Friday, February 15, 2013

Planets....and Toilet Paper!?

Our space unit was a big hit! We spent the past couple of days taking a look at the planets. We focused on the rock planets one day and the gas planets the next. We read lots of nonfiction books, looked at some cool pictures on the smarthboard, and used my All About the Planets! pack. The kids learned so much!!
 To end our space unit, we got a good look at how far each planet is from the sun in comparison to one another! We demonstrated this using.... TOILET PAPER! You may remember my post from last year. Anyway, we first had the kids estimate where they thought each planet should go...
{This picture was from last year-I didn't grab my phone in time to snap a pic!}
Then we gave them the distance of each planet from the sun. We told them that each square of toilet paper was equal to 10 million miles. We decided to work in a little ball park estimation-we see it regularly in our math series :) The kids had to tell us about how far each planet was from the sun. Great review!! Anyway, here are the measurements we used:
Mercury: 36 million miles {~40 million=4 squares}
Venus: 67 million miles {~70 million=7 squares}
Earth: 93 million miles {~90 million=9 squares}
Mars: 141 million {~141 million=14 squares}
Jupiter: 484 million miles {~480 million=48 squares}
Saturn: 886 million miles {~890 million=89 squares}
Uranus: 1.8 billion miles {~1,800 million=180 squares}
Neptune: 2.8 billion miles {~2,800 million=280 squares}
{My view from Neptune. All the kids are waving goodbye!}
We went through every planet and the kids were really excited and amazed! I think it really helped put everything into perspective :) HUGE shout out to Mrs. Kolar, our ELL teacher, who helped again this year!!
If you got this far,  I want to give my All About the Planets! pack to the first person to comment {since I have not given it to anyone yet!!}
I will post about our Valentine's Day happenings later on this week :) HAPPY WEEKEND!


  1. Oh would love a copy!

  2. Just wanted to add that I love how you use toilet paper! I need to try that! I went to a workshop where the presenter said she used her students, but she did say that you would need to utilize the whole school! Toilet paper seems simpler! Thank you for the idea!

  3. Thanks for the toilet paper idea! Super cool!

  4. This is such a clever idea, especially to my preschoolers who are just getting the concept of length. I love this and will try it out with them to see if they understand it!