My children have been having a harder time this year learning their numbers and counting. So I’ve used the space unit we’re in to count as much as possible. One of the activities we did was to order numbers to create a countdown. I used this sheet to have them practice writing their numbers and I used this paper to help the with their cutting skills and number recognition. For the first paper I had a number line for them to copy the numbers. This made it much easier for them to do – I also only had 2 or 3 kids at a time so I could help the ones who needed more guidance.
The second paper we did I let the children cut out their rockets and then once again I helped those that needed more assistance. I was completely surprised by the number of students who could do this activity almost completely independently! I was also impressed with how well all my kids could cut! I didn’t expect them to cut on the lines – but the majority did!
To go along with these countdown activities we learned this:
It’s A Blast
Put on your spacesuit. We’re going to the Moon.
(pretend to step into pants and buckle boots)
Climb aboard your rocket ship. (pretend to climb inside and shut door)
We’re going to blast off soon.
Put on your helmet.
Strap yourself in tight. (pretend putting on helmets and buckling your safety belt)
Check your controls and instruments.
Get ready for the flight. (pretend to turn on switches)
Time for your journey.
The countdown has begun. (wave and salute)
Here we go, Get ready, Get set!
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
(slowly rise from seated position)
After we jumped up we would pretend to fly around space and land on the moon. Then we’d slowly walk on the moon, get back in our ship, and land on earth (which basically meant we “landed” on our spots on the carpet to prepare for a story or other sitting activity). This was also a favorite of the children and they’ve requested it everyday since I introduced it to them! 🙂
this is not the actual art project...this is a real planet
One of the art projects we did for space was to make our own planets. I die-cut circles our of white paper towels and then I let the children paint them using liquid watercolors and eye droppers. They turned out awesome! 🙂 So bright and colorful! Once they were dry we glued them black construction paper and put rings around them using glitter. I love looking at them hanging on the wall! We’ve gotten many compliments on them!
To go along with our space theme we taught the children a song to help them learn the plant names. Here’s how it goes:
I Know the Planets to the tune of “Skip to My Lou”.
I know the planets, how about you? I know the planets, how about you? I know the planets, how about you? Lets say the names together!
Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars; Jupiter and Saturn among the stars; Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto too; All spin around in space its true!
Everything goes around the sun. Spinning, Spinning everyone! The Earth is ours, it’s number three. Its atmosphere is right for me!
The children have really fallen in love with this song and request it all the time! The parents have even said how surprised they are to hear that their children know the names off all the planets! And, yes, I know that Pluto is no longer considered a planet – but I still teach it. I just tell the kids it’s more of a minor planet because it is so small but it is still a part of our solar system. It’s exiting to see how my children have fallen in love with our space unit!
I’ve decided to start a Space unit on Monday. I’ve been on vacation lately, but Ms. Bennet has been working and she told me that last week the few kids we had were showing an interest in wanting to learn more about space after a child brought a space book to share with the class. I am more than willing to accomodate their interests – and so starting Monday we blast off into a space unit! 🙂
Only problem is, I have never done a space unit with preschoolers before. I’ve already come up with a few ideas – and searched the web for awhile to try to find more – but I am willing to hear what any of you have done with this theme! Suggestions are welcome! I want this to be a fun learning experience – I’ll take suggestions for all learning areas (literacy, science, math, movement, art, etc) – I’m excited to do something new in my class – and I’m hoping the children will be excited too!