Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Montessori Inspired Space Studies



{I'm behind schedule again. Let's pretend it's Montessori Monday somewhere in the world!}

If I were to run these themed-units over again I would definitely do this one first.

It makes sense really, to introduce the concept of Earth and our place in space before diving into detailed studies of continents (see Africa here) or countries (see Egypt here).


We did this unit back in February and it actually ended up staying in the playroom for longer than a month – firstly, because we were having a lot of fun and secondly, because a few of the things I ordered online took awhile to get here (the joys of Territory living).


We had a couple of beautiful puzzles. This one was just right for Hamish (then 4)

and Rohan (2) could do this one with help.
I made a sensory box with some black fish tank rocks, glow-in-the-dark stars and moon, a star shaped cutter, a globe soft ball, mini cush balls, various rocks and gems and a space toob.

We also made a new batch of our space dough that I blogged about here.

Lots of star and moon shaped cutters made for a fun experience.
Our practical life activities included spooning “planets”...

and transferring pom poms with tongs– one per star...

For language we had these great cards which had multiple uses: Liam (7) could place then in order from the Sun outwards and, as there were two of each card, we could also play match/memory. This helped us learn the names and gave us frequent exposure to their spelling as well as the visual image of each celestial object.

For practicing numbers we had a constellation tracing activity – Liam and Hamish could do this one, Rohan just practiced using a pencil.

A huge favourite with Hamish was the number matching rocket. You rolled the dice to see which number had to be covered and then find the correct shape.

As I was conscious of having presenting topics a little out of order, I set up a geography/culture section with our mini globe, the continent cube and some nesting boxes.

Because I found so many great links to shapes in the space-themed activities I wanted to use, I also decided to include a shape sorter and a stacking shape puzzle (seen above) – both of which were a bit of a challenge for Rohan at that stage and not particularly of interest to the older two.


This topic also led itself to including some fun themed lunch and snack ideas too. We made a rocket sandwich...

and a Solar system tasting plate...

and because I like lists...


Math

Build a rocket

Constellation dot-to-dot


Language

Solar system cards 

Geography/Culture


Globe

Continent cube

Nesting boxes



Sensory

Sensory tub

Space dough

Rocket sandwich

Solar system tasting plate



Practical Life

Spooning planets

Tong transfer


and Science concepts exist throughout. Yay, Science!

Do your kids love space? Got any great activities for the next time I do this?

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