May is a big month for space enthusiasts! Between National Astronaut Day on May 5th and National Astronomy Day on May 7th, there’s no better excuse to incorporate some outer space explorations this month!
Prepare for lift-off with The Walking Classroom! Have your students walk, listen, and learn about Galileo Galilei (Complete-#165, 5-#24, STEM-#5), Neil Armstrong (Complete-#152, 5-#82), and Suns, Stars, and Galaxies (Complete-#144, 4-#78, STEM-#26)!
Follow the Stars . . .
Throughout history, the starry night has always served as a fascinating subject. In ancient times, the Greeks calculated the circumference of the earth using the sun, and the Minoans used the stars to navigate. Looking up has always given people greater knowledge of the world around them! In light of such a long history, no wonder students still find fascination with the heavens!
These days, astronomers all over the world expand our knowledge of the universe. If students are especially interested in space, there’s never been a better time in history. However, not too long ago, astronomers were not so well-loved. In fact, during the early Renaissance, some faced challenges and even imprisonment for their discoveries.
Take Galileo Galilei, who students likely remember from the podcast. His studies were suppressed to the point he had to smuggle them out of his house! These days, one need not feel so daunted. Now, your student astronomers and space enthusiasts have a world of space studies to shoot for.
. . . or Shoot for the Moon!
Students don’t need a newly-invented telescope or a space program to study the stars! Try making a star viewer, constellation sewing cards, or paper tube telescopes! Or, take a look at some of the many activities available through NASA! Teachers can find plenty of classroom-friendly activities from PBS too.
Looking to bring in some books? Start with Barbara Lowell’s Books for Kids! Look at the selections on space, or check out the “novel” (and picture book!) ideas for Galileo Galilei, astronauts, and Apollo 11!
Make your Mark with Math!
Space science is full of math! Between designing spaceships, discovering hard-to-find objects, or learning about the human computers for the Apollo 11 mission, there are lots of opportunities to teach students math with space! Interested? Take a look at NASA’s Space Math and choose an activity or two, selecting by grade level or by what catches students’ curiosity!
Oh, and curious to learn more about those ‘Hidden Figures’? Try this lesson based on Margot Lee Shetterley’s book, Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race (980L).
And, as always, be on the lookout for other timely topics (and more ideas!) in future posts.