Sunday, September 30, 2012

Science Post #2: Space and Earth

Because it was covered briefly in our MFW's science curriculcum (Usborne First Encyclopedia of Science) and because I did an "A is for Astronaut" mini-unit with Sissy, we did a lot with Space Science and Earth Science the past two weeks. These are some of the books we read. I recommend any of them. 

As we were reading Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11, an award-winning book by Brian Floca, I told the kids we could probably find their real voices online. Here is a really short clip, but there are others we listened to that include more dialogue such as the "giant leap for mankind" quote. They loved this, and it especially helped my 5 year old who had wondered if this was "a true story." There is an illustration in the book of a family cheering in front of the television set, and that (along with the audio clips) gave me tears and goose bumps.

We made play-dough Earths. 
First, they formed these balls of dough, big to small.

They left the red ball solid, then flattened the orange ball to carefully wrap around the red ball. Then the yellow ball was flattened to wrap around the orange/red ball, etc.

After they repeated those steps through blue, they used green play-dough to form continent shapes. We got out the globe, and I asked the kids to each name all 7 continents. Sis can't name them all yet, but she came close with hints.

Next, they cut their dough balls in half. Care needs to be taken with this as the ball will want to squish under the pressure of the knife.

And you will find the 4 layers of the Earth plus the blue ocean on the outside: inner core, outer core, mantle, and crust. (This one looks like it has more layers because because he had to use two shades of yellow mixed together to make a big enough ball. But the yellow is all mantle.)

To review, each filled out this worksheet.

We sang this Layers of the Earth song (which I modified slightly because I couldn't fit that many words into  that tune).

The next day, we reviewed the 4 layers by making edible Earths. I added a little flour and powdered sugar to peanut butter to make it stand up better.

After forming balls (the mantle), we cut them in half, scooped out the center, added soy cream cheese (the outer core) and a strawberry (inner core), then rolled it in ground flax seed (the crust). This didn't turn out as well as I had hoped because the peanut butter consistency wasn't firm enough, but I think it got the point across. And it made for a nice bedtime snack.

I put together this Astronaut Sensory Tub using a Space Toob. I made homemade moon sand (9 cups of flour and about 1 1/2 cups of baby oil). At first, I thought it was just crumbly flour, but it really is moldable! (Sis also got some pink sprinkles in there when she was playing "bakery" with the moon sand.)

When we were reading Space by Bobbie Kalman, my 7 year old kept going over to the space tub to pull out items that matched pictures (like a satellite or certain astronaut gear) in the book.

Also, the first time they played with the moon sand, they were at the kitchen table. On subsequent play times, I had to send them outside because it was very messy.

They were ridiculously impatient waiting for this Oreo experiment. (We actually used this Newman's Organics version.)

I used the printable at the bottom of this page for our model. I edited the word-doc, deleting the pictures for a second sheet to include space for their own cookies.

There was a whole section of space activities at the WonderWorks Museum we visited this month.

#1: Dash, trying out the rocket.

#2: Tornado is pumping his fist "yes" as the monitor (which asks space-related trivia questions) declares his "correct" answer.

#3: This scale calculates your weight on the Moon and Mars. Sis apparently weighs 7 lbs. on the Moon and 16.4 on Mars (and that's 42 lbs. on Earth).

The kids each completed a mini book from this Lifesaver Lessons book.

Magic School Bus: Out of This World teaches about meteorites, so we did this experiment. I filled a baking pan with flour and let them drop rocks into it from different heights with different sized rocks. They repeated this experiment SO many times, for so long, that I finally went inside and just let them have at it. I also showed them pictures online of different meteorites and crater sites in the United States. (BTW, I'm using the flour to make salt dough tomorrow, so it won't go to waste.)

We used these constellation lacing cards. I punched holes on the dots.

The kids placed them on top of construction paper, filled in the dots, then covered them with star stickers. They connected the dots and labeled the constellations.

I asked the kids to design their own constellations.
Tornado named his "Monster," and Dash's was "Bareka." 

Sissy named her constellations "Key-etay" and "Remi."
We blew up this old constellation ball to examine.

styrofoam solar system from Science Post #1

jdaniel4smomScience SundayCachey Mamas Classroom


JDaniel4's Mom said...

I am sorry I am late in inviting! I love this post. All the ways you formed the Earth are amazing. I will be featuring this post tomorrow on the Read.Explore.Learn. Facebook page.

Ticia said...

I'm SOOOOO behind on commenting, but I love this post. Thank you so much for linking up.

I love the idea of constellation lacing cards. I hadn't seen that before.