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Moon & Stars Unit Study for Middle & High School Students

A Family-Style Moon & Stars Unit Study for Morning Time and More

These activities are a part of a series of posts about Astronomy and Astronauts. This moon and stars unit study is for a family-style school time. Each weekly theme has 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 Living Science and History

Despite its 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. Be sure to try the experiments 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’s site, 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.

Watch this video from Free School to see the phases of the moon.

Moon & Stars 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 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.

Astronauts on Apollo 15 tried out one of Galileo’s theories while they were on the moon. Galileo’s theory was based on the question “Why do the two objects fall at the same rate?” Watch this video from NASA to see what happened in space on Apollo 15.

Hands-On Science

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. You can build your own working telescope with this DIY telescope kit or this Galilean-style one. Or you can gather the materials to make this do-it-yourself Galilean telescope using the instructions from Space.com.

Moon & Stars Reading Comprehension

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 for a longer report about Galileo.

reading comprehension worksheet

Want to check your student’s reading comprehension or pick out some facts for memorization? Then use this Moon & Stars Reading Comprehension worksheet from the free resource library after your students read facts about the moon.

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    Moon & Stars Unit Study Language Arts

    For families that use narration to work on grammar, use the Moon & Stars 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 that each target different grammatical concepts.

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    Moon & Stars Devotions

    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:

    • 26-27
    • 58-59
    • 68-69
    • 90-91
    • 130-131
    • 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

    Moon & Stars 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”. 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.

    More Ideas

    Family schooling naturally has an 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 in another level that will benefit your family even if you don’t have any students working at a different level. Check them out below:

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

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