Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mm is for Moon

The second half of our space unit was all about the moon. We focused on the letter "M" and had so many fun projects! I found so much cool and easy stuff online that i couldn't even fit it all in. However, we were able to do a lot outside of just the worksheets and curriculum activities... and, of course, I took pictures of most of it :o)
We read so many fabulous books about space over the 3 weeks of our sun and moon unit that it felt weird to read about any other topics. I learned so much during the moon unit and even found a new 
fascination with the moon. It is so easy to take things like sunlight and the moon for granted, but then when you really think about it everything is so complex and amazing. I mean, really, it is bizarre that everything was put into place exactly where and how it needs to be in order to allow life on this planet. And the fact that the moon gives off no light, but works like a mirror to reflect light for us to have at night is just incredible. I have found myself more and more thankful for this beautiful planet God has given us and that He is the ultimate scientist who created the laws of physics and chemistry that makes it all work so perfectly. Wow. Okay... anyways, these are some of the things that we did. We made M's and m's out of play dough and practiced writing it in dry oatmeal. We learned about the relative size of the moon using small balls of play dough, kept a list of moon facts for our wall, and did space mazes i found online. We learned a lot about astronauts and practiced counting backwards from 10 and then ended it with a "blast off", which is basically Lij throwing his astronaut lego man in the air. I also saw on pinterest that you can use sharpie's on a ceramic plate from the dollar store, then bake it at 300degrees for 30 minutes and its permanent. We did this and he created his own planet with aliens and even named it. We were pretty excited, but it doesnt seem to be baked in enough...

One of Elijah's friends was over for a school day so they made cards with the phases of the moon and then played Memory with the cards. Then we took those and turned them into little moon phase books, complete with a few moon facts in the back. I don't have a picture here, but he also has an awesome moon light that hangs on the wall. You can use a remote to make it go through all the phases from new moon to full moon, it waxes and it wains. It was a birthday gift and it fit in perfectly with this unit!

                  One of my favorite projects was learning the moon phases using cookies. :o)  

We learned about space travel and what all goes in to actually getting to space and then made these rocket ships using a tp roll, foil, and construction paper. I put a round piece of cardboard inside to make a shelf, then used an exacto knife to cut a small door in the ships so that their lego men could participate in space travel.

I really wanted to make an environment box with a space/moon scene and knew that it would mean more to him if he could use his lego's with it, so using a box, bubble wrap, paint, and glitter glue, we made one! He was SO excited and it was such a fun project to do together. 


And the grand finale for our "Space School", as Elijah has been calling it, was to go on a field trip. My husband is in grad school and a friend of ours who is working on her PhD in the planetary side of things invited us to come and see some meteorites she has access to. My sweet boy was so shy and nervous for much of it, but it was obvious he was having much fun! We learned about meteorites and even got to hold them! Then she let him look at thin sections of rocks from Mars! How cool is that?! She taught him how to use the microscope and even let him pick out a thin section to take home. He chose a basalt sample. Some other souvenirs he got included a NASA sticker (which I shamelessly tried to talk him into wanting to put on my car...), a garnet, and a cool NASA poster of a meteorite! Seriously cool! Before we left she also took us to one of the rock rooms at the University, which happened to be near this awesome wall. The signature on the wall is from a real astronaut! We had so much fun and I think I learned almost as much as Elijah did. Thanks again, Arya!

The three rocks here are the meteorites. He was much more excited and interested than he appears! I was especially impressed with the weight of the meteorites. The largest one was quite heavy at 50% metal!

I liked the names on these rocks :o)

Outside of school time, we also spent a lot of time outdoors and took advantage of the cooler weather. Two of my favorite things our family does together is little family hikes and hanging out in our hammocks and with the fall weather coming in, it looks like we will be getting to do both even more!

                                            Oh ya, this week we also taught Yohan how to drive :o)