Solar System Project

Why did we choose this project?
There had been recent interest about space due to news events (planning trips to Mars) and fiction (many kids like the new Star Wars movies). The topic was something that we could easily relate to as we see the sun, moon, earth and stars. It also fit in well with our first term field trip as we visited the Hamagin Space Science Center where we could learn more about the solar system. We also added an extra trip to the Mitsubishi Industrial Museum, where we could see and touch objects such as an astronaut’s suit and a real rocket!

What activities did we do?
Language – Most of the focus here was on learning the names of the planets. Some older friends were also interested in learning more technical words to do with rockets or space phenomena (such as comets or eclipse).
Logic & Numbers – We used the computer a lot for this project and one of our favorite sites to look at was the ISS tracking site. We saw that there was an upcoming date we could see the ISS (in evening) and many parents found it with their children. We also did several measurement activities, especially in making scale models of the solar system as we compared the sizes of planets and the distance between them.
Spatial – The children made many different representations of planets, from paintings, to drawings to papier mache models. Many children also enjoyed making different types of rockets.
Music – Through song, we learned about how the earth rotates, how the moon orbits the earth and how the earth orbits the sun. We also heard many rocket sound effects while the children role-played.
Body – We enjoyed moving our bodies during role-playing activities like space travel (being rockets, exploring planets, zero-gravity) and as actions for the song we learned.
People – We talked about space organizations such as NASA and JAXA. We also learned about some famous people such as early astronauts and the first people on the moon.
Self – Friends enjoyed talking about preferences (which is their favorite planet) and imagining future space travel through discussion or art.
Nature – We explored the power and usefulness of the sun through various science activities. They were amazed that the suns heat through a magnifying glass could burn paper. We also learned about sun-dial clocks and discussed natural phenomena such as an eclipse or the earth’s aurora (with artwork).

How did we conclude this project?
Our big conclusion was the preschool fair where we invited parents to see our presentation. It was combined with our airplanes project so parents first rode on our airplane, but the airplane turned into a space shuttle that flew into space (with the help of an original video display on the projector)! When we arrived at the “Imagine Space Station”, the children took turns to present different individual activities that they had done. These activities included various arts and crafts, a space board game, an original video of a child’s dream to go to space and a letter from JAXA (after a child had written to them)!

No comments:

Post a Comment