Here is a sneak peek at some of the constellation work my Mom and I put together for the boys. I have a bunch of resources and activities that we'll be using. At the end of the week I'll assemble them all into one cohesive post. In the meantime, I couldn't wait to put this one up because they loved it SO MUCH.
We combined these basic constellations cards from the Karen Tyler Astronomy album with a packet of cardstock stars that my Mom whipped out on her Cricut Machine and a large piece of black felt rescued from the basement scrap bin.
It didn't take long for Kal-El to run out of constellations. I made a bigger set of constellation cards for him from the free printable at Montessori for Everyone. However, those are a bit too advanced. They are like actual photographs of the night sky. We are reading Find the Constellations by H.A. Rey. This is a simplified version of The Stars by the same author. I love them both, but The Stars is a bit too much information for us this week. Find the Constellations is a nice start as long as you are in the middle or nothern U.S. (about lat. 40*). I wish I had these books when I was a kid. I used to be interested in constellations but was frustrated with both the allegorical and geometrical drawings. This book pioneered a new, graphic way to draw the constellations and it is SO MUCH EASIER.
As soon as he made the Big Dipper with the Karen Tyler cards Kal-El wanted to turn it into the larger constellation, The Bear, as illustrated in the H.A. Rey book. Immediately we realized we needed a larger piece of felt. That situation has already been remedied for tomorrow. While we were out buying felt, we also picked up some tracing paper. The boys used up all of the tracing paper we had today. The H.A. Rey books suggested covering the star pictures in the book with tracing paper and copying them so that you can than practice connecting the dots on your own. This is a good intermediate step if you have trouble "seeing" the lines when you look just at the stars. The boys can imagine the lines well in the simpler constellations but work with the tracing paper for the larger ones. I'll try to get some pictures of that activity later this week.
We put Kal-El's work plan "on paper" for the first time this week. I'll show you what we did a little later in the week. Until now Kal-El's work plan has been mostly a loose verbal contract. We may go back to that (it worked well). However, our new scheme got him thinking about the "big picture" a little more and got him moving again on a lot of recently neglected "threads" (grammar, fractions, story problems to name a few). I took a lot of pictures today, but I'll tell you about it slowly instead of cramming it all in to one megapost.