Without further ado, here is what we did:
Storms on Jupiter
First we watched a very quick video on You Tube of the Great Red Spot, and watched how the storm moved. Then we did this Storms on Jupiter activity. Using cornstarch and water, we created a simulation of the appearance of Jupiter's atmosphere. Dragging a spoon through the dish moved the water in a similar fashion as the storm on Jupiter.
With Daddy's help, we made a hurricane tube, or as my husband says, a tornado tube, to continue with the weather theme. Still, the kids loved turning the bottle upside down and spinning the water to see the funnel at work.
Jupiter as Protector
Jupiter is like a mother to Earth because it protects us. From what? From comets, meteoroids, and other space rocks that could potentially hit Earth. With its large size and heavy gravitational pull, it can easily do this, and that is also why it has over 60 moons to date!
First we watched a short video of pieces of the Comet Shoemaker Levy colliding with Jupiter. Next we headed to this site to pelt Jupiter with a virtual comet (click on the link for Planet Impact!).
The last topic I wanted the kids to learn about was the difference between a gas planet and a rocky one. After completing a worksheet about gas vs. rocky planets, we created an edible Earth and Jupiter to compare both sizes and layers.
One last thing I want to try is taking a look at Jupiter through our telescope to see if we can find a few of Jupiter's larger moons. Apparently they can be seen by binoculars or telescopes at home. They look like smaller stars orbiting around Jupiter. To do this, though, we need a clear night and one where the kids are up a little later so it will have to wait just a bit.
And now, we are ready to move on to Saturn, one of my favorite planets - the rings and diamonds of course!