Space + stars + the universe : The solar system : Part 1

This is our last unit of the year.  Though we see our homeschool days as always learning, and there is not real limit to when we do this learning or at what time and when we stop, we’ve had a different rhythm in our days this year, and we are heading to our summer break, where I know our days will look very different again.

I’ve written more about how we spent our days this year in a couple of posts in the fall and winter.

You can see some of the links to this Solar System unit in my Pinterest boards.


I love planning our units.  Siena and Lucas decide and agree on a topic, and then for few days, I search online, and out books and videos on hold at our library, and we get started. I found this great blog of a homeschool family, with great printouts.


I used their vocabulary match up.


This time the book we used the most of the ideas from, was Exploring Space.  Siena really likes doing worksheet-type activities, and they have lots of making of books with different themes to study about.

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Some friends had given us a lot of their puzzles for young kids, and one of them was The Solar System.  So we took it out, and though it doesn’t have a lot pieces, it was fun to put together and see pictures of all the planets (including Pluto!) in big.


Different than looking at the pictures in a book, of course.


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We looked online for fun poems about the solar system and we found these.  But there’s lots of them online. You should check them out.

We watched this National Geographic video A Traveler’s Guide to The Planetsthat we watched and learned about each planet as we studied them.  A great resource and such a great video to watch and learn together.  I’m glad we found it.  It really helped us visualize, see how each planet really looks and get to understand better what we read about from books.  It was great.


We also made Galaxy Playdough, from Fairy Dust Teaching’s blog.  You never know when you are going to need playdough, so we make some every once in a while.  And this was perfect!

DSC_0387-smallWe mixed blue and black food coloring.


Siena loves making dough-ey things.  This was fun and we ended up using quite a bit as we were learning, besides playing with friends.

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Yes, sparkles makes everything better.  Magical, cosmic, galactic!


And of course, the list of books we used for this block of study.  As I’ve done for the other units.  Hopefully someone can use this list, but I also want to keep it as a reference for when decide to study again The Solar System.   Because who knows… we might go back to this.  There is just so much to study that I know we didn’t understand or cover everything.  It is such an amazing and vast topic.  And so much fun studying it again as a parent, as an adult.  I’ve enjoyed our blocks so much this time around, in my life.


We used all these books in one way or another.  No, we didn’t read all these books completely.  But we used them in one way or another.  Here they are in no specific order.

  1. New Views of the Solar System.  Compton’s by Britannica.
  2. Boy, Were We Wrong About the Solar System! by Kathleen V. Kudlinski.
  3. A Pocket Guide to the Stars and Planets by Duncan John.
  4. Out of This World : All the Cool Stuff About Space You Want to Know by Clive Gifford.
  5. Learning About The Solar System (sticker book.)
  6. Midnight on the Moon : Magic Tree House #8 by Mary Pope Osborne.
  7. Space. Magic Tree House Research Guide by Mary Pope Osborne.
  8. Planets set by Rosalind Mist.
  9. Our Solar System by Seymour Simon.
  10. National Geographic Readers : Planets by Elizabeth Carney.
  11. Weird But True Space Facts by Carmen Bredeson.
  12. There’s No Place Like Space! All about our Solar System by Tish Rabe.
  13. I, Galileo by Bonnie Christensen.
  14. The Solar System : Exploring the Planets and Their Moons from Mercury to Pluto and Beyond by Giles Sparrow.
  15. Exploring the Solar System by Bruce LaFontaine. Coloring book.
  16. Exploring the Solar System by Amanda Doering Tourville.
  17. Galaxies, Galaxies! by Gail Gibbons.
  18. The Solar System by Emily Bone.
  19. The Solar System by Laura Hamilton Waxman.
  20. Our Solar System by Seymour Simon.
  21. Discover Science : Solar System.
  22. Nicolaus Copernicus : The Earth is a Planet by Dennis Brindell Fradin.
  23. Discover Science: Planet Earth.
  24. Meet me at the Moon by Gianna Marino.
  25. The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons.
  26. The Planets by Gail Gibbons.
  27. Faces of the Moon by Bob Crelin.
  28. On the Moon by Anna Milbourne.
  29. Phases of the Moon by Gillia M. Olson.
  30. A Full Moon is Rising by Marilyn Singer.  (A book of poems from around the world.)
  31. Midnight on the Moon (Magic Tree House #8) by Mary Pope Osborne.
  32. Space (Magic Tree House Resource Guide) by Mary Pope Osborne.
  33. Stars (True Book) by Ker Than.
  34. Solar System : A Visual Exploration of the Planets, Moon, and Other Heavenly Bodies that Orbit Our Sun by Marcus Chown.
  35. The Sky is Full of Stars by Franklyn M. Branley.
  36. Coyote Places the Stars by Harriet Peck Taylor.
  37. Zoo in the Sky by Jacqueline Mitton.
  38. A Child’s Introduction to the Night Sky: The Stories of the Stars, Planets, and Constellations — and How You Can Find Them in the Sky by Michael Driscoll.
  39. The Kid’s Book of the Night Sky by Ann Love.
  40. All About Stars : Space Science for Children (video)
  41. Exploring the Solar System : A History with 22 Activities by Mary Kay Carson.
  42. The Constellations : Stars & Stories by Chris Sasaki.
  43. Space : A Visual Encyclopedia (DK).
  44. The Night Sky (Field Guide).
  45. Exploring the Solar System (Coloring book).

We did more, but I’ll post that tomorrow, so not to bore you with so many photos and lists.

Note (August 8, 2013): I found this new post from A Natural Nester, via Imagine Childhood. It might be fun to make some of these projects.  

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