Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Planets Preschool Lesson Plan

Well, since becoming pregnant in December of 2009 with baby #4 this blog has certainly suffered. Not because I wasn't thinking about posting everything that's been going on, but because I was simply too tired! I'm sure you can all relate to first trimester blues. Yikes. Glad that's mostly behind me now.

So, let me get back on track by posting about one of my more successful preschool lessons that I taught today for my daughter's coop. There are five kids in the coop, so it's a nice cozy group. Here's what we did today:

Space lesson plan

Imagine you’re climbing a ladder into the sky. You can look down and see the top of your house. The cars and people are so tiny! The ladder keeps going so let’s keep climbing. Look down. All we can see now are the tops of the clouds and the big blue sky above us. Keep climbing. Now we are above the earth’s sky and it’s very dark. We are in Space! What is space? (Definitions may vary, but you might explain it as everything beyond our own planet earth and the bubble of air that surrounds our earth).

Hm....wait a minute. How do people usually get up into space? Do people climb ladders to get into space? No....that’s silly. You have to be trained as an astronaut, kind of like a pilot, so you can fly a space shuttle into space. (Show a picture of a space craft if you have one. Pg. 28 of Look into the Stars by Buzz Aldrin could work).

Now we’re going to pretend that we’re taking our own space shuttle to explore space, just like a real astronaut.

Sing It's A Blast http://www.preschooleducation.com/sspace.shtml
Sung to the Eensy Weensy Spider.

Put on your spacesuit. We're going to the Moon.
(pretend to step into pants and buckle boots)
Climb aboard your rocket ship.
We're gunna blast off soon.
Put on your helmet.
Strap yourself in tight. (pretend putting on helmets and buckling your safety belt)
You better check your controls.
Get ready for the flight. (pretend to turn on switches)
(You may wish to teach this to the kids line by line so they can sing it though all together before doing the blast off)

Say: The countdown has begun! (wave and salute)
Here we go, Get ready, Get set!
5, 4, 3, 2, 1
(slowly rise from seated position)
Blast off!
(jump up)

Now we’re up in space. What do you see? (let the kids imagine and role play) Talk about the way you’re floating because there is no gravity. Explain gravity as something invisible that holds you and everything else to the ground. Point out the sun, the immense expanse of darkness, large chunks of rock or asteroids. Pretend to see the planets and then direct their attention to http://scintro.com/kid/planets/index.html
As an alternate for the Styrofoam ball and CD, try using homemade play dough and discs cut from poster board. It worked great for us. I also let the kids decorate teh paper disc with water colors before adding the glitter glue.
Here's what mine looked like:

And here's what the kids made:

Snack: Astronaut food. Give kids a plastic bag with half a box of pudding poured in. Add appropriate amount of milk to each. Seal the bag. Let the kids mush it in their hands till thickened. Cut off a corner and let them suck it out the way an astronaut would to prevent liquids from floating away.
Show them pics on page 18-19 of Exploring Space: Astronauts and Astronomers by Judy Monroe Peterson. Read about life as an astronaut as children are snacking.

Coloring Time: http://funschool.kaboose.com/images/printables/space_9planets.pdf

Free/Exploration time.