The Science Essentials workbook includes a brief reading for each chapter, puzzles, games, quizzes, experiments and lots of vocabulary.
As they worked through each chapter, they also filled out a comparison chart for each planet showing it's size, location, composition, # of moons and color (from RSO) and KWL charts (from Intellego).
The first chapter was an overview of the solar system - what a solar system is, what is found in our solar system, information about the Milky Way galaxy. Since everything in the universe is made of matter they did a demonstration using the microwave to show the different states of matter for water.
They worked through chapters on each planet, learning about it's position from the sun, the origin of it's name, interesting facts about each. For each planet they also made a model using Styrofoam balls that they put together into a solar system model at the end.
For Mercury, they showed how craters are formed by dropping rocks into a pan of dirt, sand and mud.
For Venus, they showed how the carbon dioxide atmosphere trapped heat by heating up a jar in the sun.
For the Earth, they learned about how the seasons are caused by the tilt of the earth.
They also did a couple of demonstrations about gravity, including making a scale....
and dropping various objects from the same height to show they hit the ground at the same time.
They wrote a diary about a trip to another planet. Vicki's: "Day 1, I was landing when I saw a volcano. It started to get dark. Day 2, when I woke up a volcano erupted. It was interesting. Day 3, That night I heard something Roar, it was the engine. Day 4, That afternoon I heard something. Day 5, that mourning I took a jog. Day 6, that noon I took a look at the engine.
George's "Venus Experius. Day 1, Things aren't at all well. We forgot the camera and Bippo is panicking. We lost 6 whole chocolate bars to calm him down.. Day 2, I'm supposed to be having lunch but Bippo is missing. Day 3, Bippo is STILL LOST!!! Day 4, We gave up and caught Bippo raiding the fridge. Day 5, We set off back home."
They decided what they would bring on a trip to Saturn. Vicki chose hygiene products (brush, toothbrush, soap) a flag, food, water and a space suit. George picked tools, food, books, and a star map.
After the planets, they learned about the Sun. They compared the relative size of the Sun to the relative size of the Earth by comparing a one inch piece of yarn to a 108 inch long piece of yarn.
They also made a solar oven, a sundial, and learned about eclipses.
They learned about the moon, including the various phases of the moon and tracking it for one month.
Next they learned about some stars that were not our Sun, constellations including creating their own, the Milky Way.
They learned about comets and made their own comet kites....
and about the differences between asteroids, comets, meteors, and meteorites.
They learned about the history of space exploration and wrote a story as if they were on the moon with Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin Jr.
Vicki's story: "I was talking with Edwin until Neil fell into a crater. We found rope and lowered it with Edwin tied to it when I let go by accident. Then they were both stuck till I found a ladder. Then we all collected moon rocks. Last we went home."
George's story: " 'It's dark here', I said. We saw space rocks sized from a mouse to an elephant to a butterfly. And BIIIIIG craters! Not much else...."
They finished up by discussing whether they thought there might be life on other planets (both thing there is) and making up their own aliens.
During the course of the study they watched the Magic School Bus episodes about space, and read lots of different books.
This finishes up science for this school year other than possibly some nature hikes and field trips.