- review last Thursday's Black Hole lecture by Dr. Shane Larson
- review The Life Cycles of Stars handout from NASA
- use Theodore Gray's Photographic Card Deck of the Elements to lay out elements created in the core of a medium star (elements 1 - 6, Hydrogen - Carbon); lay out elements created in the core of a massive star, which goes past the red giant stage (elements 7 - 26, Nitrogen - Iron)
If you think of the core of a star as sort of an element-making furnace, a medium star's furnace goes out when it gets to carbon and a massive star's furnace goes out when it get to iron. The remaining elements are either created in the incredible energy released by the explosion of a dying star, aka a supernova, or they are man-made.
- work on The Life Cycles of Stars activity sheets
- Star Life, level 1
Space Spirals, level 1
Space Connection, level 1
Star Scrambles, level 1
Deep Space Doublets, level 2
Nebular Nonsense, level 2
Space Spirals, level 2
Those A-Maze-ing Stars, level 2
- look at nebula pictures cut out from old wall calendars
- Dumbbell Nebula
planetary nebula NGC 5189
Friday, May 10
- revisit nebulae, watch computer simulation of Interstellar Clouds
- do collaborative Nebula artwork (children ages 3 - 14) using a 22" x 30" sheet of 140 lb cold press Arches bright white watercolor paper, watercolors, gelatos, chalk pastels, and Daler-Rowney acrylic ink
- review Periodic Table and the relationship between the nebula artwork and our own life story, read Older Than the Stars by Karen Fox
- discuss how humans have always been fascinated by the sky
Our seven days of the week are named for the Sun, the Moon, and the five "wandering stars." These wandering stars are the five planets that the Ancient Babylonians could see with their naked eye. The gods' names may have changed over centuries and cultures, from Babylonians to Greeks to Romans to the Anglo-Saxons, but the concept of naming our days for these heavenly bodies has remained.
- discuss constellations, do Star Signs level 2 from The Life Cycles of Stars activity sheets
- discuss how the constellations that you see in the sky vary by season, look at Astronomy for Kids: How to Explore Outer Space with Binoculars, a Telescope, or Just Your Eyes! by Bruce Betts
- go outside and do a movement activity to demonstrate why the constellations that we see in the sky change
Get a big group of people and go outside to a field. Have two people stand in the center and the remaining people stand in a large circle around them. One of the center people is the Sun. This person stands still the whole time. The people in the outer ring are the Constellations. They also stand still the whole time. The remaining center person is the Earth. The Earth person has to spin around constantly to represent the day/night cycle and also has to walk in a circle around the Sun to represent the seasonal cycle of the year. While simultaneously rotating and revolving, this Earth person also has to call out the name of whatever Constellation person he/she sees when facing away from the Sun (night time). In watching the Earth person walk all the way around the Sun and face different people along the way, it becomes clear why constellations in the sky appear to come and go. They are not moving. We are.
Friday, May 17
- embellish Nebula artwork with glitter glue swirls and dots
- read poems from Douglas Florian's Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars: Space Poems and Paintings:
- look at Jacqueline Mitton's constellation books Once Upon a Starry Night (figures from myths and legends) and Zoo in the Sky (animals)
- do Spring Constellations activity sheets from Nova Natural: color illustrations and add silver foil star stickers for the stars, then go outside and draw the constellations on the sidewalk with chalk
This post contains affiliate links to materials I truly use for homeschooling. Qualifying purchases provide me with revenue. Thank you for your support!