid them all out on black plastic. We made an asteroid belt from Nerds candies.
We also sing the Blue's Clues song - probably on Youtube ("Oh the sun's a hot star/Mercury's hot too/Venus is the brightest planet/And earth's home to me and you...")
Ah, I found a blog post I did on it 2 years ago about the cookies -
Back when my middle one was little, we loved the Blues Clues song about the planets. Very catchy, and to this day I remember most of the words LOL!
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