Kindergarten Lesson on Objects in the Sky
A kindergarten lesson about objects in the sky may be a standalone activity or part of a larger science unit, connecting to lessons on day and night or celestial objects. As the students look up at the sky, they learn to observe and identify objects and states of nature. Lessons in this area can also easily integrate developmental skills of abstract thinking, organization and classification, spatial relations, language arts, and storytelling.
1 Looking Up
Ask the students, "What do we see when we look at the sky?" You may want to take the group outside for an observation period and ask them to look around in the dark outside when they get home that evening. Discuss which objects are on the ground and which are in the sky, and talk about the differences between the daytime sky and the nighttime sky.
Ask the students to list as many objects in the sky as they can think of and have them draw the objects on pieces of construction paper. Write the name of each object on the corresponding picture, or write them on separate cards and have the students match them to their pictures.
Have the students collect drawings and photos of objects in the sky, or use the pictures the students drew in the previous activity and supplement the collection with other images as necessary. Include the sun, moon, clouds, stars, airplanes, helicopters, birds, insects and kites. Then have the children organize the objects into opposite categories, including day and night, man-made and natural, and living and nonliving.
3 Near and Far
Assign each student an object from the same image collection from the "opposites" activity. Put a globe or another object representing the Earth on one side of the classroom and have the children arrange themselves in order of how near or far each object is from the Earth's surface.
Make a sky word wall by affixing the images in order along a wall or bulletin board and labeling each image with its name. You can use a similar spatial-relationship activity for the solar system. Use images of the sun and the planets, and their moons if you want to get detailed.
4 Stories in the Sky
Show the students star charts of simple constellations and explain that in ancient times, people saw pictures in the stars and told stories about them. Read or relate short myths about a few of the constellations. You can use the Greek tradition, the Chinese version or a mixture.
Have the students create their own constellations with dark construction paper and star stickers. Give each student a limited number of stickers and encourage them to come up with interesting shapes with only a few stars. Each student can then name her constellation and come up with a background story to share with the group.