Outer Space

Moon

Plant and Stars

See Also: Solar Eclipse

Blue Moon

Explain to the children that there is a full moon each month. However, some months there are two full moons. And, the second full moon in a month is called a Blue Moon.

Story: The Nightgown of the Sullen Moon the moon is painted blues, greens, and purples.

The Nightgown of the Sullen Moon by Nancy Willard

Art

Blue Moon

Need: white paper (8 1/2" x 11" (2 sheets per child), circle patterns (about 7" in diameter), white glue, watercolors, brushes, pencils, scissors, books and pictures about the moon, book - "The Nightgown of the Sullen Moon"

Have children trace the circle pattern onto construction paper or provide already cut out circles. Draw five to seven craters inside the moon circle. Apply a bead of white glue on top of the crater outlines. The glue outlining needs to partially dry.

Put on paint shirts and set out watercolors (shades of blue, green, purple). Paint the inside of the craters first with a dark shade of one of the colors. Use water-downed solutions of the other two colors to wash across the face of the moon so it has a hazy appearance.

Snack

Moon Balls

Ingredients: 2 C. Peanut butter, 1 1/3 C. Honey, 2 C. Raisins 2 C. Dry milk, 3 1/2 C. Graham cracker crumbs (keep 1/2 c. separate)

Mix dry milk, raisins, and 3 c. graham cracker crumbs. Add honey and peanut butter, mix will (hands do best). Roll into small balls. Place remaining 1/2 c. of graham cracker crumbs in a large baggie Place several balls at a time into the baggie and shake, then place on a cookie sheet. Chill then eat.

Other Sites

Tale about The Moon -- from the Menominee Tribe.

NASA - Exploring the Moon
This NASA educator guide has activities for grades 4-12.

Planets

Art

Space Creations

Give children a large piece of white paper. Demonstrate to the children that if you trace the shape of a scissors, it will make a rocket ship. Encourage the children to trace the scissors for a rocket and use bottle caps and circular jar lids for planets and moons. Have paints available for the children to paint their very own space creation.

Galactic Mobiles
Need: 2 1/2 c. Boiling water 2 c. salt 4 c. flour , cookie cutters(stars and circles)

Add salt to water, then stir into flour. Have the children knead the dough until it is a good consistency for shaping. Let them roll the dough out and use cookie cutters to cut out star and circle shapes. Each child should have a couple of stars and a couple of circles.

Don't forget to put a hole at the top of each shape for hanging. Bake shapes in the oven at 250 degrees for 2 -3 hours, checking frequently after 2 two hours. Paint them another day.

Paper Mache' Planet
Need: round balloons, newspaper, flour, water, paint, paintbrushes, cardboard(two pieces)

Mix flour and water to make a paper mache' paste. Mix to the consistency of thick cream. Tear newspaper into small strips. Cover the balloon with about 4 to 5 layers of newspaper dipped in the paste.

When dry, paint the paper mache' balloon to look like the earth, the sun, the moon or whichever planet you choose. Use markers and crayons to add further details.

You can create a base for the planet using two pieces of corrugated cardboard. Cut out a half circle in each piece of cardboard. Then cut a slit on the top middle of one piece of cardboard and cut a slit on the bottom middle of the other piece of cardboard. Place the two pieces of cardboard together to form a t. When dry place your planet on its base.

Ziba space craft(wind whirlers)
Need: paper plates(2 per child), stapler, markers, crayons.

Give each child two paper plates. Have children decorate plates with "extraterrestrial" designs such as flashes of light, swirls, zips, and zaps. Spirals look great as spinning saucers whirl through the sky.

To construct the whirlers, each child staples two plates together either back to back or front to front. Back-to-back whirlers dip and curve while front-to-front whirlers tend to fly faster and straighter.

After some individual whirler experimentation, players might want to try additional modifications, such as cutting holes in the center or adding other paper elements, to see how they affect flight patterns.

Write

The Planet Ziba!

A new planet has been discovered and it has been named Ziba. One of the creatures from Ziba is coming to earth, and you have been given the task of interviewing the Ziba creature.

You'll need to decide on the ten best questions to ask and write those first. Then you'll need to image what the creature might answer and write those answers next to the questions. Include a drawing of the creature. Good Luck!

Group

Tour the Solar System

Let children be the guides on a "tour" of the solar system. Divide them into ten groups and assign each group a different planet or the sun. Have the groups create displays that highlight interesting facts and features about the heavenly bodies they chose. Direct them to prepare one-minute "tours" of their heavenly bodies. Allow time for them to prepare and provide different books from the library for research and display making.

When all groups are ready, take an imaginary journey into space. To increase interest, arrange the childrens' chairs in a rocket shape before the journey begins. As the class stops at the sun and each planet, let the appropriate group present its display and tour presentation.

Day Trip

Invite children to pretend they're going to spend a day on the moon or one of the nine planets, and to list their basic needs during their visit to that particular environment.

Snacks

Rehydrated Foods
Need: small ziplock bags, instant pudding, milk, straws.

Some foods are dehydrated in space by having water added to them at mealtime. For snack, give children small ziplock bags in which you have put one-eighth cup instant pudding and one fourth cup milk.

Be sure the bags are securely closed. Have the children gently knead the mixture until the pudding forms. Snip off a small piece of one of the corners.

Encourage the children to drink the pudding with a straw. The children will love it!

Cheese Robots

At snacktime cut cheese into different sized chunks. Then provide the children with pretzel sticks and let them put the chunks together to create "cheese robots."

Other Sites

Printables

Print and Build Your Own Mars Pathfinder Spacecraft Model!

Click on the cutouts to download, print and construct the model. You will need scissors, tape and/or glue to put it together, and colored markers or pencils to finish it up.

Other Sites

NASA Kids

The Spaceship Cards
ESL for kids flashcards. These cards teach space vocabulary such as planets and prepositions such as over, under, and through.

Welcome to the Planets
NASA's simple data sheets on each planet. Includes pictures of the planets.

A Solar System Coloring Book - a page for each planet and other terrestrial objects that includes facts from the University of Michigan.

Constellations

Need to find the constellations for your area. The University of Michigan site has list of the constellations for the Northern and Southern Hemispheres . This list is furthered divided into circumpolar and seasonal constellations. Some constellations never rise nor set, and they are called circumpolar. All the rest are divided into seasonal constellations. Which constellations will be circumpolar and which seasonal depends on your latitude.

Northern Hemisphere constellations from the University of Michigan
Southern Hemisphere constellations from the University of Michigan.

Read more myths at the Hawaiian Astronomical Society.

Constellations Workbook
15 page workbook -modified from a NASA/Amazing Space Student Background Reading

NASA- Make a Star Finder
A fun way to learn your way around the night sky by finding some of the constellations.

Print and Make A Sky Wheel

target="blank">Make a StarMaster Viewer

Pin the Star on the Sky Activity - Make Your Own Constellation

Books

Once Upon a Starry Night: A Book of Constellations by Jacqueline Mitton for children ages 5–9.

Find the Constellations by H. A. Rey is one of the best star and constellation guides for beginners.

Science

Stardust

To make star dust: fill 3/4 of a plastic bottle with corn syrup or vegetable oil; add water and food coloring to bring the liquid to the top; add star shaped sequins or bits of foil; and glue the lid on top; or use masking tape to keep the lid on. Makes a wonderful addition to your science table.

Tasty Stars
Need: Bread, star-shaped cookie cutters, strawberry jam, orange marmalade, grape jelly

Have the children cut the bread into star shapes. You can toast the bread first. Have the children spread jam on their stars. They can choose strawberry jam for a cool star, orange maramalade for an average stars, or grape jelly for the hottest star.

Information on the colors: Tasty Stars: Explain to the children that stars are buring hot. Scientists can tell how hot a star is by its color. The coolest starts are red. Orange,yellow and greenish stars are hotter. White starts are even hotter, and blue stars are the hottest.

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