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Stars for Kids Lesson (plus Pluto, Comets, & Asteroid Belts)

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This is week 5 of of our solar system unit. As we wrap things up in our astronomy for kids lesson, this week we will learn about Stars for Kids plus the dwarf planet Pluto, comets, and the asteroid belt. We’ve included lots of fun, hands on constellation projects, science activities, and more to teacher kids from kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students about the amazing galaxy our planet is in.

This is week 5 of of our solar system unit. As we wrap things up in our astronomy for kids lesson, this week we will learn about Stars for Kids plus the dwarf planet Pluto, comets, and the asteroid belt. We've included lots of fun, hands on constellation projects, science activities, and more to teacher kids from kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students about the amazing galaxy our planet is in.  

This is the final week in our solar system unit. We have had so much fun with hands on science projects and learned so much along the way. (mom too!) This week we focused on the dwarf planet Pluto, space rocks and the Asteroid Belt, Comets, and Stars for Kids — plus the star patterns or constellations they make.

Whether you are a parent, teacher, or homeschooler – you will love this engaging science for kindergartners, grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, and grade 6 students. Kids will never look at the night sky or images from space the same way again! We just love making educational activities that make learning FUN!

 

Pluto for Kids

Pluto is a small planet which after the 2006 International Astronomical Union’s decision is no longer a planet.. Up until this point we’ve known very little about this dwarf planet on the outer edge of our solar system, but in July 2015 the spacecraft New Horizons arrived there after its 9 1/2 year voyage to further explore this curious planet.

Information and fun kids activity when learning about Pluto for Kids

Since Pluto is so cold we made ice cream in a bag. (complete instruction ice cream in a bag

The science behind this experiment is the rocks salt helps lower the freezing point of the ice cream.

 

Comets, Asteroids, and more!

When reading about comets and asteroids we learned a little about the millions of space rocks that orbit our sun, most of which are in the Asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.  We learned that another word for comet is a dirty snowball because it is a mixture of dirt and ice. We discussed some famous comets (Halley’s comet, Hale-Bopp, etc.) and others that won’t return in our lifetimes.

We found that unlike planets with a mostly spherical orbit, comets and an elliptical orbit.
We learned that most meteors burnt up in earth’s atmosphere and appear to be shooting stars from here on earth. There is a place in Antarctica where the ground is covered with 10,000 meteorites.
Did you know that Asteroid Belt might have been another planet?  This is called the exploded planet hypothesis and might have been the most interesting thing we learned.

 

Stars for Kids

Did you know that a star is an object that is something like our sun? Or that stars are actually outside our galaxy? On a cloudless night with a new moon you can see 3,000-10,000 stars. Stars are categorized by how hot/cold and bright/dim they are. We were surprised to learn that our sun is a G-5 which means medium temperature, and medium dim.

Learn about constellations with this free printable star constellations for kids. Kids may be surprised to learn that you cannot see the same constellations all year, but rather as our earth orbits we get a different view of the stars. Those of us in the Northern Hemisphere though can always see the Little Dipper and the North Star which is called Polaris.
Stars for Kids lesson which stars we see at night changes every month and season of the year

Constellations for Kids

I showed them this simple, but meaningful example. Each section of the drink umbrella had different holes poked through. Then I roughly drew the earth on a grape and stuck the umbrella stick threw it. We located North America and the sky section above it. The kids realized we wouldn’t be able to look back through the earth to see the back part of the sky. Then we rotated the grape and they were able to visualize how our ever-moving earth gets a new view of the heavens all year long.

Printable Constellation Projection Cards to use with this constellation project to make a star planetarium at home science project

Printable Constellation Projection Cards

Our favorite project was making this constellation projector. It was such a fun science project that allowed kids to see the constellations in our own make shift planetarium.
To make your own you will need:

Now cut out the pages from the constellations mini book and use a star hole punch to punch out the large (brighter) stars. Use a toothpick to make little holes where the small circles are for smaller stars.
Next you will cut a hole in your box and tape the constellation you wish to see first. Now insert the flashlight in the opposite side of the box (depending on the box you are using you may need to make another hole). Make sure all other holes and cracks are closed/sealed so the light will be forced through the star pattern.

make a planetarium at home with this fun science project for kids studying stars or the solar system

Shine your constellation projector at a wall in a dark room for an amazing at home planetarium!

HINT: Sorry the stars look like they have shadows in the picture, that was just because of the shutter speed I had to use to get his mostly dark picture; the projector will not create shadow stars!

solar-system-unit-about-the-sun-for-kids clever paint stick solar system project Hands-on activity to learn about constellations using pipe cleaners, beads, and constellation flashcards for an engaging STEM activity! Use to teach preschool, pre k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade and more about stars, solar system, astronomy or as a fun, educational science activity

Solar System Activities

Looking for more fun, hands on science activities to teach kids about astronomy or to round out your solar system for kids unit. You will love these hands on solar system activities and lessons:

Kids will have fun learning about our solar system with these free printable Solar System Worksheets for kids.  You’ll find solar system vocabulary, planets, sun, stars, moon phases, and so much more! These free worksheets are great for Kindergarteners, grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, and grade 6 students. Learn about the solar system for kids with these super cute, free printable solar system coloring pages. Simply download pdf file and print the solar system colouring pages to help teach toddler, preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students about the planets in our solar system! There are over 15 different pages in this solar system coloring page pack to learn about Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Asteroid Belt, Pluto, and the Milky Way Galaxy. Constellations Wheel

Free Solar System Printables

Plus, don’t forget to add these free solar system worksheets and printables to your lesson plan:

DIY Lava Lamp - super easy way to make your own lava lamp with simple things you have around your house. This homemade lava lamp is such a fun science project for kids of all ages to sneak in some summer learning. This science experiment is for toddlers, preschoolers, pre k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and kids of all ages at home, homeschool, summer camps, classroom, etc. this is such a fun kids activity to learn about the human body for kids

Science Fun for Kids

About the author

Beth Gorden

Beth Gorden is the creative multi-tasking creator of 123 Homeschool 4 Me. As a busy homeschooling mother of six, she strives to create hands-on learning activities and worksheets that kids will love to make learning FUN! She has created over 1 million pages of printables to help teach kids ABCs, science, English grammar, history, math, and so much more! Beth is also the creator of 2 additional sites with even more educational activities and FREE printables - www.kindergartenworksheetsandgames.com and www.preschoolplayandlearn.com

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