Monday, November 28, 2011

Astronomy for Little Ones


Apparently, astronomy is a magnet for kids of all ages. We have only done two lessons, but Skipper is hooked, and Critter wants to join in on the fun. Unfortunately, the lapbook Skipper is working out of is a little too advanced aside from a few items (unless I want to do all the writing). And, around the web, I had trouble finding anything coherent for him, or at his skill level. What's a mom to do? Make a notebook for him of course (and be a little obsessive about it along the way)! A notebook for his very own, at his skill level, and I will share it with you in case your own pre-k kid is dying to know about the planets, the stars, and anything to do with space!

I plan on printing out the pages and putting them in a cheap 2 pocket folder with the tabs on them (what are those things called anyway?). Each lesson has a basic format of:

  • handwriting practice (the title)
  • coloring image
  • 2 different lapbooky kind of items to add to the notebook based on the lesson
  • a box to fill in what child has learned (his/her own words but in parent's handwriting)
A few lessons have some extra items to add to the notebook. I also included a page for hands-on activities. Aside from the title, these pages are intentionally left blank to add pictures, words, etc. of what the child did since plans are always changing - at least for us!

My basic outline is a simple reminder to me of what I want to accomplish with Critter for each lesson, as well as some hands-on and extra ideas. Note that some of the hands-on items may be a little much for a pre-k'er doing the work solo, but I included them because Critter will be tagging alongside his older brother (and his dad or I) in these projects. Also, we are using the book, Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright, which I am really liking - plenty of pictures, easy to understand text (can easily adapt for different age kids), and plenty of hands-on stuff to do. If you do not have this book, or prefer not to use it, you will just have to find some back-up info/books to share with your children to reinforce the notebook. We read sections of the lesson from the book, and follow-up with the lapbook part, and wrap up (or break up) the lesson with a hands-on activity. Seems to work well for us.

We are taking our Astronomy study slowly, with each lesson taking 1-2 weeks (more like 2 to include the fun hands-on activities) and sometimes a week goes by as a break. I plan on taking a break once the baby is here but if I keep to task outside of that we will wrap up our studies end of May/early June.

For the notebook pages, go here.


For my basic outline, go here.

If anyone has gone through Astronomy and has any ideas to add, I would love to hear about them!

6 comments:

  1. Very cool - thanks for sharing! Wish we'd had this before we did our solar system unit! Thanks for sharing on TGIF! See you next week,
    Beth =-)

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  2. This looks like so much fun! I bet my daughter would enjoy some astronomy lessons (she is three). I've just started up a linky party, Thrifty Thursday, and this would be a PERFECT link for it! I'm trying to link up free or nearly free educational activities and lessons...I hope you'll come check it out! http://www.playingwithwords365.com/2011/11/thrifty-thursday-linky-party-1/

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  3. Thanks for stopping by Beth and Katie.

    Katie, I linked up for you so you have one. ;) I'll have to take a look around once I have more time!

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  4. Nicole, thanks so much for being my FIRST link on my first Linky party! You ROCK!! :)

    Congrats on the baby on the way...SO exciting!! I was due Christmas Eve last year (bit didn't have him until JAN!). Such an exciting time!

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  5. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!! You have been pinned! Thank you for sharing - my son is going to LOVE this! I think we'll start when it's a little warmer and can actually take a telescope outside to see the planets when in range. Stopping by from TGIF.

    ~Bekah @SonshineTotSchool.blogspot.com

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  6. Bekah, glad you love it. When you're ready to look at the sky, check out this site which gives you a week at a glance of what you'll see (it's set up for N.A.): http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/ataglance

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