Space | Week 2 | Inner Planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, & Mars


Poem: Trees by Harry Behn

Constellation: Cassiopeia

Craft: Galaxy T-Shirt

Space Person: Ptolemy – known for idea that the earth was the center of the universe.(WikipediaPtolemy’s Model Of the Universe)

Movie: Men in Black

Planetarium Shows:  (Check out the Planetarium Shows post to reserve tickets!)

Vocabulary Words:

  • astronomy: a branch of science that deals with celestial objects, space, and the physical universe as a whole
  • atmosphere: the envelope of gases surrounding the earth or another planet
  • troposphere: the first layer of the atmosphere.  this is where we live and planes fly.
  • stratosphere: the second layer of the atmosphere.  weather balloons go as high as the stratosphere.
  • mesosphere: the third layer of the atmosphere.  this is where most meteors burn up.  the coldest place on earth is at the top of the mesosphere
  • thermosphere: the fourth layer of atmosphere.  the air is very thin and temperatures get extremely hot.  at the lower layer of the thermosphere is where the northern lights are, nearer the top is where space shuttles and the ISS orbit.
  • exosphere: the fifth and last layer of atmosphere.  it goes up to 10,000 km above the earths surface.
  • altitude: height above sea level or the earth’s surface.

Video ReferencesExplore the Solar System: The Rocky Planets,  The Solar System Song, Inner Planets,  Terrestrial Planets,  The Planet Mercury , The Planet Venus, The Planet Earth, & The Planet Mars

We recently purchased a telescope.  It is pretty great.  We busted it out and looked at the moon.  We haven’t done anything with the starts or planets yet.  The sun is setting later and later and my kids can’t make it that late.  We might try waking up early in the morning though and seeing the stars and planets that way.  This is the one we purchased from Amazon.  It comes with a backpack which is nice.



Planetarium Shows

The planetarium shows are located in the Romney building.  You enter the Romney thru the east side.  Straight ahead (and slightly to the right) there are stairs going down to the planetarium room.  The show cost $2 per person and you can pay me in cash or with a check when you get there.  I will try to have change available.  There is limited space available in the planetarium, so please reserve your tickets to guarantee that you get a place to sit.  If you have a child that will sit on your lap do not include them in your ticket count.

May 30, 2017 | 11am | Secrets of the Cardboard Rocket

June 1, 2017 | 11am| Secrets of the Sun

June 5, 2017 |11am | Dynamic Earth

June 7, 2017 | 11am | Two Small Pieces of Glass

June 14, 2017 | 11am | New Horizons

June 20, 2017 | 11am | Perfect Little Planet

June 22, 2017 | 11am | Wonders of the Universe

June 26, 2017 | 11am | Exploding Universe

June 28, 2017 | 11am | Black Holes

July 5, 2017 | 11am | Tales of the Mayan Skies

July 11, 2017 | 11am | Extreme Planets

July 13, 2017 | 11am | Totality

  • Reserve Tickets
  • This is a new show!!  The planetarium will be FREE and they will be giving away FREE solar eclipse glasses!  If the show sells out, I will see about a second showing.


Due to the university’s schedule there will not be any shows from July 16th until September 12th.  If the last few shows do fill up I will do my best to schedule additional shows before it closes for the rest of the summer.  If you’d like to contact me about shows my email is








Space | Week 1 | The Sun & Gravity

the sun & gravityPoem or Quote: Atheism is so senseless.  When I look at the solar system, I see the earth at the right distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light.  This did not happen by chance.  – Isaac Newton

Constellations:  Big Dipper, Little Dipper, North Star

Craft: Rockets (Pinterest Rocket board)

Space Person: Isaac Newton – known for the laws of gravity (Wikipedia PageCool Kid Facts)

Movie: 2001 Space Odyssey

Planetarium Show:

Vocabulary Words:

  • gravity : the force of attraction between two objects
  • weight : a measure of the force of gravity on an object
  • escape velocity : the lowest velocity that a body must have in order to escape the gravitational attraction of a particular planet or other object
  • propulsion : the action of driving or pushing forward
  • solar : relating to the sun or utilizing the energy of the sun
  • corona : outer layer of sun’s atmosphere, visible during a solar eclipse, looks like a halo around the sun
  • sunspot : area of gas on the suns surface, cooler than the gas around it, helped prove that the sun rotates on its axis
  • solar flare : sudden bursts of energy in the form of fire that erupts on the sun’s surface

Video References:  Learn about Gravity with Dr. Binocs, Crash Course Kids, 4K footage of the Sun, StoryBots “I’m so Hot!”, Gravity Visualized, Escape Velocity,

Other References: Weight on other planets,

I’ve used this star finder before and loved it.  Once upon a time my roommates and I put the winter constellations up in our college apartment living room!


Summer of Space 2017

I am excited.  Near the end of the summer there will be a solar eclipse and we live in a small town located in the path of totality.  Because of this we have chosen to study outer space this summer!!

Each week I will post the lesson material for the upcoming week.  Included will be a quote to memorize, constellations to learn about and locate, a craft, a famous person, a movie, and vocabulary.  I will also include the names and links to descriptions of the planetarium show that we will be attending.

A few tips and tricks on how to make the most out of this material.

When working on memorization I recommend the Charlotte Mason memory system.  I have used this system with my kids and I have been really pleased by how much they remember.  You don’t just memorize one thing and then move onto the next.  The way it is set up you are always repeating the things you have memorized even as you move on to memorize new things.  In the link above there is a video on how to set up and use the system.

I haven’t done constellations with my kids before.  I’m hoping that after teaching them the first ones on our list (big dipper, little dipper, and north star) that they will be able to take the reins on this one.  We just purchased a telescope and will be getting a star chart.  I hope that with these two items, and the knowledge of where the first constellations are that they will be able to use their brilliant minds and work out where the others are and then be able to teach me!  There are apps out there that you just have to point your phone in the direction and it shows you all the constellations, but I feel like there is value in using paper.  Maybe at the end of the summer I will get one of the apps and let me kids play with it.

Each week I will link the craft to a corresponding Pinterest board.  Pick something that works for your family and budget.  If you want to do more than one then by all means have at it.  I would encourage you to recycle and reuse things that are already around your home.  Here is also another area where you can encourage your kids to take the reins.  They have great imaginations.  Give them a problem, some guidelines and they will love coming up with a solution!

Try to challenge yourself and your kids to use the vocabulary words each week.  I know some of the words will be tough to work into conversations, but have some weird conversations.  Make up stories.  Roll dice to see how many words you will need to use.

I encourage the use of YouTube.  I am by no means an expert at anything.  There are lots of people out there who are and some of them put out some amazing content on the internet. Find it and use it.  I will be linking to some things that I think are cool and would encourage you to link to things in the comments if you find something that you feel others would benefit from.

Happy Learning!