Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sun Up, Sun Down, and Other Stars

In our continuing learning of space, we today covered the stars and started learning about the one closest to us, our sun.  

Our reading for today included Stars by Thomas K. Adamson ...
... and Stars and Constellations by Elizabeth Bennett.
Of course, what is a study of stars without a trip to the planetarium?  Here we are at one of our local planetariums, ready to see some stars!
 We went with our homeschooling co-op.  Here is a group shot of Maggie with some of her friends!  :)
 Waiting for the show!
 The show was great, and was told by an orange tabby (just like our Emmett!) named Larry, so it was right up Maggie's alley!  Here she is, showing off her take-away coloring sheets!  :)
 After our field trip, we came home to continue our study of stars with a few projects.  First, we decided to make "Stars in a Jar," a project my friend, Amber, did with her son in their own homeschooling studies.  Here is her post:  (I often thieve a few of her ideas, as her blog is one of my favorites to frequent!  Check it out!)  To start, you need a jar, a few glow sticks, a very small amount of water, and scissors.
To start, simply snip off the tops of your glow sticks using your scissors (Watch your eyes for plastic shrapnel!), and shake the contents out and down into your jar.  (Anyone notice Maggie's choice of shirt for today?)  :)
 We read somewhere else online that your glow will be brighter and last longer if you add a bit of water to your jar, like we did here, but I'm not so sure that's true ...
 Finally, we screwed the top back on, shook the jar, and took it into the dark bathroom to see what we got.  (This is a shot of Mags with the flash on.  Silly girl!)
And this is what we got with the flash off.  Disappointing.  Amber had a much better result with hers!  Maybe the water was a bad idea?  Maybe yellow is not the best color?  I don't know.  We called it a bust, along with our volcano explosion and popcorn fiasco.  Next!
 For our next craft, we took the suggestion of another friend and made a constellation using an empty cardboard container, a flashlight, scissors, a pencil, and something sharp for poking holes (we used a meat thermometer).
First, using our pencil, we traced the rim of the flashlight onto our container's lid, then cut out the same, so that we had a perfect-sized hole for our flashlight to fit into.
Then, using our pencil again, we drew a picture on the bottom of our container, one we wanted to make into our constellation.
 Once our picture was drawn, we carefully punched holes along it with our sharp point, to trace the picture in small holes.
Finally, we stuck our flashlight into the large hole we made on the top of our container and headed back to the bathroom to check out our constellation.
 Here is Maggie's constellation, which she named "The King of the Kittens."  Lights out, now, please!
Here it is, folks!  "The King of the Kittens" constellation, in all its glory! 
Then it was time for a snack.  I had some leftover sugar cookie mix from Christmas and baked a few star shapes, which I then let Mags frost and decorate.
Hmmm ... maybe a star fruit would have been a better snack. (Mom, I can hear you nodding from here!)
 Now hardly recognizable!  :)
Later, for our journal, I asked her, "If wishes on stars really did come true, what would you wish for?"  Her answer?  "I would wish for 100 kittens!"  Here is the picture she drew for today's entry.
 After that, we started our reading on the star most important to us, the sun.  (We will continue with this subject tomorrow.)  Included in our readings were The Sun by Justin McCory Martin ...
 ... Sun Up, Sun Down by Gail Gibbons (Gail Gibbons is so cool!) ...
... and The Sun Is Always Shining Somewhere by Allan Fowler.
Check us out again tomorrow when we delve more into this great star! 


  1. Kewl and thank you for the mention :) Yeah, I don't think we used water. Ours was purple but I'm thinking maybe the water diluted yours? I love the constellation flashlight! Great shirt Mags! As always love your ideas :)...even the thieved ones ;). I thieved them too lol. Is the Planetarium always open or does it require reservations? Love ya!

  2. I think this planetarium requires you go with a group or join a group that's already scheduled, so yes, I think reservations are required. It's free, though, and in my opinion, better than the one downtown! :)