Right now we are studying the solar system together. We plan to spend about a month focusing on it (we continue with our regular work during this time too). We have books, DVDs, experiments, crafts, sensory tubs, model making, space playdoh, games, puzzles, stickers, etc, etc lined up for our space exploration.
When we have completed the entire month of learning I will share a summary of all we covered, however, in the meantime I will be sharing from time to time the “how to” of some specific aspects of this exploration as we do them. Here is the first one:
To help the boys understand and visualize how the earth rotates on its axis and orbits around the sun, giving us day and night and the seasons, I made this model, which they could manipulate themselves to get a sense of how it all works.
We also used our globe and a flashlight (to represent the light coming from the sun) and took turns being the earth and the sun. The boys thought this was pretty fun.
I used cardboard to make the sun and earth (colored with markers) and the strip holding them together. I attached it all using those bending folder clips (I am not sure if they have an official name?), because they allow you to rotate the objects that you clip together.
After showing the boys this model, Rylan felt we should add the moon, so we could make it orbit around earth, so we did!
And after all was said and done, Damian took the model and used it as a “moon craft” rolling on three different sized wheels! :)