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Like all of you, I'm a number of things to a number of people...Navy wife, homeschooling mama, educated woman and aspiring writer. Read my thoughts on all of it here. Please feel free to leave your thoughts on all of it too!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Space/Sky Unit Review

OK, so two weeks ago we finished our Space/Sky Unit.  Last weekend and this week were apparently quite busy, since I haven't written about our unit yet!  So, here's the (much anticipated?) unit review:

The kids have expressed some interest in space related and sky related subjects.  I know we could have (and may still in the future) spend weeks on each subject individually or even areas within each of these; stars, the solar system, clouds, weather, etc.  But I wanted to do a general unit that touched on a lot to see where their interests were mostly.  So, we spent two weeks studying a little of everything.

Like normal, we got a ton of books from the library.  We already had several at home, actually...both fiction and non fiction.  We read some books through completely and some of the non-fiction ones we just flipped through to see pictures and read captions.  Especially with the Eye Witness Series of books, there is a ton of information included in the captions! 

 We also made a rocket ship, the "Space School ship," and have explored all over in it.  Jace is a fan of flying right out of our galaxy and seeing space beyond!  Gracie likes to orbit around the Earth and look down at our own world.  Tyler just likes to fill it with his toys!

Animals Dancing Around a Bonfire by Gracie
 During the first week we focused on facts about space and sky, planets, stars, our galaxy and universe...lots of facts.  In the second week we focused on art that is about space and the sky.  We sang songs, read lots of fictional stories and poetry, looked at art and created our own. 

Planets and Stars Colliding by Gracie
Jace and Gracie each did two paintings, one from the sky above Earth looking back down and one from further in space.  We looked at a lot of space pictures in preparation for this, and maybe because I think they're really neat!  Here are some of the sites we used:

Space Info
NASA for kids
Pluto with It's Two Smaller Moons by Jace
During the two weeks, the kids did their usual math and letter writing and practiced vocab words taken from our unit. I have been trying to handle Jace differently when it comes to vocab.  One of the tasks I had him doing was writing sentences using his words.  It was a huge fight.  I was quite frustrated by this since I knew he knew the words.  He could point them out in books and in the world at large.  He would get excited and tell me all about our galaxy after doing a little reading on his own.  But when I would ask him to take that excitement and put it into a sentence on paper...tears, refusal, "I don't know what to write."  Really? 

A Meadow of Bears and Birds by Jace
So, I asked my fellow homeschoolers and got some ideas.  During this unit and in the one we've completed since, we've used their ideas or having him figure out scrambled sentences and copy them or find sentences in our books and copy them down.  He's much happier and more compliant with these tasks.  And I'm not worried that he isn't learning the meanings, because he can orally tell me all about our galaxy or the Earth's atmosphere!  (Those were probably his two favorite vocab words during the unit!)

We also made a satellites.  When we were in DC during our travels from Georgia to Washington we visited the National Air and Space Museum and, among other things, got the patterns for these neat little satellite replicas. 

All in all, it was a great and interesting two weeks.  I'm sure we will revisit some of the topics we glossed over in the future.  Thankfully it seems my kids love learning as much as I do! 

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