Hello friends! I wasn't intending to take this long to share with y'all some of the fun things we did for our solar system unit, but this past week I had a crazy messed up schedule, so I fell behind on everything, including blogging! Monday we had a staff development day, Wednesday I had a half day sub so I could complete a component of my ESL requirements, and Friday I had a sub because the third grade teachers had a planning day. Also, Friday evening, my boyfriend hosted a Star Party for my students and their families, and it was a blast! My students loved being able to use the telescopes, and it was awesome to hear the kids "teach" their parents what they'd learned about the planets, the moon, and constellations!
Anyway, here are a few of the fun activities we did during our unit:
|Can you see the planet beads?|
Planet necklaces! To make our necklaces, I used this search, and the first link (the one for a word document) is where I got my measurements. I didn't have enough black and white seed beads for each student, so instead of using those as spacers, I used the number of beads listed as a basis of measurement in centimeters. Then, after we measured the space between the planets on our string, we tied our planet beads directly onto the string. That definitely made this activity more challenging, but we figured out a few tricks along the way to help get the beads tied in place.
|Solar system art is my favorite!|
|Look at those fabulous orbital lines and the correctly placed asteroid belt!|
|A close up of how the labels were used.|
My students also created a model to show they'd learned the order of the planets as well as their distances from the sun. Students used a long piece of black construction paper to create their "space," and pictures of the planets (found here) to make their models. Then, since they had learned the order of the planets earlier that week, I simply gave them a page that had the names of the planets and 8 distances listed, but the distances were not in order! They had to use their knowledge of the order of the planets to make a connection to the distances, but it didn't take them long to figure out that Mercury, since it is the closest to the sun, must match the shortest distance, and so on. I also told them they had to include a drawing of the asteroid belt, and the only hint I gave them as a reminder of where it should be drawn is that it should separate the inner planets from the outer planets (which we had also learned about earlier that week). Not one student drew it in the wrong spot - yay for students who listen! I found the planet distances here, and you can find the worksheet I created with the planet labels and distances in my TpT store here.
We did several other projects, too, but these are the only ones I have pictures of! I hope you can use these ideas when it comes time for you to teach your class about the solar system! Now it's time for me to finish my lesson plans while watching the Oscars, but before I go, I also wanted to share a few pictures from our 50s Day last Friday - we always have a 50s dance the week of Valentine's, and this year I had more students than ever get into the spirit of things! Since we do this every year, I decided I needed to finally make myself a skirt that I could use again and again. So, the night before 50s Day, I stopped by Goodwill and found the perfect pink skirt - I took it home, sketched a quick drawing of a poodle, transferred it to a block of black felt I had from my craft stash, and then got to hot gluing! It took all of 15 minutes, and I love how it turned out!
|Step aside, Danny Zuko - these third graders are the new T-Birds!|
|Me and my girls in our pink poodle skirts!|