Thursday, March 17, 2011

Our Solar System

I am going to go over a few activities we did before I created this blog. So here is the 1st one I want to share with you as it was very popular among the children.
Last January, we were studying the Solar system. Preschoolers are fascinated by that great wonder beyond the sky. Keeping in mind that that teaching the solar system to preschoolers is more about learning names and functions than it is about memorizing facts and statistics, I gave them an introduction to the concept, without an information overload. Just a few bits of information about each planet.
At circle time, using a poster of our solar system, we went through each single planet, singing our song on the "incy Wincy Spider" tune:
"Mercury and Venus, Planer Earth and Mars, Big Jupiter, Saturn and its rings, Uranus and Neptune, the last one is Pluto. These are the 9 planets that turn around the sun!" ( I know, I know. Technically, Pluto is not considered as a planet anymore,... But let's not compicate things, eh? Especially as it was still present on our poster).
I could have gone mad and made a mobile of our solar ytem with the kids but I thought it would end up being too complicated and time-consuming. So I googled a lot and I came up a good site with coloring pages,  Coloring Castle website. As imple as that. I  downloaded their coloring worksheet and made a sample for the kids to follow. First, they had to colour the planets in the right colour:
I helped them to cut the planets off. They then had to place them in the right order (starting with the closest planet to the sun), using the sample I provided them with.
Once they were done, they had to match the names of the planets ( a nice pre-reading exercise)!

It was a great exercise for them to practise their colouring skills and to improve their pre-literacy skills too.