Thursday, April 24, 2014

'Spring-ing Into Science' Blog Hop: Blasting Off With Space-tastic Fun!

It is time for...

I have teamed up with 21 other blogging friends to bring you some science fun to integrate into your curriculum!  You will find wonderful ideas, picture perfect examples, fabulous freebies and great giveaways!
Each link for the next 'stop' will be posted at the end of each participants post!
The blog hop runs from Friday April 25th- Monday April 28th.  

This post is all about integrating 'Space' into your curriculum!

My class is going to the planetarium this year for our field trip (we actually go on Friday April 25th- the day this post goes live!), so I had to seek out and create space related goodies to help them learn some vocabulary and gain a background knowledge before we went!
I had never taught 'space' to kindergarteners, but was super excited as I planned out some fun learning experiences!

I wanted our 'space' theme to go across the curriculum for the week, so our poem, read alouds, projects and centers were all 'space themed!'  Our science block was devoted to learning about space!

Our poem this week was 'Five Little Space Men' that was inspired by a YouTube video I saw posted on Differentiation Station Creation's blog!  We used it for counting backwards, identifying sight words, finding digraphs and the use of punctuation!

Read Alouds this week included:
This book follows the same lyrics as the poem/song from YouTube, yet it also shows why the men didn't like what they saw (pollution to the Earth) and why they come back (the Earth is cleaned up).  It was a perfect tie-in for Earth Day and our Space unit!

This book is ABSOLUTELY adorable!  It has a great message, as well, and is apparently loosely based on a true story!  The pictures are fabulous too!  It was fun to add a tad of 'fiction' to our informational text line-up for the week!

This is a great book to reference for photos and information about the planets!  

These were great because they are simple, yet informative!  They follow the text features of informational text that we had learned about, so the kids were able to point them out!

This was a bit much for my kinders, but I used the pictures to introduce them to constellations.

This book piggy backed with the Starry Sky book- giving more information about a 'famous' constellation!

We used this one the day we did our moon crater experiment!  Gail Gibbons is always good for an informational book on nearly any topic!

This is a great informative, yet in simple kid-friendly language, book about the sun!  The pictures are real cute too!

And also a collection of Pebble Go books I found in my local library titled Astronauts, Exploring Space, Mars, Earth, Galaxies- to name a few!  Our school also subscribes to 
so we were able to watch some online resources about Earth and Space!

The books listed above I either borrowed from the library or purchased through Amazon!  Amazon also had these great stickers and foam pieces that we used for recognition, name tags, making constellations, labeling/writing, math activities and more!
 Here is how we used the foam shapes to create an outer space theme and then labeled and wrote a sentence!

They could either 'sound spell' or use the space themed vocabulary cards that were posted in the room as a guide!
They make my bulletin board look 'space'-tastic!

Our math centers this week were also all space themed and included:
1. Add/subtract around the room (Earth themed):
(I wasn't able to grab any pics of them moving about the room for this one!)

2. Blast Off- addition/subtraction dice game:
These are all pictures of the addition side.  The other side of the game board/printable was for subtraction.  They had to shake the dice, determine the larger number, subtract the smaller number, record the answer and then cover up the rocket with the answer.

3. 'Making 10' Bump Game
They had the option of playing this game individually or in partners (or teams- as seen here).  They had to spin the spinner, read the decomposing number sentence for 10, find the ten frame that matched that number sentence and cover it with a cube.  They could 'bump' a partners cube off the space if they landed on the same answer BUT if the space had more than one cube on its tower it could not be bumped!

4. 'Making 10' File Folder game
Making groups of ten using Earth and the moon!

Our ELA centers this week were:
3. Read the room for space vocabulary

4. Build it, write it, draw it with space words and our sight words
Our sight word of the week was 'will'

Our reading strategy for the week was 'Eagle Eye' and we used the space themed PowerPoint from Brenda Tejeda's Eagle Eye Strategy Pack!  It was perfect because the students had to use their 'Eagle Eye' to figure out the 'tricky' (space vocabulary) words using the pictures that were all space themed!
Just like with 'Chunky Monkey,' I made up a little song to help the kids remember this reading strategy:
(Tune: Yankee Doodle)

It was a perfect lead into my lesson on space vocabulary- and I had the kids use their 'Eagle Eyes' to help read the words on the vocabulary cards by looking at the picture clues!

I used these picture/word cards to introduce some space vocabulary to the kids.  They would also be using those same words and pictures for our space themed read the room center (as seen above)!
You can find them in my Space Pack with the Read the Room activity.
Or click the picture above, or here, to download your own set for free!

I also found a bunch of fun online videos to show the kids!
This one is a fun song about stars!  It is sure to get the kids grooving- and beware- the tune will be stuck in your head!  This one is by far my favorite of all the ones I posted here!

 If you kids enjoy the Story Bots video, above, here is another one from Story Bots where they rap about each planet!

This one has the kids guess the planets- and includes 'dwarf planets' (Pluto, plus those that are lesser known) 

This one is the Planet Song- it is to the tune of 'Twinkle Twinkle' and teaches facts about each of the planets! (Warning: it does have Pluto in as one of the planets- I just told my kids this song was made before scientists realized that Pluto was actually a dwarf planet!) 

After listening to the planet songs and reading books about planets, we made fold out books about the planets!

By the time we were done with this, most of them could name the planets!
Almost all of them constructed these solely on their own (we have made quite a few of these types of books this year!)- they just needed help with the folding part!

Now onto some our our fun projects and experiments of the week!

I wanted the kids to understand what constellations were so I made a bunch of constellation cards, cups and plates, grabbed a flashlight and we headed into the bathroom (the pictures are a bit blurry because I had to shut the flash off in order to capture the pictures!)

We found the big dipper!  So how did we do it....

I attached a popsicle stick to the cardstock cards.  When you hold a flashlight behind it, the light shines through the cards and projects onto the ceiling in the pattern punched out on the card!

In this one you can see the reflection of the house and the 'stars' that formed it!

Here is another view of the big dipper!

And we found Orion's belt!!!

Want a bigger image?  Use a paper plate!
See how it projects so well on the ceiling?!

Here were my Orion and Big Dipper plates

Here they are using a cup (the sticks worked better for the kids- next year I would ditch the cups!)

And all our sticks!
These cards came from LieBackLookUp (they are free to download- so use the hyperlink to get your own set!)
I simply downloaded the set, printed it on cardstock, cut them out and punched holes where the stars were.  I attached the popsicle stick and we were set to go!

So now it was time for them to create their own constellations!
I put out pieces of the 'sky' (black paper), tooth picks and mini marshmallows.  I gave minimal 'directions' because I wanted to see what they would create!

This one is a horse/giraffe!
After they created it, they had to draw it, write what it looked like and give it a name!
I love how this one 'looks like' a giraffe, but its name is 'the horse!'

Some had very simple designs...

Others made them into very obvious objects...

Others mimicked real constellations.... 

Others had '3D' constellations...

And others were very intricate, thought out and represented what they like/like to do (this child likes to go fishing!)

Some just continued to build until all the toothpicks and marshmallows were gone!

If you want to give it a try, here is the printable I used for recording what they created!  I gave them the option of eating their creation or taking it home- but the recording sheets I bound into a class book!

Our messiest 'project' of the week was our moon crater experiment!
Here is the 'details' of our experiment and all that we used, predicted, observed and learned!

I collected various size and weight balls and rocks of varying sizes and weight.
I used my 'deep dish' pizza pan and filled it nearly to the top with flour.
We set up large pieces of paper in our meeting area, gathered around it and had a chair over the pan.

Each child chose their 'meteor' and then climbed up on the chair.  They dropped the 'meteor' onto the 'moon' and we observed what happened!

The small ball made very distinct round craters!

The large and heavy ones made quite a 'splash' as they hit the 'moon!'

Here's the 'meteor' about to hit....

...and look at the 'crater' it created!

Some 'meteors' crashed and then flew off the 'moon!'  I love how you can see the flour flying out in this picture!  Add shrills from kindergartners to really feel like you are in the action!

The light wiffle ball 'meteor' made a very distinct round crater!

As you can see a lot of flour started 'spraying' out as each child had his/her turn!

WATCH OUT comes another meteor!

Our experiment was super fun, but no one got to 'take home' a 'piece of this moon' to share what they learned with their family, so I decided to have them do the same (but only 4 at a time!!!) with Plaster of Paris!

Each child got a piece of aluminum foil (the plaster peels right off when it hardens) and a dollop of 'moon!'

They got to choose different size rocks to drop into the plaster to simulate meteors crashing into the moon!

It got messy!

BUT we were learning and having such a great time!
The best was when this was all over, I rolled the used rocks and flour up in the paper and threw it all away!

Our craters started to form!

Here they are as they started to dry...we could really see the 'craters!'

The kids were super excited when they came in the next day to find their moons had hardened and the craters were very visible!  They could 'touch' and 'feel' what a crater felt like!

So now it was time to write about our moon!

And we need to make it a 'pouch' for safe travel home!
To make the pouch I simply took a piece of 12x18 black construction paper. I folded it in half and then folded 3/4 of it back down.  I put 2 staples on each side to created the pocket!

Our Moon was ready to go home!  And so that Mom & Dad knew what it was, our writing was tucked neatly inside too!  What a fun way to spark conversation at home about what we learned in school!  I am just hoping they all made it home safely!

Doesn't this moon look amazing?!

But even more amazing was their writing!!!!

Click here, or the picture, to get your own free copy of the writing paper I created for us to use!

We finished up the week turning our poem into a fun and interactive craft!
Be sure to check out this post to learn how to make this fun space project that connects to a YouTube video, book and poem!  The printable you see used in this project is FREE on that post!

Some of my kiddos made some modifications to the original 'idea!'
This particular child decided he only wanted 3 space men- so he glued them into the flying saucer and wrote 3 on the printable, rather than the string with numbers to 'act it out!'

This one added two 'legs' to the bottom from the scraps we cut out so that the flying saucer could land!

And another version of 'legs' from the inner half circle 'scrap!'

This was a great way to review number writing too!

 What I loved is I caught quite a few of them singing and acting out the poem using their craft during dismissal time!

So now I am ready to send my little astronauts to the planetarium!
I am totally in love with these!!  They are 'floating' in 'space' about our garden murals!

This, by far, was one of the best weeks in kindergarten!  Space is so much fun- we could have spent weeks on it!  Even if we don't go to the planetarium next year, I am definitely doing a space unit!

If you are planning a space unit and liked what you saw above, you can find all the activities, crafts and games by clicking these pictures:
Want a chance to win one for free?
I will pick 3 winners!  
First name selected gets Blast Off Space Themed Pack ($5 value)
Second name selected gets Out of This World Pack ($2.50 value)
Third name selected gets Blast Off Addition/Subtraction Pack ($2.50 value)

Did you grab all the freebies from this post?  Did you click to find out how to make the flying saucer project and grab those printables for free too?  

Ready for your next stop along the hop?
 Grab your rocket and 'blast off' to Mrs. Lindsey's Lovin' Kindergarten blog! She has a post about plant lifecycles waiting for you!
5, 4, 3, 2, 1.....
  Lovin Kindergarten

Thanks for stopping by and hopping along!
While I have your attention, have you seen this GREAT Educents bundle that is 75% off?!
It has 8 other amazing products and is only $10.99 for the next 10 days!
My 2 products alone, if purchased on TPT, would be $10, so it really is a great deal!
Click here to read about all the products that are included!

Until next post,
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  1. Wow! This looks amazing! I think it could be used with 1st grade too (maybe?). What a way to get your kiddos interested!

  2. Thanks! It was such a fun week! You could definitely do with grade 1- a bit of modification here and there, but overall it could easily be done with grade 1!

  3. So much information here! This is wonderful! So many great ideas for teaching space!

  4. This is absolutely amazing! So many great ideas and fun! I really love the meteors hitting the moon! Thank you for sharing your amazing week in space :) LOVE it!

  5. WOW! I'm exhausted just reading this! :) You did all this in one week?! I wanna be in your class! Looks like they had a BLAST!

  6. Amazing...I know your students really enjoyed this unit!

  7. AWESOME! Your kiddos look like they had so much fun with this unit.

  8. new to your blog-LUV your stuff very creative-Basia

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. We love your crater ideas!! Wow, it looks like so much fun! We will have to remember this when we teach the solar system in June. Thank you for sharing!
    Kelly and Kim’s Kindergarten Kreations

  11. I'll be teaching summer school this year and our theme is space. I've been gathering ideas so this is perfect!

  12. Haven't taught space to my first graders in years, but with this I think I just might have too!

  13. I don't teach space. But it looks like you class had a great time!

  14. Very nice!! thanks for sharing

  15. I would love to win. Starting this unit in a week and I just bookmarked this page to reference for all the activities!!

  16. WOW! IT'S about ALL I can say! This unit you created is AWESOME! I Love it!

  17. I love your constellation idea and I will have to try that with my class!

  18. I love your ideas! I'm sad that I have already taught this unit with my kiddos this year, but I'm looking forward to next year! I like teaching about the moon. Some of the tradebooks I use are The Moon, Mooncake, Hello, Harvest Moon, Let's Go to the Moon, and Splat the Cat, Good Night Sleep Tight. We make a crater, use Lucky Charms (with the crescent moon shape) to practice short u words, and the kids write responses to the stories and create their own Splat. The First Grade Parade also have a great post on moon activities.

  19. I haven't taught space before. This would be a great resource to start a space study for next year!

  20. Whoa! This is an awesome post! Lots of great ideas!

  21. Wow...this resource is simply "out of this world!!!" I have actually never taught "Space" before, but my kidlettes are keenly interested in this topic!! This would definitely help me to "blast off" into a new adventure next year! Thank you for considering me, Jenn =).

  22. This will be my first year teaching space. I let my kids vote and at the end of each month and pick three themes about what they want to learn about the following month and this is the first time that space has won. You have so many amazing ideas and resources! I cannot wait to use these! Thanks so much!


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