Outer Space Adventures in Kindergarten

Saturday, April 30, 2016

We've been learning about the Solar System in my classroom.  We began by studying the planets and singing this song...
I originally found the song on the Smithsonian website, but I changed the words for a few verses to accommodate my needs.  You can click on the song to go to the original site and find the original words.

Then we made these adorable astronaut helmets so we could take our own journey into space.

We did this by taking a brown paper grocery bag and rolling the bottoms.  We then cut out the hole for the face and painted the bags white.  The kids had a blast making them.  We put them on each time we travel to our Space Lab.

Here is our Space Lab.  This is a Project Based Learning Environment.  These are the current activities, but they will be changing as we delve deeper into our Space Exploration.

We explore how craters are made on the moon.

To make the "cloud dough" I added baby oil to flour and mixed it until it was soft, silky and the flour didn't puff when a rock was dropped into it.  The kids wear the "safety goggles" for added effect.  Be careful though as the flour/oil mixture becomes extremely slippery on tile. 

 We use "space sand" to write letters, numbers and words.

The kids are sure that the red sand has come from Mars and Jupiter.  They think the white is from either the moon or Mercury and of course, the blue sand is from Neptune (even though it's a big ball of gas).  Love it!

 We have an International Space Station where the astronauts live while they are in space.

The kids are having fun pretending to be astronauts living in the Space Station.

 We have a Space Travel Agency that gives potential space travelers tickets to different planets.

This is a popular center with everyone wanting a turn as the Travel Agent.  I have an old keyboard that they use to type out the tickets.

 We have a Robotics Center where we learn coding and program the robots to do different things.

We have Bee Bots that are perfect for kindergartners.  We set up mazes with tape or blocks and the kids program the robots to go through the maze.  This is great for problem solving and writing simple code.

 We have a Spatial Reasoning Center where we complete puzzles and do different tasks.

The kids enjoy the challenges of these puzzles.  I inherited them from a teacher who retired 10 years ago.

We conduct experiments on "Moon Rocks".

I made "Moon Rocks" by adding glitter and black paint to baking soda.  I used just enough water to form rocky balls.  The kids put their "Moon Rocks" into cups and added vinegar one drop at a time.  The results were fizzy fun!  We recorded the results of our experiment on the sheet.

 We use toothpicks and play dough to make different shapes.

This center develops fine motor muscles and helps the kids work on shape identification.  

The kids are working on making a Mission Control so we can launch rockets into space.

This week we will be making rockets and learning about the forces needed to launch them.
We are also creating a BioSphere area where we learn about the plants and animals that inhabit the Earth (perfect for Earth Day!)

I am following the lead of my students and the activities and areas in our Space Lab are constantly changing and adapting to our needs.  I will make another post about our Space Lab before the school year ends so you can see some of the other activities that we are doing.

There are a lot of great resources on Teachers Pay Teachers and Pinterest for space activities.  Many of the things that I did in my classroom were inspired by things that I found on both.


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