Our next topic in our astronomy project was stars. Stars are such a broad topic and you can cover many different areas; types of stars, the life cycle of a star, the birth of stars and our star - the Sun. We started off by watching a short video about stars which I found on YouTube by Storybots. Storybots really make learning fun by introducing topics through song.
This was a firm favourite with my children. They asked to watch this for days after and soon learnt the words and started singing it round the house. They also loved this song about the Sun.
Next we did an experiment to discover if stars really twinkle. It turns out they do not, the atmosphere in space makes them look like they are twinkling. This is the experiment we tried.
After this we had some fun crafting. I gave the children some lolly sticks and sequins and asked them to make their own twinkling star.
Then we moved on to the Sun. I gave the children some black card and chalk pastels and asked them to draw the Sun.
Then they stuck facts about the Sun around the edges of the picture. Above is R's attempt and below is D's. D wrote the facts herself as she enjoys writing.
Next we spoke about the different types of stars from white dwarfs to red giants.
We talked about how our star was medium-sized and how there are other stars that are much bigger than it. I told them how the Sun was only half way through its life cycle and how it would change throughout its life. Here is the diagram I used to explain this.
Finally we talked about how stars are born. I showed them pictures of nebulae and told them how stars are created out of gas and dust in the nebulae. We then made our own nebulae in glass jars using this tutorial.
This was the children's favourite activity. They loved filling up the jar with water, paint, glitter and cotton wool and asked to make more straight away. I need to get some more jars!
The children have now put these jars on their windowsill in their room and I think they make a lovely decoration.
Have you been learning about the stars?