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woo pig's Message:

Any ideas on some fun ways to do the solar system? By fifth grade the kids know almost everything. I was wondering if there was a fun activity that anyone has done to make the solar system, stars, etc. fun again for my students.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
A&W 03-30-2008 07:06 AM

There's a website I used in the past. You could place your weight and it would calculate your weight on different planets. Also there was another website that would calculate your age on different planets once you put your birthday in. These websites were part of a web quest I had developed. You should also read Magic School Bus Gets Lost in Solar System. This particular book has a lot of facts the students will need to calculate their weight on different planets first then check their answer against the website.

I once did a summer space camp and the big project was developing a portable living space for Mars. Students would break up into small groups 3-4 and using plastic bags and straws invent a portable living area that could be taken into space. The models would all be inflated and then the groups would present their design. The class would vote on which design was the best. The winning design would then be built using clear 3-6 mil plastic sheeting and duct tape. You could then inflate the design using the custodian's fan (the kind used to dry large areas). The design was to hold at least 25 students.

Another thing we did was make a solar system using different sized styrofoam balls. Students would try to be as accurate as possible with paints and moons orbiting planets, even invisible ring for Neptune? Then we would hang them from the ceiling. I think Saturn has like 20-30 moons? We were able to place about 10. We also placed labels on the planets and origin of name.

Hope this helps.

jedgar 03-28-2008 06:39 PM

I have done the following:
Invent an alien where stduents studyied a planet of choice and created a being that would survive on that planet. This is a great adaptations tie in. After students created their alien, they were required to write a descriptive paper about their alien.

Planetary Vacation packages in which we created space ships for the stduenst to fly their passenngers to the planet of choice.

Excate location based on their planet compared to where they currently live -- social studies tie in

Math - Geomtric shapes and circumference.

shuntyswife 03-25-2008 12:50 PM

teacher had our kids make solar system necklaces. She used black beads to represent the empty sky between planets, had medium sized blue ones for earth, tiny red ones for pluto, etc. The kids really enjoyed it and she was able to tie in a math lesson with it as well. They wore those necklaces for weeks did our principal!

Bertie 03-25-2008 11:44 AM

I'm not sure if this is too young for your group, but here are two things I did. I bought some neat scrapbooking paper at the dollar store and got two planet shapes out of each page. We mounted that on dark blue and they could add moons or rings as desired. They could combine pieces from several different designs if they wanted to. Then they made up facts about this new planet - using the information we'd been studying about the real planets. So they made up the weather, how long a "day" lasted, the size, terrain, possible plant or animal life, and distance from the sun. We named it using their last names.

Another thing we did was to start with a bright page folded in half and cut out a symmetrical shape which became an alien when unfolded. They added eyes, nose, ears and mouth cut from magazines, and I provided every thing I could find in the art room for embellishments - feathers, pipe cleaners, straws, pompoms, gllitter. We named the alien using their first name, spelled backwards. So mine would be EITREB from the Planet ALTA.

scotiateacher 03-25-2008 11:17 AM

woo pig,
One of my favourite solar system activities has to do with the distance to the moon. Most of us have a hard time grasping how huge the solar system is. For homework the class has to find the average distance to the moon and the length of the Earth's Equator.
The next day I have a globe on my desk and a ball I've borrowed from gym supplies that will represent the moon. I ask a couple volunteers to show me how far the moon should be from the earth.
We then record homework on the board. After some discussion we usually agree that the Equator is 40 000 km. and the average distance to the moon is 384 000 km.
Then I have them work in groups to calculate haw many trips around the Equator it takes to equal a trip to the moon.
Then we wrap yarn around the equator of our globe to find out how far away the moon should be placed.
Hope this works for you

Ellensclass 03-24-2008 01:20 PM

a great tread on this a few months ago. Did you do a search? Do a PT search in the upper right hand corner of the page. I miss space. It is one of my favorite things to teach!

woo pig 03-24-2008 11:09 AM

Any ideas on some fun ways to do the solar system? By fifth grade the kids know almost everything. I was wondering if there was a fun activity that anyone has done to make the solar system, stars, etc. fun again for my students.

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