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Moon & Stars Unit Study for Upper Elementary

A Family-Style Moon & Stars Unit Study for Homeschoolers to use at Morning Time and for Family Schooling

These activities are a part of a series of posts about Astronomy and Astronauts. This moon & stars unit study is for a family-style Moon and Stars morning basket time. Each weekly theme has three posts with activities for Early Learners (preschool to 2nd grade), Upper Elementary (3rd to 5th grade), and Middle to High School (6th grade and up).

There are four weekly themes for this Astronomy and Astronauts unit study:

Moon and Stars: Early Learners, Upper Elementary, Middle & High School

Space and Planets: Early Learners, Upper Elementary, Middle & High School

Rockets and Spacecraft: Early Learners, Upper Elementary, Middle & High School

Astronauts: Early Learners, Upper Elementary, Middle & High School

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Moon & Stars Unit Study for 3rd to 5th graders

Science and History Living Books

Smithsonian Eyewitness Explorer Night Sky Detective by DK Children is a fabulous choice for homeschool families wanting to learn about astronomy. This book is also a great addition to your home library. It is filled with 30 hands-on activities that explore the night sky, constellations, stars, sundials, and more. This week, I suggest reading pages 4-7, 18-25, and 44-53. There are activities on each page spread for hands-on learning. We enjoyed A Lunar Calendar, Moon Shadows, and Compass Stars.

Along Came Galileo by Jeanne Bendick is an easy to read (and inexpensive) book for intermediate students. It’s another title that you will want for your home library. This book contains an extensive history of Galileo and his research in astronomy, philosophy, engineering, and physics. Published by Beautiful Feet Books, you’ll find it more readily directly from the publisher or a homeschool catalog, such as Rainbow Resource.

Reading Comprehension & Science Facts

moon stars morning basket

Use this Galileo notebooking page from HomeschoolHelperOnline.com to record what you learned about Galileo’s life after reading Along Came Galileo.

Want to check your student’s reading comprehension or pick out some facts for memorization? Then use this upper elementary-level Reading Comprehension worksheet from the Free Resource Library after your students read The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons or a similar title with facts about the moon.

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    Moon & Stars Unit Study Multimedia

    Galileo and the Stargazers as written and told by Jim Weiss audiobook also includes the story Archimedes and the Golden Crown. Who doesn’t love Jim Weiss’ storytelling? Both of these stories contain an abundance of facts along with humorous notes. This audiobook can usually be found at your local library.

    The Animated Hero Classics: Galileo DVD by Nest Entertainment nicely illustrates how new science ideas were not readily accepted during Galileo’s lifetime. As a result of this, Galileo had to choose between punishment and standing up for what he believed to be true. This DVD can be found at many libraries and is often included in Amazon Prime.

    Nature Study of Constellations

    Glow in the Dark Constellations: A Field Guide for Young Stargazers by C.E. Thompson is a wonderful, easy-to-use guide for beginning astronomers. This book is written for constellations easily seen from the continental United States. It includes details about 33 constellations plus step-by-step directions for viewing each. Most constellations are named after Greek and Roman gods. Therefore, it includes a bit of the accompanying myth for each of the Greek and Roman gods.

    Hands On Science

    The Smithsonian Eyewitness Explorer Night Sky Detective has great hands-on activities. To begin this week, explore gravity and make moon craters as described on page 21. Second, check out the phases of the moon while you chart the moon (page 22). Finally, learn why the moon doesn’t totally disappear during a lunar eclipse using the activity on page 25.

    Build your own telescope with the instructions from National Geographic Kids that use paper towel tubes and lenses from old reading glasses (or buy a pair of “cheaters” from the dollar store).

    Next, make a constellation projector with a flashlight or smartphone and these printables from PlaygroundParkbench.com.

    oreo moon phases worksheet with oreo cookies
    photo credit: SimplyLearningKids.com

    Next, a moon and stars unit study wouldn’t be complete with Oreo cookies!

    First, read about the moon phases in The Smithsonian Eyewitness Explorer Night Sky Detective.

    Second, use the Oreo moon phases matching worksheet from Simply Learning Kids along with some Oreos to replicate the phases of the moon.

    Finally, don’t forget to take a picture of your project before you eat it!


    No one knows how many stars are in the universe. Some scientists estimate that there may be 100 billion trillions. Have your students write out that number and see how many zeros it takes. How many stars does your student think there are in the universe? Have them write out that number, too.

    Next, if your students enjoyed the story Archimedes and the Golden Crown audiobook, have them learn about Archimedes’ Osteomachion Math Puzzle. This puzzle is the oldest math puzzle and is similar to a tanagram. The osteomachion is sometimes called Stomachion Math Puzzle. You’ll find several versions on Pinterest or use these instructions from TeachBesideMe.com

    Language Arts

    For families that use narration to work on grammar, here is a narration page in our free resource library. This narration page uses quotes from Gail Gibbon’s The Moon Book. There are different quotes for each of the three levels (early learners, upper elementary, and middle to high school) that target different grammatical concepts.

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    moon & stars vocabulary cards

    I’ve created a list of vocabulary to go with the astronomy and astronauts unit. You can use these picture cards as a word wall or as flashcards. Or you could use them as writing prompts and spelling words.

    Not a member of the Whole Child Homeschool Tribe yet? Scroll up to the dark pink box above to sign up and get immediate access to the Free Resource Library.

    Manuscript copy work

    moon & stars unit study copywork

    Use the 5 Moon & Stars copywork printables (in the Free Resource Library) to practice handwriting while also learning Bible verses that coordinate with this unit study.

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    Our family loves the devotional book Indescribable: 100 Devotions About God and Science by Louie Giglio! These fiveminute devotions are filled with wondrous facts about God’s amazing creation.

    The following devotions match up nicely with this moon and stars unit study:

    • 26-27
    • 58-59
    • 68-69
    • 90-91
    • 130-131
    • and 134-135.

    Fine Arts

    Jackson Pollock used gravity to create his drip paintings. Pollock described his most famous work, Number One (Lavender Mist), as “energy and motion made visible”. Explore how gravity plays a part in this painting style by dropping paint from a brush onto a large sheet of paper while standing on a stepladder.

    More Ideas

    Family schooling naturally has an overlap between learner’s abilities. That’s why morning baskets and unit studies work so well for homeschool families with more than one kiddo! Therefore, there may be activities in another level that will benefit your family even if you don’t have any students working at that level. Check them out below:

    Moon and Stars: Early Learners, Upper Elementary, MIddle to High School

    First, make sure to follow my Pinterest board Astronomy and Astronauts to get more ideas for your Moon & Stars unit study.

    Pin this to your favorite board so you can find it again! And be sure to follow Whole Child Homeschool on Pinterest for 1000s of Free Homeschooling Resources and Ideas!

    moon stars unit study homeschool
    moon stars unit study homeschool

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