Thursday, May 16, 2013

Exploring Space: Day 2 and 3

Earth is part of a solar system in the Milky Way galaxy.

Finishing up the first concept in Evan Moor's Exploring Space took longer than I thought it would because Early Bird out of the blue decided he needed to nap at the time I had set aside for school on Tuesday. So wrote down our space address with Builder Boy (where we are in the known universe down to our house) and re-read Seeing Stars: The Night Sky (Bright Sparks) (which was actually on the recommended list of Exploring Space) to give the information for the next concept:

Stars are huge balls of hot, glowing gases.

The two things took about 30 minutes and Builder Boy was feeling very sleepy (we did this in the afternoon) so we stopped there and picked up where we left off on Thursday.

On Thursday we colored the pictures of the planets to put them in order on black paper. I used three pieces of paper instead of 2, as they needed more space (pun intended.) I also added a sun because we needed a "starting point." Builder Boy insisted on drawing some asteroids for me to cut out for an asteroid belt. He was not impressed when the "Our Solar System" mini-book from Day 1 did not include an asteroid belt in one of their solar system pictures, and drew one in for that book, too.

When we were done putting the solar system up, we shifted to focusing on stars. We went into a windowless bathroom and lit a candle. I expanded the conversation from just "we get light and heat from stars" to demonstrating how distance from the source effects how much light and heat the planets receive. We also reviewed red dwarfs and blue giants, the fact that there is only one star in our solar system. That turned into a discussion with Builder Boy on what you need to make a solar system, and we also reviewed the name of our star; Sol. I wrote out the word "solar" to explain that the name of the sun is in the word, and he remembered the terms "solar power" and "solar energy."

Then we continued to talk about stars and galaxies as we colored in the "Stars" mini-book. I was NOT impressed with the match up options on star facts. They were NOT very clear, and the first parts of the sentences were so similar that multiple ends would work for each. Also, Builder Boy could not guess why our galaxy is called the "Milky Way." I eventually told him people named it that because it looked like milk drops. Builder Boy didn't think that was applicable because "milk gives our bodies energy and galaxies don't."
We finished up with another game of TO THE MOON and I let Early Bird use the solar system display we put on the wall to help him figure out some of the answers.

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