We’ve been in and out of first and second-grade classrooms developing a Patterns in the Night Sky Unit. Traditionally students only learn about the motion of the moon, the rise and setting of our Sun, and large-scale patterns of the change in daylight hours over the year.
We weren’t happy with that, so we’re working with some teachers to really ramp up the enthusiasm and learning during this unit. Our opening activity was “Make some Space” where students got to collage their favorite space images from magazines, and then go back to label what each image was. This has been a great way to blend art, reading, writing, large motor skills, fine motor skills, and science.
To make the project more accessible to every classroom we’re planning on adding in images of space objects for teachers without access to magazines the ability to print out something to cut and paste, as well as a short “slide show” with images of what these objects look like. This little slide show serves as a reference for students as they think critically about the objects and try to classify them into planets, stars, galaxies, constellations, rockets, and more!
We’re hoping to expand on the unit over the next few weeks as we enhance graphing activities, and create a Sun dissection activity to teach about the properties of our favorite star, the Sun! It will be a lot easier to motivate them for learning the patterns in the night sky unit after creating such amazing art pieces!