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My Favorite Planet: Informational Text Charting & Craft

We're about 7 months into our space unit (ok, exaggeration -- but it's been slow going) and so as summer craziness gives us a reprieve, we're working extra hard to make time for some fun learning activities!

Today, while the cousins were over, we broke out our Big Book of Stars and Planets with the goal of learning a few fun facts and determining what we each liked about the planets! We started out by creating an awesome chart for recording our informational text.

We used this cool page of the book to guide us on how big to draw our planets, and then found pictures to inspire the color choices. The kids identified planets in the book and colored them accordingly.

Once we were done, I read a blurb about each planet and had the kids listen carefully for new information. They knew when it would be their turn to share so they could listen extra carefully. Usborne Books & More is known for designing non-fiction texts with the information broken down into bite-sized chunks. That design worked out perfectly for this activity! Their little brains would not be able to comprehend more information at once. Instead, I was able to read these 1-2 sentence paragraphs, and then they were able to tell me a fact they learned about the planet! We recorded the facts on our super-cool planet chart. Then, once all of the planets had their moment in the spotlight, I re-read the list of fun facts we'd found. Each child knew they were listening for the facts they found most interesting so that they could identify their personal favorite planet!

Once we made our choices, it was time for some messy fun! I found this shaving cream idea over at Crafty Morning and adapted it to fit our needs! The kids used the book and our chart to determine which colors of paint they would need for their planet, then mixed it into some shaving cream, and dipped card stock circles they'd cut out. They thought this was incredibly cool, and I totally agree.

While the planets were drying, they labeled their pages with the planet name & then dictated sentences to me about why they chose that planet as their favorite. We used chalk makers to write on black construction paper, which was also a BIG hit with these craft junkies.

This whole project took an hour and a half, kept their attention impressively well, and gave us practice in so many great areas! Simple science lesson for the win!

I love sharing our projects and lessons over in my Facebook Group! Make sure you hop in to follow the fun!
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