September 20, 2011

What is Astronomy?

We have had so much fun these past two weeks looking at what Astronomy is. Tomorrow we will be putting finishing touches on our Planet mobiles and mini books. Come see what we have been learning:

Did you know that the planets help to keep the moon in it's place? or that Pluto has been voted out of the line of planets which orbit the sun? We didn't, but now we know. 
To begin our study I read chapter one of Exploring Creation with Astronomy while the boys narrated and colored in their astronomy coloring pages. Then using this lapbook and this one too, we put some mini books onto a cardstock page. You may be thinking, "How can she afford two lapbooks!" well, all I can say is half price sales are wonderful.

I pick and chose between the two layouts and pick the one which seems to best fit us and what we are getting from the chapter. Then I pre-cut the mini books out and the boys arrange them on the page. That will take one days worth of our time. Another day we fill in the answers to the questions on the mini books. And when we have time when one-to-one lessons are happening for math and reading then the boys can use that time to color and decorate the pages as they like. This page has a blue background which helps to offset the white mini books really well. When we do the sun the background will be yellow and with Mars, red and so on. I chose to use card stock pages because the instruction the lapbook suggested a file folder for each chapter and I wanted something that was more all-in-one-book,not a bunch of seperate folders. So I pre-cut the page backgrounds and made holes for the pro-click binder so all the boys have to do is arrange and learn.

This pocket holds our pneumonic to remember the planets and their order around the sun and cards for each planet and their relative sizes to each other. We spent one class period doing this assignment.
The idea for our solar system mobile came from Enchanted

 To begin I cut decided on a size for the "sky" and cut that out of cardboard.

 Then I painted the card board dark blue on both sides.

 Once the paint was dry, I taped the edges with black duct tape, but if you have dark blue masking tape that would be even better. The glossy of the duct tape isn't so great.

 The tape is also too wide so each strip of tape needs to be cut down the middle before you apply it to the edges of the card board sky.

 Next using lids and cans and things around the house I approximated the orbits of the nine planets. (we voted to keep Pluto in even though we heard he was voted out recently) After the rings are in place I used the guide at enchanted learning to place the holes using a sturdy nail where the planets will eventually be hung.

The boys painted on their own stars.

 Then I found this set of planet coloring pages which the boys water colored and cut out.

 Once the planets are finished, I cut out white circles about the size of the planets from card stock. Then I cut some string by which to hang the panet. We used embroidery floss. Cut to the length you want it and tape it to the cardstock circle.

 Then glue the planet in this case the sun to the card stock thus covering the taped in string.
Flip it over and write the name of the panet on the back. Or, if you like, color two of each planet and put the copy on the back to make it two sided and label it in another way.

 Once all of the planets have a string attached to it then thread the string end through the hole you made with the nail.
 On the other side tape down the end, twice in two directions for strength. Once all the planets are taped in you are basically done. We decided not to add a string above to hang it for when our loft beds are finished the boys want to sticky tack the sky part to the underside of their beds and hang the mobile above their desks. But if you are so inclined to hang yours, enchanted learning has good directions.


  1. I love how you pick and choose among the lapbook pieces. That is kinda how I do things, too. The lapbook is beautiful and so is the mobile. So much fun!

  2. Okay but for future reference Pluto does indeed orbit the sun and the sun is a star