Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Studying the Sun

Chapter 2 in the Apologia Astronomy book is all about the sun. I broke the lesson up into easily digestible sections and added a healthy dose of notebooking, projects, and library books scattered throughout.
All the lapbook pieces came from JFeliciano again.
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Our first project was to use a magnifying glass to concentrate the sun's energy on chocolate.
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We experimented with the size of the circle of light directed on the chocolate, burned the chocolate, and ate the chocolate.
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Miah got into trying to burn different things - dry grass, a leaf. Larkin just enjoyed burning chocolate. The chocolate would actually produce a flame. The grass made smoke and the leaf burned up, but there was no flame.
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Demonstration of an eclipse with a flashlight, baseball, and globe in a dark closet, sitting on top of a pile of clean laundry.
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Sun-viewing box. This was less than thrilling. You're supposed to be able to see sunspots and a solar eclipse. No solar eclipse in our neck of the woods. We saw a small circle of light.
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Light and color was part of the lesson. Jeremiah made these wooden color wheels a while back. They were perfect for practicing color order and involving the little ones.
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My original intention for art this year was not to have it as a separate subject but to incorporate it into science and history. This was my first real attempt at doing that.
Shadow drawings.
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For sun prints, lay objects on construction paper and expose to full sun for a couple hours.
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Sunbursts, inspired by this.
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The little ones made suncatchers. I found this at Having Fun at Home (see sidebar under Montessori blogs.)
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We also made a sundial.
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And sun tea.
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Favorite books we found at our library that helped reinforce what we learned in a friendly way include:
Living Sunlight by Molly Bang
Sun Up, Sun Down by Gail Gibbons
The Sun by Kate Petty
Energy From the Sun by Allan Fowler
Sun Fun by Caroline Arnold - Several of the activities we did came from this book.
Note - Some of these required mild editing for evolution.

After all this, I had Miah and Larkin tell me all they could about the sun. Here' s what they dictated to me.

The Flaming Gases of Fire
By Larkin
It's millions of miles away from us. It makes plants grow. It rotates. It's flaming gases of fire. Without the sun, everything would die. It's really hot. The sun has thermonuclear fusion. It makes stuff ripen to pick. It makes it night and day. It makes plants green. It makes stuff live.

Things the Sun Can Do
By Miah
The sun is so hot, and it's miles and miles away from the earth. You're hot when the sun is around. Sometimes the sun is too hot; it makes plants die. There are lots of things you can learn about the sun. You can make a clock with the shadows and the sun. When the sunspots are bigger, the earth gets hotter. If you lived on the sun, you would die. When the moon is in front of the sun, you can see Bailey's Beads.



It was hard to not interrupt with questions and suggestions. It really just cracks me up to hear their version of our two week study - especially the "flaming gases of fire". Oh kids! Gotta love 'em!



"Education is a private matter between the person and the world of knowledge and experience..." - Lillian Smith

17 comments:

  1. This is great. We will be covering the sun soon, I know where I will look for ideas and resources. Thanks for posting all of this.

    Lisa :)

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  2. can you please tell me how you made the sunbursts? i love them!

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  3. Dear Sarah - you are an inspiration. As I'm reading your post, I'm marveling at the wonderful things you do with your loved ones. Although I'm not a home-schooling mama, I know that Sutter would just eat these projects up - and the girls would be right behind him.

    Thank you for helping me learn about and celebrate God's miraculous Creations!

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  4. Wow, what wonderful things you are doing! They are very inspiring for me. Thank you for sharing!

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  5. Just beautiful! You've given me some wonderful ideas on how to fill the next few days! Thanks for sharing.

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  6. shang09 - First, squeeze circles of paint out of the paint bottles onto your paper. Try to make the circles touch. If they don't touch, carefully spread the paint a little with a brush, but don't spread too thin or mix the colors. Take a toothpick, and starting in the center, drag it out towards the edge of the paper. Do this several times, wiping the toothpick off each time.

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  7. SO awesome! Love your sun studies! You do such a fabulous job of making everything hands-on.

    Blessings,
    Melissa
    www.homeschoolblogger.com/melissal89

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  8. WOW! That is all just fantastic. I need to get new magnifying glasses.

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  9. You are such a fun mama! We're especially into learning anything that has to do with chocolate. Very inspiring.

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  10. What a fun and impressive lesson you have done! Would you consider a traveling teacher program to WA? ;)

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  11. Very neat! Thank you for your wonderful ideas! :-)

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  12. What an amazing set of lessons!

    Those color wheels are just beautiful! What a wonderful idea!

    Val

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  13. What fun! I'm sure the kids are learning so much with all the activities. Makes it come to life.

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  14. What great ideas! and so timely for me as it was our lesson today! Thanks!

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  15. What wonderful lessons!!! And, a full day of learning fun. (Or more than a day?) Anyway, I really love what you're doing with your kids. How blessed they are!

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