Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Theme Weeks: Space I --the Planets

J's solar system painting.

Each week of the summer I plan a weekly theme with books, crafts, cooking, and field trips.  The first week of this summer we are focusing on Space -- The Planets.  We decided there was so much to investigate in space we are spreading it over two weeks.  I love how excited my kids get about doing theme weeks, it allows me to slip in learning over the summer and they don't even mind!
C and S working on their solar system drawing.
For Planet Week each of my kids picked a planet to study.  S picked Neptune, C picked Mars and J picked Pluto, the dwarf planet.  The first thing we do at the beginning of a new theme week is head to the library and check out everything imaginable on our topic. Here are some of the things we picked up:

Solar System Books:
Kudlinski, Kathleen V. Boy, Were We Wrong about the Solar System! NY, NY: Dutton Children's Books, 2008.
Mattern, Joanne. The Pebble First Guide to the Solar System. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 2010.
Sexton, Colleen. The Solar System. Minneapolis, MN: Bellwether Media, 2010.
Trammel, Howard K. The Solar System: A True Book. New York: Children's Press, 2010.

S with paper mache Neptune.
Brimmer, Larry Dane. Neptune: A True Book. New York: Children's Press, 1999.
Landau, Elaine. Neptune: A True Book. New York: Children's Press, 2008.
Rau, Dana Meachen. Neptune: Our Solar System. Minneapolis, MN: Compass Point Books, 2003.
Simon, Seymour. Neptune. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1991.


C working on Mars.
Brimmer, Larry Dane. Mars A True Book. New York: Children's Press, 1998.
Feinstein, Stephen. The Solar System: Mars. Berkeley Heights, NJ: MyReportLink.com Books, 2005.
Leedy, Loreen and Andrew Schuerger. Message From Mars. New York: Holiday House, 2006.
Rau, Dana Meachen. Mars: Our Solar System. Minneapolis, MN: Compass Point Books, 2002.

Rau, Dana Meachen. Pluto: Our Solar System. Minneapolis, MN: Compass Point Books, 2003.
Landau, Elaine. Pluto From Planet to Dwarf: A True Book. New York: Children's Press, 2008.
Scott, Elaine. When is a Planet Not a Planet? The Story of Pluto. New York: Clarion Books, 2007.
J working on Pluto.
Kortenkamp, Steve. Why Isn't Pluto a Planet? A Book About Planets.  Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 2007.

Bill Nye the Science Guy: Outer Space
The Magic School Bus Blasts Off

World Book -- accessed through our local libraries webpage
National Geographic for Kids http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/

Here are some of the activities we did:
  • Create power points on each of the planets, presented at the end of the week
  • Make Moon Pies (Really have nothing to do with the moon, but were super fun to make! rhttp://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Southern-Moon-Pies/Detail.aspx)
  • Make Paper Mache planets
  • Take a trip to the planetarium at the Museum of Science and Nature
  • Learn poems and songs about the solar system to recite at the end of the week. (A website with fun songs and poems about the solar system: http://www.canteach.ca/elementary/songspoems34.html)
  • Painting and drawing space pictures
  • Watching space movies
Can't wait to try the Moon Pies!

S, C, and J with Pluto, Mars and Neptune,
complete with icy caps and Neptune's black storm.

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