Sunday, December 8, 2013

Solar System Studies - The Moon - Fall 2013

This fall as part of our Solar System studies we spent a week studying the moon and its phases. We checked out numerous books from the library ("The Magic School Bus" series has several great space books if I haven't mentioned that previously) and "The Moon Book" by Gail Gibbons was our favorite.
 We learned that the craters on the moon have been created by asteroids. To explore this a little further we created the moon's surface by layering dirt, flour and finally some coco mix in circle cake pans. Then I gave each of the kids rocks to use as asteroids to crash into their moons and create small craters.
Ready for action!
 I love finding activities that Jackson can participate in and enjoy! :)
 Not surprisingly, my kids are pretty good little crater makers! :) 
 I'm sure some people wouldn't favor this activity because of the use of cookies, but I have to say this was an awesome learning tool! You can print out the sheet with the phases of the moon on line and then create the different phases for the kids to match up. This made the phases of the moon super easy to learn, even for Jackson! Grammy was amazed when we were at the beach a couple of weeks after this project and Jackson pointed out the "crescent" moon to her. I used a simplified version of this chart with my BHLC pre-school class and one of the mom's of another 3 year old shared a similar story of her daughter correctly identifying the phase of the moon on her own. So, while this might be a bit of a sugar overload it really makes the phases of the moon click for kids!
 Matching their phases; New Moon, Waxing Crescent, Quarter Moon, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Quarter Moon, Waning Crescent and then the cycle begins again! :)

 Discussing the phases and enjoying the treat after finishing their work
Studying the moon was so much fun! :)

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