Sunday, January 27, 2013

Tomorrowland: Learning about the Sun and the Planets in our Solar System

This week in Tomorrowland, we focused on our humdrum star, the Sun, and our nine, ::sniff:: eight planets in the solar system. We had already learned about the Moon and space vehicles, astronauts, black holes and weightlessness. Now we were excited to learn about our solar system.

We had some pretty amazing videos playing during "break times," which helped us learn about our Sun.

We love Bill Nye, the Science Guy.

This is a really well made, short video showing a real up-close image of the Sun.

And I would like to apologize ahead of time for when this song by They Might Be Giants becomes lodged in your brain.

We used Howard Trammel's book, The Solar System , to learn about the Sun and the planets "near" us.

As we learned about the Sun and each planet, Aidyn painted them. We taped together two pieces of black construction paper, and I brought out several acrylic paints for the planets. I also laid out different painting tools to closely capture the size of each planet: Q-tips, cotton balls, bottle caps, the tip of a slim paintbrush, etc.

He wanted to make sure he got some sun flares in there!

We also watched another Bill Nye video about the planets:

Aidyn also watched one of his favorite Magic School Bus episodes: The Magic School Bus Gets Lost in Space, a great video to learn about the basic composition of the planets.

For pure fun, we watched several videos about Tomorrowland in Disneyland and some favorite Disney songs befitting a unit study on space:

"A beautiful tomorrow is only a dream away..."
Tomorrowland (1967)

And the heart-string tugging classic, "When You Wish upon a Star."

"If your heart is in your dream, no request is too extreme."

What I want Aidyn to walk away with during a Tomorrowland unit study, besides some information about our universe, is the hope for a beautiful tomorrow and how dreams so often sculpt the realities of tomorrow.

There were many mornings during our Tomorrowland unit study that he burst into the living room, telling me his dream about flying into the universe on a space pod that he and his friends built.

We certainly had a fun time learning about the universe in Tomorrowland. Our next stop is inspired by the Finding Nemo Submarines in Tomorrowland for a unit study on the ocean, Earth's own liquid space, where I'm sure we'll uncover as many mysteries as we found in the universe!

Check back to see what we do!

Do you and your child(ren) have a favorite space attraction in Tomorrowland? Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Star Tours, Astro Orbitor, Captain EO...? If so, I would love to hear about it!

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