This summer I’m holding a three-part space art program. In our first session we explored the planets!
I was also able to re-use a couple print outs from my Ready, Set, Kindergarten — Space program, which was handy.
To start, I read a few pages from The Planets by Gail Gibbons. (If you use this book, make sure you get the updated version! Pluto is still a planet in the original …) I didn’t read the pages about individual planets because I created slides detailing fun facts about each:
I told the kids to really focus on what each planet is made of, what color each is, how many moons each has, and other fun details. After our PowerPoint, I handed each kid a worksheet so they could create their own planet. I got the worksheet from Amber Anderson on Teachers Pay Teachers.
The kids thoughts about the weather and temperature of their planet, named their planet (I set out some Greek/Roman mythology books if they needed any help with this since most of the planets are named after gods and goddesses), decided how far their planet was from the sun, and made up other interesting facts about their newly discovered planet. Then it was time for them to paint.
I handed each kid a piece of watercolor paper with a pre-drawn circle on it and I had watercolors and tempera paint for them to choose from. I deliberately did not make an example because I wanted their planets to come completely from their imagination.
While their planets dried a bit, I had them dot black construction paper with white tempera paint for a starry background for their planet. We used my favorite trick of Q-tips and little cups of paint for this. I got the idea for this craft here. When that was done, they cut out their planets and glued them on the black background.
While the kids were creating and painting, I played Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” off of YouTube. 🙂 Mars sounds suspiciously like the Imperial March in Star Wars …
I had a really great turnout and I’m hoping the next one goes just as well. We’re going to talk about aliens, UFOs, and Area 51!