solar system projects for kids

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					Project Nine
Make the solar system come alive!
                                                                                             GRADE LEVEL
Curriculum/State Standard                          added a writing component to this
I B4: arrange objects in sequential                project that tied everything together.
       order (planets)
I A1: use senses to observe                        Objectives
       characteristics                             •	 The	students	will	be	able	to	name	
II C1: investigate, identify, describe                the planets in order through the use
       and understand basic                           of a song.
       relationships between sun,                  •	 The	students	will	be	able	to	
       moon, and Earth                                identify characteristics of parts
                                                      of the solar system: planets, the
Overview                                              moon, the sun, asteroids, stars, and
The children were introduced to                       constellations.
the solar system through the use of                •	 The	students	will	make	models	of	
library books about the planets, sun,                 constellations.
moon, stars, and constellations. They              •	 The	students	will	make	a	model	of	
made a solar system booklet to write                  the solar system.
about the solar system components                  •	 The	students	will	construct	a	
and then put together a solar system                  booklet of the different aspects of
with refrigerator boxes. They also                    the solar system.
had a take home packet to look for
constellations with their parents as               Materials
well as made constellations with                   I originally started with needing
toothpicks and marshmallows. This                  two refrigerator boxes, three small
project (making a solar system out                 containers of glow in the dark
of refrigerator boxes, Styrofoam                   paint, one to two cans of purple
balls, and glow in the dark stars)                 spray paint, a container of Krylon
made the solar system come alive                   glow in the dark paint, and nine
for my students and put the planets                to ten Styrofoam balls of different
in a visual 3D order which really                  sizes per class (I was doing this
helped them remember size, color,                  for four classes). I was kind of the
temperature, and order from the sun.               experimental class and I tried out the
Learning the planet song helped                    glow in the dark paint as well as the
them cement in their minds the                     spray paint and they did not work
order of the planets and making                    as I liked so I ended up purchasing
constellations out of toothpicks                   purple house paint and paste on glow
and marshmallows gave children a                   in the dark stars for my class instead.

visual representation of groups of                 I had already bought the supplies for
stars. Sending home a take home                    the other three teachers but two did
kit for parents to have them look for              not do the activity anyway. I would
constellations in the sky encouraged               personally suggest that students             MONTH

parents to get involved in their
children’s science learning. Having              Continued on the back . . .
children make a solar system booklet
                                                                                             TOTAL BUDGET

                       Wendy Searles
                       Pleasant View Primary
               TM      340 West Mill Street, Gray Court, SC 29645
“Project Nine” project continued . . .
not use the glow in the dark paint        Solar System). Sing the planet song.   Culminating Activity
because it did not produce a strong       Have children paint Styrofoam          We painted the constellations on
glow and got pretty messy and             balls with glow in the dark colored    the solar system, and I also had
drippy (the children enjoyed it but       paint. The big ball is Jupiter, the    children paint space scenes on the
the end result did not look very          next size down is Saturn, Neptune      outside of the box. We hung the
good). I let them paint the outside       and Uranus are the medium-sized        planets in order and closed the door
of the solar system with regular          balls, Earth and Venus are the next    on it (a few children were in at a
paint and added white paint and           size, Mars is the next size, and       time) to see the glow in the dark
plastic glow in the dark stars to the     Pluto and Mercury are the smallest     constellations and planets. The
inside and it looked a lot better.        (probably Pluto should be a little     paint did not work well so I bought
                                          smaller). You can cut a very small     some plastic glow-in the dark stars,
Readiness Activity                        one for the moon if you want.).        too.
I think the solar system booklet
helped tie all the aspects of the         Week 2: You will probably want         Evaluation
project together and also produced        to paint the refrigerator boxes with   They took a pencil/paper test on
a writing component. The painting         purple, black, or blue house paint     which they had to put the planets in
of the solar system was pretty            ahead of time. Review planets and      order and also sing the Planet Song.
age-appropriate but they had              sun/introduce moon and tell about      Their solar system book was also
some	difficulty	replicating	the	          the phases. Do some more of the        evaluated as a writing component.
constellations exactly (plus the          solar system book. Introduce stars
paint was drippy). Making the             and constellations. You can make
constellations with toothpicks            the constellations with toothpicks
and marshmallows was very                 and marshmallows. Send home the
age-appropriate since I made the          constellation take-home kit. Give
constellations ahead and they just        each child a copy of a constellation
had to put together the components        and have him paint it on the
to glue on the drawing. The song          refrigerator box. (The glow-in-the-
and	the	reading	feature	all	four	first	   dark paint didn’t work well so I
grades did with Magic School Bus:         went back over it with white paint
Lost in the Solar System whetted          and also some plastic glow-in-the-
their appetite to learn more about        dark stars).
the planets.
                                          Week 3: Review. Hang planets in
Strategies/Activities                     order	with	fishing	line	and	paper	
To kick off learning about the            clips and have the kids tell you
solar system, we did a reading            what order to put them in. Sing
feature	with	all	four	first	grades	       the planet song. Have students put
with Magic School Bus: Lost in the        planets in order on sheet. Complete
Solar System as the featured book.        solar system book. Assess with
The children made spaceships out          pencil/paper test as well as
of plastic Icee tops and posterboard      performance by having them sing
circles.                                  the song.

Week 1: Introduce children to the
sun. Do the sun page in the solar
system book. Introduce the planet
song (I found this by going on the
Internet. There are a number of
them). Introduce children to the
planets a few at a time (I took out
books from the library. A good one
is Magic School Bus: Lost in the

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