What to teach? Step by Step 3 Week Space Theme Unit Study
Kids just love learning about SPACE! Although there is so much to cover on this Space Theme Unit Study, we dedicated 3 weeks to it for now and hope to come back to this theme again in the next year or 2! Here’s a summary of What to teach? Step by Step 3 Week Space them Unit Study.
Week 1 was dedicated to stories about rockets and flying to space including ‘Whatever Next?’ by Jill Murphy to get the imagination and discussion going. We looked at 2 easy to read books from our phonics collection by the Oxford Reading Tree. We also spent a lot of time on rockets, including our awesome blasting into the sky rocket experiment!
Week 2 we looked more at the planets in space and tried painting with marbles. We made a huge wall display and we wanted to experience the stars at night so went camping in our garden and had a BBQ, after making our own telescopes and star stamping with glow in the dark paint!
Week 3 we looked further at our solar system and the planets. We also looked at how the earth moves on its axis and around the sun. To really feel the theme we did a role play on taking a journey to space and finding out more about each planet.
Here’s the full layout below.
Space Theme Unit Study
We started the theme by reading Whatever Next! byJill Murphy. I absolutely love this story as did my girls – probably because it was about a teddy and that he went to space for a picnic! They were so excited by this theme from the first day but then again it is Space, its always exciting! We followed up by re-enacting the story by giving the girls colanders and a box + baby bath tub (as it made a great 2 seater) and pretending they were going to the moon. You could even hand them a basket to pack for their picnic. Pretend play at its best!
We then made our own rockets with very simple junk modelling including tubes/tissue roll, tin foil, foam sheets, small empty yogurt pots and a box as a base. We used a glue gun to ensure it didn’t fall apart as they played. The best part was we combined our rocket launching with maths as we learnt how to count backwards from 10 to 0! It was perfect!
We intentionally chose 2 books from our Biff and Chip readers collection linked to space and allowed Ammarah to read aloud to her sister and friends which they thoroughly enjoyed!
For our Islamic Studies learning we talked more about Allah’s name al-Baari’ – this means he is the Originator. It was superb tying this into our theme on space. It was Allah’s idea to make the Earth, the planets, the sun and moon. The name craft was on black paper and the girls enjoyed using our star craft cutters to stick on the stars as the poster showed the universe which Allah created!
Then, we arranged for a camping under the stars evening with our friends where we set up a tent in our garden, made telescopes to gaze at the stars. The kids also enjoyed a star stamping activity with glow in the dark paint! It was lovely to see the stars glowing outside in the dark. The mums enjoyed a bbq and roasting marshmallows with the kids! Highly recommend this if you’re doing a Space unit study!
For week 2 we began with doing our final activity on Rockets! This was a science day and also our outdoor learning day. For this experiment, you will need a coke bottle, 3 pencils, sello tape, a cork, vinegar, bicarbonate soda, funnel and tissue paper. Ammarah’s instruction write up below (which we did the next day) should help you with what to do! Click on our Youtube video at the bottom of this post for more!
To continue with the theme, we then started preparing for our big Space Art Display to be the backdrop for our role play corner, as this week was all about being in Space! So we started with planets. We used the painting with marbles technique to get the right look for the planets. We simply squirted paint on to plain paper and put it in a tray, and a rolled a few marbles on top. As they dried we remembered to tie in our English sessions and write a list of what we would pack for a trip to the moon! We wrote on this lovely Rocket writing template from Twinkl.
All our maths learning has been linked to the space theme and recapping adding and taking away this week. We finally set up our Space Station display, linking together our art work and simple props added to make the role play area more exciting. We printed labels and posters from Twinkl’s Space Role Play pack.
We worked on our home made astronaut costumes using old long sleeve t-shirts and duct tape to cover them up! The girls realised how sticky and strong duct tape can be! This is such a simple activity, alternatively you could also buy a Melissa & Doug Astronaut Role Play Costume Set (5 pcs) – Jumpsuit, Helmet, Gloves, Name Tag.
We looked further into our solar system and the Sun at the start of the week by explaining how the Earth moves around the sun. We did this by experimenting with a sun dial and looking at how our shadow kept moving along a little every hour. We explained as the Earth moves by itself and then slowly around the sun. It was a real eye opener for the girls to experience the shadow had moved every time they drew their line.
The next day we wanted to build our own solar system model. I felt just reading about the planets in books and stories wasn’t enough. To really engage with the topic, we took our time with this arts and craft activity below. By looking at size of planets, colours of planets when painting the planets, we also talked about where each planet is in relation to the sun and what that actually means.
Then, we then had a very fun and imaginative journey through space using props and simple things at home to create our own shared experience. We lay out black scarfs on the floor and put out coloured scarfs and labels to represent planets. This allowed for a lot of talk for writing and discussion and questions. To make it fun we dressed up as Astronauts in our home made costumes we had prepared the week before! We pretended to space walk and talked about how it would be like flying out in space. The girls were able to realise the planets closer to the sun are very hot and the ones further are very cold, Earth is just right!
We then wrote 5 facts we learnt on our Space journey. We found out some more from our trusty books for this theme. (Scroll down for more on the books!)
We followed up with a practical look at how Earth rotates and how it orbits around the Sun by using the months of the year! Watch our video below and use it as a fantastic Space Theme resource with your kids!
Recommended books on Space Theme:
We plan to visit the following Planetariums in Saudi Arabia and England (in the summer)
Did you enjoy this unit study? Check out all our Homeschooling themes here.
*We have been given a 7 months free subscription to access Twinkl resources – all comments, views and recommendations are my own and resources are selected based on our homeschool learning.
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