Science Programs for Children Ages 4 and 5


A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin 
The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons
I See the Moon: Rhymes for Bedtime by Rosalind Beardshaw 
How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz 
Map My Room; Map My Neighborhood; Map My State; Map My Country by Jennifer Boothroyd 
Me and My Place in Space by Joan Sweeney 


Earth/Sun Moon moving model by Trippensee (NOTE: Store Carefully!) 
“Guide to Your Globe” booklet
“The Elementary and Classmate Planetariums” booklet
“Smithsonian Planetarium” booklet
Information/Fact Sheet (with size and distance of planets)
Compass explanations
Reproducible set for Moon flip book
Sheet of Constellation Pictures 

CONSUMABLES: (To be supplied by you)
Black construction/copy paper 
Chalk – white and colored
Stickers – stars, colored dots
Markers, crayons, or colored pencils


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


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

To introduce the concept of rotation of the moon and earth. 

To show how the moon / sun / earth relate to each other.

To show how the earth rotates around the sun.

To show how the sun makes daylight and darkness on the earth. 

To learn the phases of the moon.

To learn that the globe is a map of the earth. 

To learn to read and make a simple map.

What is space? (the region outside of the earth’s atmosphere)
What is in space? (the planets, stars, moons, meteors, comets, etc.)Can you name a planet? Do you know which planet we live on?

Read Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin. 

Many people make up stories about the moon disappearing and then returning to a full moon.  What really happens?  Show the rotation of the earth and moon with the “mini planetarium.”  LOOK THROUGH THE ELEMENTARY PLANETARIUM BOOKLET TO SEC. 10 – “MOON” ON PAGE 19.  The Smithsonian Planetarium booklet also has good information on the moon on page 30. 

Now that we have looked at the moon revolving around the earth, let’s look at how the earth revolves around the sun.  LOOK THROUGH ELEMENTARY PLANETARIUM BOOKLET TO SEC. 8 – “EARTH” ON PAGE 10.   

Read The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons. 

Sun, Moon, and Stars – fingerplay 
Here is the sun; it’s big and bright. (arms over head to make sun)  
And here is the moon, with its glowing light (use hands to make a circle)  
Here are the stars up in the sky, (point upward)  
Twinkling brightly way up high. (flutter fingers) 
Mailbox Magazine, Preschool edition Oct/Nov ‘07  

Hand out black paper, star silver/gold stickers, glue and different shapes for the moon (full, crescent, half, quarter) and let them make a night scene.  Have chalk handy for them to also draw on the paper, and write their name.  OR for older children: 

Make a Moon Flip Book.  Using the pattern, the children can color in the black part of the moon, cut out the squares, line it up, staple, and enjoy!   

Finish with Moon poetry from I See the Moon: Rhymes for Bedtime.  You might read “Flying” and ask if the stars and moon actually stand still in the sky?  Talk about what one might see in the sky at night.  End with everyone joining in on “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”  There are many poems that would work, including making paper props on popsicle sticks to augment the poetry. 

Read How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz

Ask if children have seen any maps?  Have they ever made a map, or used a map?  Can they tell you what country they live in?  What state?  What town? 

Bring out the globe and find the United States, New York, etc.  Also, have some road maps and one or two atlases to show the kids and ask them to find things on the maps and globe: i.e. oceans, lakes, rivers, cities, etc.  Let them work in groups.  Make it a scavenger hunt.  Even the youngest children can pick out oceans and continents, which you can name. 

Bring out a compass and discuss the use of the compass.  If you take a walk in the library, have the children look as you move around.  (Working with the compass might be better is small groups.  Use teen volunteers or parent helpers just so everyone can see what the compass is doing.)  What happens to the moving needle?  Which way is North?  Can you put a compass rose on your maps that you are making?  (See information on the compass in your packet.  Depending on the age of your participants, you might want to use the globe to help see the degree/meridian symbols, or skip it!) 

Use the Map My Room OR Map My Neighborhood to show how to “make” a map.  On a whiteboard, come up with symbols for a “key” (or have colored dots or stickers for items like houses, school, library) and show how the key is used in the books. You could even walk around the neighborhood of the library to get an idea of what would be on a neighborhood map from the streets, to local landmarks, parks, school, library, and houses.   OR for older children 

Use Map My State, and/or Map My Country.  Hand out plain state or country maps and help the children fill in specific lakes, rivers, towns, etc.  You can use a key with the colored dots or stickers to help them with naming the different areas. 

Read: Me and My Place in Space by Joan Sweeney.

Finish up with a show-and-tell of all the maps – the many places on earth! 

Talking:  Use the names of the planets, including Planet Earth, when talking about the Solar System.  It is important for children to hear the correct science vocabulary. 

Math:  When talking about the phases of the moon, it is a great opportunity to talk about and explore fractions with quarter, half, and full (whole) moon.  Use the fractions with favorite food, such as pizza, a pie or cake, or even splitting a snack in half.  Using the terms will bring about understanding of these concepts. 

Phonological Awareness:  There are many songs and nursery rhymes that use the moon, stars, or the sun in the lyrics.  Clap, chant and/or sing them to hear the syllables and rhythm in the words.  Here are a few ideas: “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star;” “You Are My Sunshine;” “Hey Diddle Diddle;” “I See the Moon;” “Hey Mr. Sun;” “Fly Me to the Moon;” “Rocket Man” and many more! 


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