Astronomy Unit Study

 

This unit is ©Copyright 2004 by Cindy Downes. All rights reserved. Permission is given to homeschooling parents to use these units free of charge in their own homeschool only. These units may not be reprinted in any other form, for any other purpose (commercial or otherwise) without permission from Cindy Downes. Contact her at cindy@oklahomahomeschool.com.

This unit is designed to be completed in twelve weeks, completing two, 1 - 2 hour lessons per week for a total of 24 lessons; however, you can customize it to any length, depending upon how much material you cover and how long you take to cover it. Read over General Directions for Cindy's Unit Studies for information on how to teach the unit.

Resources for Parents:

Recommended textbooks:

Lesson 1 -4: Introduction to Our Solar System

1. Read:

2. Complete the following activities in Planets Thematic Unit , Primary, 1-4+

  • Complete a Daily Writing Activity, pg. 20-21
  • Solar System Booklet, Pg. 7, #6, pg 30.
  • Miniature Solar System, pg. 51 (supplies needed)
  • Solar System Cookies, pg. 57

3. Complete pages 3-5 and 13-17 in Considering God's Creation Student Workbook, 5th Edition .

4. Complete pages 6-15 in Exploring Space, Gr 1-3.

3. Video:

4. Internet:

5. Other Reading Suggestions:

6. Other Activities:

  • Composition: Astronomy theme paper
  • Powerpoint Simple Projects, Intermediate, pg. 57-61, Touring the Solar System, 3-6+
  • Inflatable Solar System Set Teach size and distance relationships of planets, the moon and the sun. Learn rotation, revolution and orbit through class activities or demonstrations using this realistic looking set. Includes 36" Sun and proportionate planets and moon with sizes ranging from 8" to 22". Also includes a foot pump, Teacher's Activity Guide and hooks for easy hanging. Deflate for easy storage.
Lesson 5 - 8: Stars, Calendars, Time, Constellations

1. Read:

  • Night Sky by Robin Kerrod. ISBN 0739828150. 32 pages. color. Describes what stars and constellations can be seen in the night sky and provides instructions for finding them.
  • The Sky Is Full of Stars (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) by Franklyn M. Branley. ISBN 0064450023. K-4+
  • What Makes Day and Night by Franklyn Branley. 32 pgs, color. ISBN 0064450503. K-3+
  • The Reasons for Seasons by Gail Gibbons. ISBN 0823412385. K-3+

2. Complete the following activities in Planets Thematic Unit, Primary, 1-4+

  • Complete a Daily Writing Activity, pg. 20-21
  • Hours in a Day, pg 28
  • Happy Birthday to You, math, pg. 29
  • What Makes a Day?, pg. 37
  • Shadow Clock, pg. 38-39
  • It’s in the Stars, pg. 48
  • Stars in a Box, pg. 53-54

3. Complete pages 7, 9, 11 in Considering God's Creation Student Workbook, 5th Edition .

4. Complete pages 16 - 32 in Exploring Space, Gr 1-3.

5. Activities:

6. Other Reading Suggestions:

  • The Big Dipper. by Franklyn Branley. ISBN 0064451003. 32 pgs, color. K-6
  • Follow the Drinking Gourd by F. N. Monjo. Following the stars on the Underground Railroad during the Civil War. Also a video or cassette available. 48 pgs, color. ISBN 0064440427. Easy Reader.
  • Mouse, Mole, and the Falling Star by A.H. Benjamin. unpaged, color. The pursuit of a falling star and its fabulous reward almost breaks up the good friendship between Mole and Mouse. ISBN 1854307827. PreK-1

7. Video:

  • Magic School Bus Greatest Adventures. When Ms. Frizzle's class gets lost while on a field trip in outer space, the kids explores our solar system, then the class discovers that even the tiniest living things can have big effects as they visit the mini-world of microbes in a pickle.

8. Other Activities:

  • Powerpoint Simple Projects, Challenging, 6-8+ pg. 70-77, Learning About the Constellations
  • Using The Night Sky (ISBN 0961320753), practice identifying the constellations in your area.

9. Internet:

Lesson 9 - 10 : Space Exploration

Read:

Complete the following activities in Planets Thematic Unit, Primary, 1-4+

  • Complete a Daily Writing Activity, pg. 20-21
  • Space Journey Application, pg. 24
  • Moon Landing Booklet, pg. 40-42
  • Voyager Space Probes booklet, pg. 43-45

Activities:

Other Reading Suggestions:

Video:

Internet:

Lesson 11 - 12, Earth

Read:

  • Earth (Solar System series) by Lynda Sorensen. 24 pgs., ISBN 0865932751. K-3
  • Earth (Our Planet in Space) by Simon Seymour. ISBN 0689835620.

Complete the following activities in Planets Thematic Unit, Primary, 1-4+ (G)

  • Magnetosphere, pg. 52, supplies
  • Complete a Daily Writing Activity, pg. 20-21

4. Complete pages 67-76 in Exploring Space, Gr 1-3.

Composition:

Internet:

Lesson 13 - 14 Moon

Read:

Complete the following activities in Planets Thematic Unit, Primary, 1-4+

  • Complete a Daily Writing Activity, pg. 20-21
  • Moon—Complete the following activities in Investigating Science: Solar System
  • By the Light of the Moon, pg. 24 (ball, flashlight, mirror)
  • Man in the Moon, pg. 25 (supplies)
  • Great Disappearing Act, pg. 26 (ball, flashlight, sticky note)
  • Lunar Illusions, pg. 27
  • One Small Step for Man, pg. 27

4. Complete pages 51-66 in Exploring Space, Gr 1-3.

Other Activity:

Other Reading Suggestions:

Internet:

Lesson 15 - 16, Sun

Read:

Complete the following activities in Planets Thematic Unit, Primary, 1-4+

  • Complete a Daily Writing Activity, pg. 20-21
  • Directions from the Sun, pg. 37
  • Solar Shadows, pg. 37
  • Race to the Sun, pg. 49

Other Activity:

  • Extreme Solar

Other Reading Suggestions:

Internet:

Lesson 17 - 20 , Planets

1. Read:

2. Complete the following activities in Planets Thematic Unit, Primary, 1-4+ (G)

  • Order the Planets, pg. 25
  • Complete a Daily Writing Activity, pg. 20-21
  • What’s in a Name, pg. 22
  • Celestial Similes, pg. 23
  • Riddle Math, pg. 26
  • Planet Chart, pg. 17
  • Research a planet, Pg 7,#3, #4, pg. 36, 69
  • How Much Do You Weigh, pg. 46
  • Is Pluto a Planet? pg. 47

3. Complete page 19, Solar System Detective, for each planet studied, Considering God's Creation Student Workbook, 5th Edition .

4. Complete pages 33-50 in Exploring Space, Gr 1-3.

5. Complete Exploring The Planets! , Gr 3-6.

Other Reading Suggestions:

Other Activities:

  • Play Blast Off on a Mars Adventure on The Space Place: http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/en/kids/mars_rocket.shtml
  • Music: Listen to The Planets, suite for orchestra & female chorus, CD by Gustav Holst.
  • Planet Simulation Activity. Collect the following objects. Sun-any ball, diameter 8.00 inches, Mercury-a pinhead, diameter 0.03 inch, Venus-a peppercorn, diameter 0.08 inch, Earth-a second peppercorn, Mars-a second pinhead, Jupiter-a chestnut or a pecan, diameter 0.90 inch, Saturn-a hazelnut or an acorn, diameter 0.70 inch, Uranus-a peanut or coffeebean, diameter 0.30 inch, Neptune-a second peanut or coffeebean, Pluto- a third pinhead (or smaller, since Pluto is the smallest planet) Ask: "How much space do we need to make it?" To arrive at the answer, we have to introduce scale. This peppercorn is the Earth we live on. The Earth is eight thousand miles wide! The peppercorn is eight hundredth of an inch wide. What about the Sun? It is eight hundred thousand miles wide. The ball representing it is eight inches wide. So, one inch in the model represents a hundred thousand miles in reality. This means that one yard (36 inches) represents 3,600,000 miles. Take a pace: this distance across the floor is an enormous space-journey called "three million six hundred thousand miles." Now, what is the distance between the Earth and the Sun? It is 93 million miles. In the model, this will be 26 yards. It will be necessary to go outside. From website: http://www.noao.edu/education/peppercorn/pcmain.html

Videos:

  • Our Solar System : The Inner Planets. Takes a fun and informative voyage aboard a homemade spacecraft to the inner planets in our solar system. Interesting facts about each planet are presented, such as size, composition, relative position in the solar system, gravity, and temperature. 26 min. (Check your library.)
  • Our Solar System: The Outer Planets. Takes a fun and informative voyage aboard a homemade spacecraft to the outer planets in our solar system. Interesting facts about each planet are presented, such as size, composition, relative position in the solar system, gravity, and temperature. (Check your library.) 26 min.

Internet:

Lesson 21 - 22 Comets, Meteors, Asteroids

Read:

  • Meteor by Patricia Polacco (J Fiction), 32 pgs. A fun book! Color illus. ISBN 0698114108. K-6.
  • Comets by Frankly M. Branley. 32 pgs. color, Let’s Read and Find Out Science, ISBN 0064450171, K-6
  • Comets, Asteroids, and Meteors by Robin Birch. 32 pgs. ISBN 0791069737. K-4+

Complete the following activities in Planets Thematic Unit, Primary, 1-4+ (G)

  • Complete a Daily Writing Activity, pg. 20-21

Internet:

Lesson 23 Galaxies, Black holes, Other solar systems? UFOs? ETs?

Complete the following activities in Planets Thematic Unit, Primary, 1-4+ (G)

  • Milky Way Galaxy project, pg. 7, #1, pg. 50
  • Complete a Daily Writing Activity, pg. 20-21
  • Space creature pencil can, pg. 55

3. Choose an astronomer to research. Complete page 8, Considering God's Creation Student Workbook, 5th Edition, Scientist Detective, for your report on the scientist.

4. Complete pages 76-78 in Exploring Space, Gr 1-3.

Internet:

Lesson 24: Review

Be sure to enter these topics on your copy of The Checklist.

Please let me know if any of these links do not work. Email: cindy@oklahomahomeschool.com.

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Copyright © 2004 - by Cindy Downes