Exploring Astronomy with Students
Children are often fascinated by the sun, stars, and other aspects of space, which can make astronomy a fun and exciting part of science to teach. Whether you want to explore a single planet, the solar system, or the Milky Way, students will enjoy learning about how the universe works. Here are a few tips on exploring astronomy with your students:
- Keep books about astronomy in your classroom library. Keeping books about astronomy available to students encourages independent reading and also provides a variety of discussion starters about space.
- Have models, puzzles, or posters of the solar system in your classroom. Having a model, puzzle, or poster of the solar system in your classroom encourages discussion about the solar system and gives children opportunities to explore and discover the planets, moons, comets, etc. in our solar system.
- Pick a constellation, planet, etc. to explore with students every week/month. You can have students research a planet or another part of space and present their findings each week or month, or you can share a variety of information about the chosen constellation, planet, etc. with students if you would like for it to be more of a class project.
- Ask children to create their own solar system models. Whether it's with play dough, clay, or Styrofoam balls, asking children to create their own solar system models is a great way to reinforce what they're learning about space.
- Host an astronomy-themed family fun night. Invite families to come learn about astronomy with their children. You can use the Far Out!™ Solar System Mapping Tool or the Inflatable Solar System to demonstrate the relative distances between planets and the sun, and you can have various astronomy-related activities and crafts for families and their children to complete. If it's a clear night, you can also have a telescope outside for families to observe the stars.
- Look for astronomy news you can share with your students. Many meteorologists will talk about space news or events, so be sure to watch your local news for information you can share with your students. You can also sign up for a Google Alert or sign up to receive news from astronomy websites, such as space.com or KidsAstronomy.com.
Visit our Earth and Space section to browse our selection of astronomy-related educational materials and teaching resources.