We have learned so much about our solar system.
We know a comet is made up of ice, space dust and gas.
We know a meteoroid is a rock orbiting around the sun. If we are lucky we can sometimes see one in our night sky, it looks like a shooting star and it gets a name change to meteorite.
We learned that asteroids are small icy metallic rocks, many of which are between Mars and Jupiter.
We know that to rotate means to spin in place, and an orbit is the path an object in space follows.
The children were rotating planets orbiting the aleph bet mat.
Morah Katie: If you could be a planet which one would you be?
Morah Katie: Why Jupiter?
Dena: Because of it's big red spot.
Levi: I would be Earth, because we live there.
Morah Katie: Scout, which planet would you be?
Morah Katie: Why Mars Scout?
Scout: I like red.
Tori: I like Mars too! I like that it's red too!
Noah: I would be the planet that is gassy and has stinky air, but I would rotate fast.
Kian: You mean Venus.
Levi: Venus rotates slow.
Noah: Yeah, but I would rotate fast!
Wow the paths of the planets are so big!
All the planets are lined up (Scout= Mercury/Dena=Venus/Levi=Earth & Efraim=Moon/Noah=Mars/Kian=Jupiter & Gracie=Moon/Tori=Saturn/Ben=Uranus/Aaron=Neptune
The planets are following their orbits.
What is Morah Katie doing all the way over there?
She is PLUTO on its crazy orbital path of an oval.
She even weaved in between Uranus and Neptune!
Pluto doesn't follow a circular orbit, it is not a true planet.
We discovered that Pluto may have been demoted from our family of planets, but it has joined a group of other dwarf planets all together in the Kuiper Belt (an area past Neptune similar to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter only 20-200x more expansive).
We have paper planets we can move around the classroom, line up, and create our own orbital paths around.
The more we have studied the solar system, the more we realized how large the universe is,
and how exciting it must be to be an astronomer continually learning new things!
We have been playing in, and on our expanding playground.