Many Hoot Owls have been excited about space all year long, and so they were very excited to begin to learn about our solar system in class. They started with the center of our solar system, the Sun. The Hoot Owls all worked together to create their favorite star, then put it up in their classroom to help learn about the order of the planets moving away from the Sun.
Next the Hoot Owls started to learn about the rocky planets. They used different painting techniques for each planet to highlight their differences. Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun so they started there. The students learned that Mercury is full of craters caused by meteorites, and then painted Mercury with sponges to give it a bumpy look. Hoot Owls also practiced writing, “Mercury.”
Next, they learned about Venus, and discovered that it is very hot and has thousands of volcanoes and poisonous gases and storms. Hoot Owls practiced writing “Venus” before drawing volcanoes, storms and gases with oil pastels. The Hoot Owls’ drawings showed through the watercolor paints that they added at the end. They also reviewed the terms solid, liquid and gas.
Earth was next! The Hoot Owls created clouds with shaving cream, and used eyedroppers to add blue and green paint that represented the oceans and the land. They used paper to make prints of the shaving cream. The class talked about the seven continents and located them on the globe. They also read the book Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years by Stacy McAnulty.
The last of the rocky planets was Mars. The Hoot Owls painted the ice caps on Mars. The students learned that Mars is red due to iron covering its dusty surface. They also learned about Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in our solar system. The Hoot Owls used a Q-tip to “draw” or remove the paint to create the volcano.
Up next, the Hoot Owls are excited to learn about the gas planets!
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