This post is sponsored by Common Sense Press. All opinions are my own.
Are your kids fascinated with space? Mine are- and I don’t blame them. There’s something magical about looking up at the sky and seeing stars beyond stars beyond stars just floating out there.
Learning About the Moon
Great Science Adventures had a ton of awesome ideas for learning about the moon. We started by reading one of the mini-books about the moon, and then we jumped into the activities!
This is just one of many lessons within their curriculum:
Is the moon luminous?
For this experiment, we got a flashlight and some lotion, and headed into the bathroom to see how light reflects off the mirror. We started first by discussing how the moon is like the mirror- it doesn’t light up on it’s own. Then, we shined the flashlight at the mirror to see the light reflect.
The moon’s surface is dark and porous, so it only reflects about 12 percent of the sun’s light- at best. So, to demonstrate this, we “drew” a moon on the mirror using lotion, and then tested to see how reflective the moon’s surface would be. The flashlight lit up our “moon” and was a wonderful demonstration for the kids as to how the moon appears to glow without being luminous.
How are moon craters formed?
This was my kid’s favorite activity of the month. We’ve spent some time looking at the moon through the telescope and have admired the many craters on the surface of the moon. The kids wondered how all those circles got on the moons surface, so we did this fun and easy experiment to see how the impact of meteors form craters on the moon.
As we threw the “meteors” at the “moon surface” I had the kids pay special attention to the angle at which they threw their rocks, and how hard they threw them. We stopped after each rock to see the shape of the crater left behind, and to see how different angles and sizes made different crater shapes.
Learning about moon phases:
In addition to this activity, the curriculum suggests the kids keep “moon journals” and draw the phase of the moon each evening. You can do this easily by creating little booklets out of plain white paper and sending the kids out each day to observe and draw the moon as they see it. At the end of the month, they should have created a little flipbook to see the phases of the moon right in their hand.
We also pulled out some of our moon phase printable worksheets, and had the kids create moon phases out of oreos and put them in order:
What is the curriculum like?
The World of Space includes both non-consumable lessons, “Lots of Science Library Books” and graphics pages for assembling a lap book or interactive notebook. Our family copies these elements so each child can have their own copy of the books (and so I can leave the main text intact!).
Each Great Science Adventures book contains 24 lessons, and our family found that completing one lesson per week was just about perfect for us.
Each lesson includes a short overview of the science concepts covered, vocabulary, reading from the “Lots of Science Library Books,” hands-on activities and lab experiments, lapbooking work, and supplementary assignments for additional exploration.
We’d likely go through two books in a year, but if you had kids who really love to go “down the rabbit hole” they could easily spend two weeks per lesson and do extra exploration actives, watch videos online and read books on the topic.
I really appreciate that the activities in Great Science Adventures are purposeful. This curriculum uses an “investigative loop” to move students through the scientific process, from asking questions to doing research, making observations, forming conclusions, and communicating those conclusions. I love that the activities always end with conversation which always seems to lead to additional questions in our home!
Common Sense Press sent me their Human Body and Senses and The World of Tools and Technology as well to check out for this review. I already knew I was going to love these books (after all, I have their Plants book on my shelf from a couple years back) and am happy to report that all of them have the same high-quality activities. If you’re looking for a complete, fun, no-nonsense science program, I highly reccomend this series for elementary and middle school students.
Common Sense Press is giving away TWO of their science books to a lucky OPC reader. Click here to enter to win, and comment below to let us know which two books from their Great Science Adventures series you’d like to win!
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