PLANETS

START WITH SCIENCE KITS

Science Programs for Children Ages 4 and 5


Objectives

To introduce the basic concept of eight planets orbiting around a star.
To learn the names of the planets.
To be able to line up the planets in order.
To show how the earth revolves around the sun to make day and night.

Books : (In kit)
The Sun is Kind of a Big Deal by Nick Seluk
The Moon’s First Friends: How the Moon Met the Astronauts from Apollo 11 by Susanna Leonard Hill
Earthwise: Apollo 8 and the Photo That Changed the World by James Gladstone
Boy, Were We Wrong about the Solar System by Kathleen Kudlinski 
The Sun is My Favorite Star by Frank Asch
The Planets by Gail Gibbons    
Shadow Magic by Seymour Simon
Mousetronaut by Mark Kelly 

CDs: 
Rocketship Run by Laurie Berkner 
The Planets by Gustav Holst 

Equipment:  (In kit)
Floor Map planet orbital sequence
Set of 8 Soft Planets
Green Information Card about the Solar System
Set of Vocabulary Cards about the Planets
Set of Constellation Cards
Set of Props for “Rocketship Run”

Consumables (to be supplied by you)
Black construction/copy paper 
White and colored chalk 
Stickers – silver/gold stars;  colored dots

Resources:
Any book of Constellations
https://www.startwithabook.org/summer-science/diy-science-camp-night-sky

 

PROGRAM:

Objectives: 
To introduce the basic concept of eight planets orbiting around a star.
To learn the names of the planets.
To be able to line up the planets in order.
To show how the earth revolves around the sun to make day and night.

Introduction:
What do we mean when we talk about the solar system?  (The sun and planets.)
What is in the solar system? (The sun is a star and the planets orbit around the sun.)
Can you name any planets?
Do you know which planet we live on?
 

Program: 
Read The Sun is Kind of a Big Deal by Nick Seluk.  There are a number of questions in the book that will open up dialogue and interaction between presenter and children.  Use them and enjoy – some of it is funny.  (Use the flash cards in the kit with some of the words in the book – there aren’t many, but it might be something that will help the children remember the new vocabulary words.) 

Take out the floor chart and soft planets and gently throw them out to different children.  Before they look at the chart, see if they can guess which planet they are holding (or the sun), and what they know about each one.  Have them gently toss them to someone else, who might remember something specific about the planet.  Let the children place the planets on the floor chart.  Can you use the soft planets to put them order in scale?  (How big is your library???) 

Have someone hold the sun and the other planets revolve around the sun in the order of the planets. 

Read The Moon’s First Friends: How the Moon Met the Astronauts from Apollo 11 by Susanna Leonard Hill.  Use the QR codes in the front and back of the book to remind children that real people went up to the moon. 

Time for an ACTION SONG!  Use Laurie Berkner’s “Rocketship Run” song.  Play the song and use the props in the kit for each verse and certainly act out the song with the “countdown” and “blast off.”  

Read Earthwise: Apollo 8 and the Photo That Changed the World.  It is not necessary to read every word!  The point is that people living on Earth could see their own planet from the moon.  Stress that point from the book.  

Art Activity: Hand out black paper, white chalk and star stickers silver/gold.  Let the children make their own constellations, or copy one from some of the easiest constellations (you will find a few in the kit).  Use chalk to connect the “stars.”  As you walk around, talk to the artists and help write out the names of their “constellations.”  While children are working you could have Gustav Holst’s The Planets playing.  The two most famous pieces are “Mars” and “Jupitar.”  Have the children draw different pictures to these distinct pieces, or just talk about what they are hearing. 

Finish up the program with show and share of everyones constellations.  Then read Boy, Were We Wrong about the Solar System! by Kathleen Kudlinski. 

 

ALTERNATE PROGRAM FOR YOUNGER CHILDREN

Read The Sun is My Favorite Star by Frank Asch. 

Bring out the soft planets.  Talk about the sun as a star and the planets revolve around the sun in their own orbit.  Name the planets. 

Sing Mr. Golden Sun. 

Oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, 
please shine down on me. 
Oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, 
hiding behind the tree. 
These little children are asking you 
to please come out so we can play with you. 
Oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun. 
Please shine down on me. 

(For the tune: Numerous sites on web or Raffi, most recently: Best of Raffi.) 

As you bring out the rest of the planets, use The Planets by Gail Gibbons to say one fact about each planet.  Then put the planet on the floor chart or ask a child to help you put the planet down.  After you have lined them all up, mix them up and spread them around the children to see if they can remember the names of the planets and where they go on the floor chart.  This can be done until every child has held a planet or the sun at least once. 

Time for an ACTION SONG!  Use Laurie Berkner’s “Rocketship Run” song.  Play the song and use the props in the kit for each verse and certainly act out the song with the “countdown” and “blast off.”  

Now that you have blasted off, and returned to earth, read: Mousetronaut by Astronaut Mark Kelly.  Read Mark Kelly’s notes in the back of the book, but summarize them to the children – especially that the author is a real astronaut and that he has gone to space with mice. 

Pass out black paper and colored chalk.  Also pass out star stickers.  Let the children make up their own solar systems, planets, constellations, or anything they might find in their imagined night sky.  Have parent or teen helpers, and yourself, write the names of their planets, constellations, etc. on their papers. 

Finish with a “show and share” of everyone’s night sky. 

You may also enjoy dancing around the planets, one more time to Laurie Berkner’s “Rocketship Run.” 

Bookmarks : (In kit)
Paper copies of the bookmark are included in the kit. PDF copies are available here.

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


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