Their Solar Stystem Poster Project, Not Mine

The Sun is Beara's favorite color, "lellow!"

So, the Solar System project has stalled out.  Yes, I could breathe new life into it, and likely get them working on it again, but I’m angsting about whether I *want* to drag a pair of still-four-year olds back to something they are feeling done with.  Yes, I think that a capstone project would be great, but this is *their* learning and process, not mine.  If they decide they want to go back to it, fine.  If not, I’m working to let go of my ideas of what their being ‘finished’ with something looks like.

But that doesn’t mean that *I’m* done with the project yet.  I had started to collect photos and notes of our processes on this project, so here they are:

I can't find Mars. Go figure...

The girls love space, so we watched videos (but on YouTube) and read books  about the universe, and I asked them to make posters of our solar system.  Next I rounded up an assortment of bottlecaps, cups and plates to use as circle templates for each of the planets and the sun. We used this site to work out which was smallest, and made that one (Mercury) the dime, and worked our way up from there, figuring out which circles would be the best representatives of each planet’s size. (We compared based on how many Mercuries wide each would be.  Older kids might want to use Earth as the basis for comparison, and talk about some being bigger and some smaller, instead of just how much bigger they all are than Mercury.) The girls labelled each big planet and sun with tape, and Buddy stuck each of the rocky planets to the vocabulary card with that planet’s name on it.

I think this was part of Jupiter, maybe?

Then they got tracing!  This is obviously a study in fine motor skills, but I decided to ramp it up a notch for the girls, and asked them to be resource conscious: to use as little paper as possible to trace out all seven planets and the sun!  Buddy had his hands full just trying to trace and cut.  Using specialty scrapbooking scissors wasn’t helping him any, but try telling him that!

They stalled out while coloring in the planets.  I found this particularly interesting, since they draw incessantly.  They had no problems using reference materials to get an idea of what each planet looks like, so that wasn’t it.  I think that they just saw no need to display what they’ve learned; they learned it, and are ready to move on. 

Big D's Jupiter, Earth and Neptune, along with Mama Shuttle and Baby Shuttle. I love how she made up the cockpit with a mattress like some VW van from the 1970's. I'm sure the goateed astronaut loves it!

Beara still insists that she is going to the moon when she is six, and has decided that the next thing she needs to work on is her reading, so she can read ‘every book in the city’.  Did I mention that we live in Burlington, Vermont, home of the University of Vermont?  I don’t doubt that she could do it, but oi!

Oh, and while we’re talking about finishing and moving on, Hail Discovery!  Thank you for your 27 years of service, including one full year in space.  We watched your landing, and we welcome you home!

March 9th, 2011: Discovery comes home to stay

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This entry was posted in Homeschooling Life, space science, technology and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Their Solar Stystem Poster Project, Not Mine

  1. Nikki says:

    Such a cool project! I especially love the math involved in making the planets out of as little paper as possible. That’s pretty good topography right there!

  2. Siggi says:

    Thanks for commenting, Nikki! Great to have you here. 🙂
    Yeah, they had fun while it lasted. 😉 We talk a lot about conserving resources, so this fit right in. Each of the girls got all the planets and the sun in only two sheets of paper, so I thought they did pretty darned well!

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