These activities are a part of a series of posts about Astronomy and Astronauts. This moon and stars unit study is for a Charlotte Mason style family morning basket. Each weekly theme has activities for Primary (preschool to 2nd grade), Intermediate (3rd to 5th grade), and Secondary (6th grade and up). There are four weekly themes for this Astronomy and Astronauts unit study:
Space and Planets : Primary, Intermediate, Secondary
Rockets and Space Shuttles: Primary, Intermediate, Secondary
Astronauts : Primary, Intermediate, Secondary
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Living Science and History
Despite it’s title announcing that it’s “for kids,” this book, Galileo for Kids by Richard Panchyk, is best for high school students. Students will learn how Galileo changed science with his work in astronomy, physics, philosophy, and engineering. You’ll find several experiments outlined in this book as well, including ones for accelerated motion, projectile motion and relative motion.
Along Came Galileo by Jeanne Bendick is an easy to read book for intermediate and middle school students. This book is a great choice for your home library. It has an extensive history of Galileo and his research in astronomy, philosophy, engineering, and physics. You’ll find this book more easily if you look at the publisher, Beautiful Feet Books, or a homeschool catalog, such as Rainbow Resource.
The Moon by Seymour Simon is a wonderful selection for the whole family. The photographs are just fabulous! The text is fairly simple for secondary students, but packs good information onto each page. The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons would be a good substitute if you can’t locate this one at your library.
Science and Math Facts
Exploring Space by Martin Jenkins is a comprehensive look at the history of astronomy and space exploration. Use this or a similar title, such as The Young Oxford Book of Astronomy by Simon and Jaqueline Mitton, as your main, spine book for your secondary students for the whole four week unit. This week, read Looking at the Sky in the Exploring Space book or The Challenge of Astronomy in the Young Oxford text.
No one knows how many stars are in the universe. Some scientists estimate that there may be 100 billion trillion. Have your students learn the order and names of large numbers million through decillion. How many zeros does each have? Just for fun, have them find out how many zeros a googol has.
Watch the video below to see the phases of the moon:
Astronauts on Apollo 15 tried out one of Galileo’s theories while they were on the moon. Why do the two objects fall at the same rate?
For some hands-on fun, have your students try out these experiments to test Newton’s First Law of Motion from LongLiveLearning.com.
Test Newton’s Second Law of Motion while you make moon craters in a bowl of flour with equally sized marbles and balls of paper.
Or temporarily suspend the laws of gravity with centripetal force as described here by SteveSpanglerScience.com.
Additionally, you could do some stargazing at night to find constellations.
Want to check your student’s reading comprehension or pick out some facts for memorization? Then use this secondary level worksheet from my free resource library after your students read facts about the moon.
Use this Galileo notebooking page from HomeschoolHelperOnline.com to record what you learned about Galileo’s life after reading one of his biographies. Alternatively, you could use it as a cover page to a longer report about Galileo.
For families that use narration to work on grammar, here is a narration page from 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 (primary, intermediate, and secondary) that target different grammatical concepts.
If you have younger students, your family may want to do your devotions together with the devotional book Indescribable: 100 Devotions about God and Science by Louie Giglio. These five minute devotions are filled with wondrous facts about God’s amazing creation. The following devotions match up nicely with this moon and stars unit study: pages 26-27, 58-59, 68-69, 90-91, 130-131, and 134-135. If your secondary student is the youngest, or prefers to do his or her own devotions, use these Bible verses to journal or create SOAP notes. Psalm 19:1-2 Philippians 2:15-16 Job 38:31-32 Job 26:14
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”. After reading about Mr. Pollock in Action Jackson, explore how gravity plays a part in this painting style. First, place a large sheet of paper or cardboard on the ground outside. Then, climb a stepladder placed next to the paper with paint and a paintbrush. Finally, let the paint fall off of the paintbrush onto your paper to create a drip painting.
Family schooling naturally has overlap between learner’s abilities. That’s why morning baskets and unit studies work so well for larger homeschool families! Therefore, there may be activities detailed in another level that will still be of benefit to your family even if you don’t have any students working at a different level. Check them out below:
Be sure to follow my Pinterest board Astronomy and Astronauts for more great morning basket ideas for your Moon and Stars unit!
Most importantly, pin this post so you can refer back to it during your Moon and Stars study.