- If you are teaching this topic at school, it is important that the children are able to look carefully at the sky at night. Send a note home to parents, telling them what you are studying, and some suggestions for talking to their child while observing the sky. Have them write down some of the things that were discussed to bring back to school. (Darkness, moon, shape of moon, stars, size and color of stars, twinkling, clusters, birds, airplanes and lights, shadows etc). Perhaps you could convince the parents into pitching a tent in their back yard and having an overnight campout with their preschooler!
- The sky looks different at day and at night.
- We live on the Earth, and the planet Earth is part of a huge universe. We can see part of the universe when we look up the sky. At night we often see the Earth’s moon, reflecting light from the sun (which is really a star!)
- The moon is very far away. We can see shadows on the surface. Some years ago, some astronauts traveled to the moon and found that the moon is made of rock, with lots of sandy grey dust. People can’t stay on the moon unless they wear a special suit that helps them breathe, because there is no air on the moon. Have lots of photos and books available.
- Stars are much further away than our moon. Nobody has traveled to a star yet, because they are so far away. They are very hot, too.
- People know a lot about Earth but they don’t know everything about the universe. Scientists called astronomers learn new things every day, by using strong telescopes, and sending robot machines into space that can collect data (find out about things by using machines and computers).
- Cooperative wall mural on large paper. Use big brushes with shades of deep blue and indigo paint. Add stars of all sizes, a moon (discuss whether crescent or full) nocturnal flying animals (owl, bat), airplanes with lights etc. Add a story strip.
- Make pin holes through black construction paper, and look through them against a light. This activity is for 4+, and should be supervised.
- Make line patterns with clipart “celestial bodies” e.g. star star moon star star moon
- Lie down on floor, close eyes, and imagine. Pretend you are a tiny glowworm at night high in a tree. You look up to the sky and you see… and you hear… and you smell… etc Teacher writes children’s words.
- Crayon resist art, draw stars with yellow crayon, wash over with dilutes blue/purple watercolor. Sprinkle glitter.
- Copy some photos of space probes and satellites so the children can see what they look like.