Space and Solar System Activities

We are studying space in science and linking it with the Reading Streets 2nd grade Literature selection all about the life of an astronaut. I love teaching kids about Space because they really love it! I’m so glad it is in our 2nd grade core!

I think Svetha’s is one of the prettiest art projects. She put a lot
of time (and a lot of sequins) into her art. 
Reading Streets 2nd Grade An Astronaut in Space writing project….

 The assignment I gave them after reading the selection, was to start writing a piece of realistic fiction on them traveling as an astronaut through our solar system.  If they used some of the AMAZING WORDS vocabulary, they got a sticker or a gummy bear!

Space Stories and Art made a cute bulletin board! 
After reading the Reading Streets story, we wrote our own astronauts in space stories….

I see “launched” and “asteroid” on this great story from Jack. He gets a sticker! Woo Hoo! 
Gotta love the rings around Saturn! 

I have lots of books and activities on phases of the moon….

Here is a sampling of some GREAT SPACE BOOKS:

 Me and My Place in Space  by Joan Sweeney

What the Moon is Like, Franklin M. Branley

The Moon Seems to Change, Franklin M. Branley

Find the Constellations by H. A. Rey

The Moon Book, Gail Gibbons

If You Decide to go to the Moon by Faith McNulty

Let’s Explore the Moon (Space Launch), Helen and David Orme

Postcards From the Planets

A great book to read before starting your writings….it is all realistic fiction in the post card writing form. Very creative, I must say! 
 We read the big book Postcards From the Planets as well as about 8 other books as read alouds on space and planet facts. We did a little mini book of space and planet facts. We also did phases of the moon wheels and read a minibook and several Scholastic News’ selections I’d saved over the years.

 We sang songs from the Reading Streets Songbook as well as a few I had in my space files. A good National Geographic online resource for facts and pictures to go with your readings is HERE. It’s got lots of good solar system info and great images.

Creative space stories….I loved them all! 
Very bright and colorful space art using oil pastels.  
The foam peel and stick shapes were from Oriental Trading the Link is here. They cost about $8.00 for a big package that lasts me 3 years for 3 classes. 

 I got a selection of non fiction books on each of the planets from scholastic one year. They are higher level and kids love looking at the great photographs of shots of space and planets.

 I’ve collected Weekly Readers and Scholastic News for many years on all kinds of science topics.

Cute planet art projects turned out nice…

I challenged the kids to use some of our Space vocabulary words in their stories….
Space art….this planet looks kinda like a PIZZA! 
Lots of fun space adventures! 
Space Stories….

I have about 5 on space topics from Phases of the Moon to the Solar System to Astronauts and the Mars Rover.

 We did a REALISTIC FICTION WRITING ASSIGNMENT after all our reading. We brainstormed different problems and solutions that could happen to an astronaut traveling through the solar system. I gave them “sloppy copy” paper and had them write using Space as the setting. The only objective was writing a realistic story about an adventure through space from Earth and back using some describing words and some vocabulary words from our Literature series.

We sang a song, made an astronaut and a space “door knocker” as a few fast finisher projects for my fast writers. 

 After editing their work, I had them rewrite the stories on the “SPACE STORY” paper and then called up small groups to do illustrations with Crayola oil chalks on black paper.

These are the “space shapes” from Oriental Trading’s peel and stick foam space shapes.

 We then added some space foam stickers and then glued on some round and moon and star shaped giant sequins. They were very pretty.

The girls are just starting their space art projects using the oil pastels….

Our own space stories used the genre of “REALISTIC FICTION” and we were the astronaut characters  traveling through space encountering a realistic problem with a realistic solution. No alien stories were allowed.

Finished Space art and space writing…..
space bulletin board stories with space art projects…
Space art with oil pastels and peel and stick foam space shapes….
Each story had to have a problem and a solution….

 The stories turned out really good. I had about 5 kids a day share their finished stories up at the author’s chair. Then we stapled all the stories and art out on the bulletin board in the hallway.

Space Stories
I love how Cambria labeled all of her planets and the Sun. 😀  As you can see she has landed on the moon. 
Websites for more great space information and videos:
Solar Systems made with Crayola air dry clay. 

We read Weekly Readers on the Solar System, wrote about a planet, then made it out of clay and placed it on our solar system (dark blue 2 inch strip of foam core from Walmart). I cut them all out on the paper cutter. You can get a class set from 2 pieces of foam core (about $3.50 each). 

The Crayola air dry clay is called Model Magic. It comes in packs of 4 colors or white. I usually buy a bag of each and give kids part white and part another color in a 1/4 inch ball. They add color with Crayola markers just little dots of color. 

If you want green swirls, use a few dots of green Crayola marker on the Model Magic clay. Then roll around for a minute in your palms and magic! It looks like a planet! 

This is the Crayola Model Magic clay we use. And here are our finished solar systems. 

The kids are always very proud of themselves each year I do the solar systems. It is one of the most fun science projects of the year in first grade! 

At Squish Ideas for Preschool’s blog there are many ideas and this cute downloadable if you want to make a cut and color solar system too. She also has a recipe for moonsand. (which I purchased and it is pretty pricey!) 
I can’t wait to show the kids my video of the space shuttle taking off one of the last times. My hubs recorded it onto a VHS. It is sad that we are not supporting the space program so much anymore.
But it’s cool that we still get to study space! The Crayola model magic solar systems are fun to do!

Solar systems made from Crayola Model Magic air dry clay on blue presentation boards. They are awesome addition to our study of Space.  

Rules of the School (School Bus Project)

School Bus Art project made from a painted egg carton top.

 A great way to start kids thinking and learning about the SCHOOL RULES is making a School Bus out of yellow, painted, tops of egg cartons.

It took a while to collect enough egg cartons from everybody’s house to make the school bus art…but we had enough after a week. 

  I copied these cute School Bus Bookmarks with jokes on them too. The link is at Activity Village.

I had them add the doo dads to make the School Bus Art look cute too…”The wheels on the bus go round and round”…. 

Then I had the kids do an acrostic poem after we brainstormed ways to write some of the school rules within sentences starting with S-C-H-O-O-L.  They did a pretty good job.

It made a cute bulletin board too….

 We added our kid pictures that I took with Photobooth as the kids sat in a chair facing forward with a yellow paper background, with faces turned toward me. (like they were riding on a bus)
They each chose 3 friends, and their own picture and glued them to a strip of black construction paper.

Some of the cuter ones were…”Humming is an outside sound….lol…

Then the kids added round black wheels with white stickers and a brad, and made their own hexagon stop signs with red paper. We talked about all the school rules and why we have them. And they tried to incorporate phrases  of our SOAR SCHOOL RULES into some of the letters of the acrostic SCHOOL poem.

I found some funny jokes online and we added them to some cute bus papers…..


At ABC Teach  is another cute bus blackline you might like. 

Our SOAR SCHOOL RULES ARE; 1. Safe inside and out 2. On Time and On Task 3. Accept Responsibility 4. Respect Self, Others and Property. Learn Create Love had a really cute printable for making a yellow school bus. So I cut yellow paper out in a bus shape and after we painted the tops of the egg cartons we added the yellow bus shape to make it 3D.

We have a Principal’s award at our school called “Something
to Celebrate” which is a little certificate they all try to win every week. It means they
get to go play a game of tag with him on Friday. 

Then I found this cute School Stationery with a school bus and lots of kids on it.  So I had the kids rewrite their sloppy copies of their acrostic  S C H O O L poems after I edited them.


They turned out really cute. What do you think?

Football Season Art and Writing

Well, we have the good old BYU Cougars versus the University of UTAH Utes rivalry happening this weekend.

Are YOU going to ROOT for my team? 
This little girl does….Go BYU! GO, FIGHT, WIN! 

 Over the loudspeaker this morning at school our principal played the BYU fight song instead of the school song. It was so funny because it took me a few minutes to realize what song was happening. I thought at first it must be a mistake…..

I usually try to do something fun in the classroom, to take a vote on who the kids think will win the game this weekend. It’s a BIG DEAL around these parts.  I think, secretly that Utes will take it, but I still will root for BYU. I was a student there many years ago and 2 of my kids went there too. So we bleed blue at my house.

So in honor of the rivalry game today, I made my husband some football pancakes for breakfast to go along with his sausage and eggs.  Cute right? Player Printout.

So today one of the teachers has a UTES Football Knome, and she had one of her 6th graders run it down to the principal’s office during the “fight song” to counter his BYU enthusiasm. He thought that was kinda funny too.

  Here are some of the football player art we did this year.

 The paper legs were just out of newsprint. The kids pictures are inside the helmets. And of course, they did their favorite team’s jerseys and cheer outfits.

What is YOUR favorite football team? Cougars? Utes? 

 Lots of BYU BLUE represented for sure!  Rise and Shout the Cougars are OUT!

The girls had a “pom pom” added to their outfits…..
The boys had a football added to their outfits…… I know, I’m not very PC am I? 
Ya just gotta love those “cleats” now dontcha? 

 A free printable of the FOOTBALL subway art is below. It’s cute at the house for a football party, and it is cute on a bulletin board too!

I hope the Utes don’t blow us away! I’m keeping my fingers crossed. 

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Cute Football Player color and cut-out activity great for little kiddos….

One more thing I found that I thought would be a fun thing to do for my grandkids to keep them busy during the games coming up. They love to color and cut out things like paper dolls. So how about a paper football player? Maybe in team colors! Making has the download.

Football Subway Art 

HERE is a Football Printable  We’ll have fun doing some football writing this year too. More pics to come soon! Football helmet printables football helmet printables HERE. I hope you are enjoying football season as much as we are! Go Fight WIN!

Paper Bag Scarecrows for Fall

Happy Fall, Ya’ll! How many have their Thanksgiving Turkeys all up? I made my “What We are Thanksful For” turkeys last week. This week I’m going to make some Scarecrows.

I’m using brown paper bags, wiggly eyes, 6 colors (RED, GREEN, ORANGE, YELLOW, PINK, BROWN) of construction or butcher roll paper, a stir stick from Home Depot and some crumpled or shredded newspaper. Optional is plaid scrapbook paper and some sunflower seeds for the little flower on the hat.  
I also like to use some plaid scrapbook paper to make a patch or two on the hat and outfit in coordinating colors.  If you let the kids choose their fall colors for the hat it looks cute with a plaid patch on it. I would add a little sign under the neck that says, “HAPPY FALL, Y’ALL!” 

     Fall Scarecrow Art 
Add a little sunflower made from yellow triangles and a brown circle to the hat  and cut and glue the face of the scarecrow onto the flat part of a brown bag and add the wiggly eyes. Draw the eyebrows and a smile on with black marker. Make strips of yellow butcher paper for the hair. Stuff the scarecrow with newspaper strips or shreds. Put glue on the stick and stuff it inside the shreds.
I love the little black crow on the hat too. It’s cute. So kids will be able to choose a sunflower or a crow. 
    Then close up the bag and put a rubber band around it. Add ribbon or torn fabric around the rubber band. Make up signs and copy them on tan or yellow cardstock and cut out then attach to the neck with a pin or glue. Add hair strips to top of head. 
    ABC Teach  has some cute writing paper to use for a scarecrow story. I’m using it to have the kids write “WHAT I LIKE ABOUT FALL”. 
    Then make a sailor hat out of fall colored butcher paper. Glue on top of head. Add a plaid patch to the hat.  Have kids write acrostic poems about “F-A-L-L” or “AUTUMN” to go with the scarecrow art. A compound word activity is also 
    HERE at ABC Teach.
Some cute paper with a scarecrow on top can be found here at Activity Village. There is lined and dotted lined paper to write Fall and Autumn Acrostic Poems. 
I love this one from Oriental Trading. What a cute scarecrow!  
Scarecrow (Tune: I’m a Little Teapot) I wrote this little ditty! 
I’m a little scarecrow short and fat
Stuffed together with a big straw hat!
When the crows come ’round
to gobble my corn
I shake and I shout
In the Early Morn!

So Clap and Stomp
and snap and HOP
till (clap) those scarecrows (stomp)  all fly(snap)  OFF! (hop) fly off!

5 Crows All Shiny Black (Tune: 5 Little Speckled Frogs)
5 Crows all shiny black
Sat on a scarecrow’s back
Eating the most delicious corn (caw, caw)
Scarecrow winked and shouted “BOO!”
Scared those crows and away they flew!
Now there’s only 4 black shiny crows (caw caw)

repeat with 3, then 2, then 1, then none.

I will show the kids all these designs for faces with the pink cheeks, triangle noses and the sunflowers and hopefully, theirs will all look a little different and unique.  We’ll see. A cute coloring page that I’m going to add some math problems to the back is Here at Fun Pages for Kids. And the head is HERE.
I’ll post pictures when we are done this week. In the meantime, Happy Fall, Y’all!

Ipads…How Do You Use it in the Classroom?

Hey! I got an Ipad from my principal this week. I am just now getting familiar with it. What I’d like to know is what kinds of math games would be good to use with 2nd and 3rd grade kids’ math skills? What are your favorite things to do with your Ipads in your classroom?

I’ve learned about Pick a Stick.  And the app where kids can write using their finger. But give me more!

 But other than that, nobody had any games to share. So I’m using my blog to find teachers who will share ideas on how they use Ipads in their classrooms. I would especially like math or spelling games 2 kids could play together. How do YOU use your Ipads?