Bring the Enormity of Space into Your Summer Learning
Space is HUGE and makes us ponder at the unknown, it is also fascinating especially for young learners. My son loves Star Wars so we took that interest and created space themed learning activities for my two kids.
1. Astronauts in Training: In An Imaginative Approach to Teaching, Kieran Egan (2005) puts imagination at the heart of effective teaching and learning. My kids love to use their imagination so, being astronauts in training excited their minds and prepared them for learning. With this I could do any lesson and call it part of their training, making things fit into the theme easier.
2. Building a Rocket: Of course to go on any mission an astronaut needed a rocket. Using some simple paper props and imagination we built a rocket out of some large foam blocks we have at the house. These control panel pieces are in the dramatic play packet linked at the end of this post.
3. Integrating Math: My kids love to "BLAST-OFF" so I had them practice counting backwards, identifying numerals, and number order as they blasted off into space. Later in the week we also practiced ordinal numbers as we learned about the planets in the solar system.
4. Integrating Reading: There are so many good books about space. We read several that we have in the house as well as some that I printed. These books gave information about Earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, and the solar system. My son loves non-fiction books so this was a HUGE opportunity to incorporate more reading this week.
5. Integrating Writing: There are so many ways to integrate writing during the week. Write reports or draw pictures showing information you are learning, keep an astronaut journal with words and pictures that an astronaut might "see", write a fiction story that takes place in space. I kept a word wall up for my kids to use in their writing. My son loved writing his own "Star Wars" story.
6. Stargazing: A natural activity with space is to take a telescope and stargaze or just stargaze without the telescope. My kids loved this- it was as if they had never seen the stars before. That day we learned about stars and constellations. I had the kids use their imaginations and make up their own constellation. It was so fun that night when my son pointed out the big and little dipper on his own and then was also able to find his make believe "mystery constellation". Addi never did find her deer but had fun trying.
Resource I used for this week's unit:
Have fun exploring the wonders of our solar system...