SPACE

START WITH SCIENCE KITS

Science Programs for Children Ages 4 and 5

 

Objectives

  • To introduce the planets to the children.
  • To show how the earth rotates around the sun.
  • To show how the moon/sun/earth relate to each other.
  • To show how the sun makes daylight and darkness on the earth.
  • To introduce the idea of a planetarium.

Book : (In kit)

  • Alistair in Outer Space by Marilyn Sadler

Equipment : (In kit)

  • 20 Bent nail hooks
  • 1 Earth/Sun Moon moving model by Trippensee (NOTE: Store carefully)
  • 1 Fingerplay card
  • 19 Flashlights
  • 1 Globe
  • 1 Information/Fact Sheet (with size and distance of planets)
  • 9 Planet paper plates (show size and name of planets)

Consumables : (To be supplied by you)

  • Back-up flashlight batteries (2 size D)
  • Food boxes

Resource Books : (Contact your local library to borrow)

  • Stott, Carole. Night Sky. Dorling Kindersley, 1993
  • Thompson, C.E. Glow-in-the-dark constellations: a field guide for young stargazers. Grossett & Dunlap, 1989.

Bookmarks : (In kit)

  • Paper copies of the bookmark are included in the kit. PDF and JPEG copies are available here.
    • PDF – 4 bookmarks per page. Ready to print in color.
    • JPG – single high quality jpeg image.

Program

  • Objectives
    • To introduce the planets to the children.
    • To show how the earth rotates around the sun.
    • To show how the moon/sun/earth relate to each other.
    • To show how the sun makes daylight and darkness on the earth.
    • To introduce the idea of a planetarium.
  • Introduction
    • What is space? (the region outside of the earth’s atmosphere)
    • What is in space? (planets, stars, moons, meteors, etc.)
    • What is a star? Do we know any of the planets?
    • What planet do you live on? Are there any moons for earth?
  • Program
    • Read ALISTAIR IN OUTER SPACE by Marilyn Sadler. Could that really happen? Why not?
    • Show the globe. Does anyone know what it is called? Can we find where we live? Where do you think Alistair landed? Why?
    • Use a flashlight as the sun. (It is nice if the room is not too bright.) Show how the sun makes day and night on earth.
    • Show earth/sun/moon model and how things rotate.
    • Create your own model of planets. Choose one child to be the sun. Measure (with tape or feet) the place for Mercury, then Venus and so on for the planets. Depending on size of the room, you will have to see how much creativity is needed to place all the planets since some would be across the parking lot and then some. You may want to change the scale. In each case there is a paper plate with the name of the planet and an approximate size it would appear if the whole plate were Jupiter, the largest planet. It works well to see if you have a child whose name starts with the same letter as a planet, or has the letter someplace in his/her name.
    • What is a planetarium? Have any of you ever visited one? What do you see?
    • What is a constellation? Not all groups of stars look just like the pattern stated.
    • We are going to make some constellations for our own planetariums. Let’s try making one. Each child should have a cardboard box – cereal, juice, cracker, milk, etc. Give each child a bent nail hook. Show them how to push it into the carton. Warn against jamming it down from on high because their aim is not always great and they might poke themselves. The more holes, the more stars. Some like to make the shape of their initials – anything goes.
    • When some seem to be done, hand out a flashlight to each child. When the flashlight is turned on and placed inside the carton, the light glows out of the stars. In a DARK room, held near the wall, they actually shine out like constellations at a planetarium.
  • General
    • Each child needs to bring a cardboard box – cereal, juice, cracker, milk, etc.
    • Lacking a dark room, hiding under a Board Room table with the lights out works pretty well.
    • The flashlights are a major hit and often become searchlights for the heavens rather than planetarium interior lights.
    • Be sure to count and get back all the hooks since they blend in with carpeting and could be hazardous to future customers.

Evaluation

Please print this evaluation, complete it and return to MVLS in the SWS red envelope.

Topics | About the Kits | Lending Policy

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