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Moon Planets Stars


*Blue Moon

Discussion: Explain to the children that there is a full moon each month. However, some months there are two full moons. And, the second full moon in a month is called a Blue Moon.

Story: The Nightgown of the Sullen Moon the moon is painted blues, greens, and purples. If not available then your favorite.


Need: white paper (8 1/2" x 11" (2 sheets per child), circle patterns (about 7" in diameter), white glue, watercolors, brushes, pencils, scissors, books and pictures about the moon, book - "The Nightgown of the Sullen Moon"

Have children trace the circle pattern onto construction paper or provide already cut out circles. Draw five to seven craters inside the moon circle. Apply a bead of white glue on top of the crater outlines. The glue outlining needs to partially dry.

Put on paint shirts and set out watercolors (shades of blue, green, purple). Paint the inside of the craters first with a dark shade of one of the colors. Use water-downed solutions of the other two colors to wash across the face of the moon so it has a hazy appearance.

If children traced circles onto construction paper, when paintings are dry they can cut out the moon circles.


Moon Balls

Ingredients: 2 C. Peanut butter, 1 1/3 C. Honey, 2 C. Raisins 2 C. Dry milk, 3 1/2 C. Graham cracker crumbs (keep 1/2 c. separate)

Mix dry milk, raisins, and 3 c. graham cracker crumbs
Add honey and peanut butter, mix will (hands do best)
Roll into small balls
Place remaining 1/2 c. of graham cracker crumbs in a large baggie Place several balls at a time into the baggie and shake, then place on a
Cookie sheet.
Chill then eat.

*Other Sites

Tale about The Moon -- from the Menominee Tribe.

At the U.S. Naval Observatory site you can a find Moonrise/Moonset Moon Phase, Moon illumination, Eclipses, etc for an entire year. At this site you can also find sunrise/sunset data for the future or past.

NASA - Exploring the Moon
This NASA educator guide has activities for grades 4-12.



Bulletin Board

Using black bulletin board paper, draw, paint or use cutouts to display the positions of the sun, moon, Earth, and planets. Tape white Christmas lights to the back of the paper, poking the bulbs through, to create the stars (don't forget to plug in your stars!).

Have children imagine they are on the moon, looking back at earth. Draw a picture of how big you think the sun and Earth would look from the moon.

Space Creations

Give children a large piece of white paper. Demonstrate to the children that if you trace the shape of a scissors, it will make a rocket ship. Encourage the children to trace the scissors for a rocket and use bottle caps and circular jar lids for planets and moons. Have paints available for the children to paint their very own space creation.

Galactic Mobiles
Need: 2 1/2 c. Boiling water 2 c. salt 4 c. flour , cookie cutters(stars and circles)

Add salt to water, then stir into flour. Have the children knead the dough until it is a good consistency for shaping. Let them roll the dough out and use cookie cutters to cut out star and circle shapes. Each child should have a couple of stars and a couple of circles.

Don't forget to put a hole at the top of each shape for hanging. Bake shapes in the oven at 250 degrees for 2 -3 hours, checking frequently after 2 two hours. Paint them another day.

Paper Mache' Planet
Need: round balloons, newspaper, flour, water, paint, paintbrushes, cardboard(two pieces)

Mix flour and water to make a paper mache' paste. Mix to the consistency of thick cream.
Tear newspaper into small strips. Cover the balloon with about 4 to 5 layers of newspaper dipped in the paste. Let the balloon somewhat between layers.
When dry, paint the paper mache' balloon to look like the earth, the sun, the moon or whichever planet you choose. Use markers and crayons to add further details.
You can create a base for the planet using two pieces of corrugated cardboard. Cut out a half circle in each piece of cardboard. Then cut a slit on the top middle of one piece of cardboard and cut a slit on the bottom middle of the other piece of cardboard. Place the two pieces of cardboard together to form a t. When dry place your planet on its base.

The Planet Ziba!

A new planet has been discovered and it has been named Ziba. One of the creatures from Ziba is coming to earth, and you have been given the task of interviewing the Ziba creature.
You'll need to decide on the ten best questions to ask and write those first. Then you'll need to image what the creature might answer and write those answers next to the questions. Include a drawing of the creature. Good Luck!

Ziba space craft(wind whirlers)
Need: paper plates(2 per child), stapler, markers, crayons.

Give each child two paper plates. Have children decorate plates with "extraterrestrial" designs such as flashes of light, swirls, zips, and zaps. Spirals look great as spinning saucers whirl through the sky.
To construct the whirlers, each child staples two plates together either back to back or front to front. Back-to-back whirlers dip and curve while front-to-front whirlers tend to fly faster and straighter.
After some individual whirler experimentation, players might want to try additional modifications, such as cutting holes in the center or adding other paper elements, to see how they affect flight patterns.


Man from Mars

One child is Man from Mars and stands in the middle of the field/gym. All other children gather behind the line/boundary on one end of the field/gym.
Child says:

I am the Man from Mars
I'll chase you to the stars
If you have (on a color, a name that begins with...)

All children who fit description, run out and try to get to the opposite side of the field before being tagged by the Man from Mars. If tagged they join "Man" and assist in tagging. Continue until all are tagged.

*Group Time

Invite children to pretend they're going to spend a day on the moon or one of the nine planets, and to list their basic needs during their visit to that particular environment.

Drama "Tour the Solar System

Let children be the guides on a "tour" of the solar system. Divide them into ten groups and assign each group a different planet or the sun. Have the groups create displays that highlight interesting facts and features about the heavenly bodies they chose. Direct them to prepare one-minute "tours" of their heavenly bodies. Allow time for them to prepare and provide different books from the library for research and display making. When all groups are ready, take an imaginary journey into space. To increase interest, arrange the childrens' chairs in a rocket shape before the journey begins. As the class stops at the sun and each planet, let the appropriate group present its display and tour presentation.


Rehydrated foods
Need: small ziplock bags, instant pudding, milk, straws.

Some foods are dehydrated in space by having water added to them at mealtime. For snack, give children small ziplock bags in which you have put one-eighth cup instant pudding and one fourth cup milk. Be sure the bags are securely closed. Have the children gently knead the mixture until the pudding forms. Snip off a small piece of one of the corners. Encourage the children to drink the pudding with a straw. The children will love it!

Cheese Robots

At snacktime cut cheese into different sized chunks. Then provide the children with pretzel sticks and let them put the chunks together to create "cheese robots."

*Other Sites


Rocketship dot-to-dot

The Spaceship Cards
ESL for kids flashcards. These cards teach space vocabulary such as planets and prepositions such as over, under, and through.

Welcome to the Planets
NASA's simple data sheet on each planet. Includes pictures of the planets.

A Solar System Coloring Book - a page for each planet and other terrestrial objects that includes facts from the University of Michigan.


Print and Build Your Own Mars Pathfinder Spacecraft Model!

Click on the cutouts to download, print and construct the model. You will need scissors, tape and/or glue to put it together, and colored markers or pencils to finish it up.


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