Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Astronomy Lessons

The kids and I are learning about Astronomy (I say "the kids and I" because I learn a lot too. That's just an added bonus to home-schooling).
I bought a Unit Study pack from Intellego. I couldn't be happier with their curriculum and I will definitely be using them again for future Science lessons.
We've only done one lesson from Chapter One so far, but the kids really enjoyed it and they learned a lot.

Chapter One: Introduction to the Solar System Lesson One

Before beginning, I asked the children what they already know about the Solar System and what they'd like to learn.
Little Miss Chatterbox already knew that the planets orbit around the Sun, the stars are burning balls of gas millions of miles away, there are eight planets (she even named them all in order) and that Pluto was once considered a planet but is now a dwarf planet. (She's been reading the space books I got at the Library. Sometimes I think that she doesn't need me to actually teach her at all. She soaks up whatever she reads!)
She would like to learn about comets, meteorites, asteroids and the Milky Way.
Mr. Funny knew that the Sun and the planets are in the Solar System and that we live on planet Earth.
He would like to know how the Earth goes around the Sun and the names of the other planets.

Next we read about the Solar System and the children wrote down Vocabulary words as we came across them in what we read. We would stop and look up the exact definition and would use them in sentences. (Just to make sure the kids really understood the meaning of the word). Sometimes this would send us looking up even more words! But I'm all about vocabulary. I think it's important and fun too! Here's their vocab. list from our first lesson:


The unit study even included links to videos on-line so the kids got to watch a video on our Solar System and the planets.
After our lesson they made their very own Solar Systems!

That night, we waited for it to get dark and then the kids observed the sky and drew a picture of what they saw. In the morning they observed the sky again, drew another picture and discussed what was different.
Next lesson: Galaxies and the Milky Way!

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