Homeschool Conference!!!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Journey Through Our Solar System...

SO...Just how BIG is our Solar System???

We found out today ( on a small scale )

If you read my last post about the Solar System, I mentioned that I'd be adding in our little journey as we VISITED each and every planet today...Yep, All in ONE day!  Amazing!!!

Here's how we did it ~~

Each pace, or large step
(hopefully equal to about 3 feet)
represented 3,600,000 miles!  
That's BIG, let it sink in for a moment...okay, now we'll move on.

We started our Space Journey at the Sun and made our way to each and every planet in our Solar System.
(here's another way to look at how we figured this...each inch represents One Hundred Thousand Miles)
100,000 miles every inch we went....mighty impressive!

We did some serious walking today!!!
I've never traveled so many miles in a days time!  :0)
I found these measurements on a website that unfortunately I did not write down and I cannot for the life of me remember what it if you were wondering how I became so smart and was able to figure all this out...don't be impressed...I just copied someone's else's brilliant mind!
Wish I could claim it, but I just can't!!!  Actually what I really wish is that my brain was half as brilliant as those that come up with some of this stuff!

 Let's get back on track...
You simply have to do this if you want a glimpse of just how vast our solar system is...mind boggling!!!  We started in our front yard and had a great big hula-hoop leaned against our white picket fence to represent the Sun.
I gave "planets" to several of the kids to carry along as we made our way on this amazing journey.

We had to be quite a sight...25 crazy people walking down my lane and then down to the end of the road and half way down the next street, walking in giant steps, counting ever so loudly until reaching our next destination!

Here's how it went ~
First, let's go back over the order of the planets...this is so super cute if you don't already know it...the kids remember it easily and it's a fun way to recall all the planets in order from the sun...
My Very Excellent Momma Just Sent Us Nine Pizzas!!!
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto

Now that we've reminded ourselves of the planets we'll be looking for's time to get busy!

Again, our "Hula-Hoop Sun"
was placed against the fence.  Let's start finding our planets...How many steps away would the first one be????

First planet just 10 steps away from the Sun ~ MERCURY.
The child carrying Mercury set it in place
and we called out for the next planet ~ VENUS...
take another 9 paces and place Venus.
Then onto EARTH...
mighty close, only another 7 paces.
WOW, the Earth is very close to the Sun (or so it appeared)  
At this point it was time for a little review...
just how far away is the Earth from the Sun ~
a whopping 93 MILLION MILES!!!!
Holy Smokes...we've done some serious traveling!
And all in just a few meager steps.

Time to visit MARS!
Just a few easy steps - 14 to be exact!

At this point it started becoming FUN!

I pointed out that we had now made it through all of the Inner Planets...
What came next?
They all knew ~ Hooray!!!

And then what?

JUPITER, of course...We were approaching the outer planets!!!

So we'd been used to just taking a few steps...this time they started gasping a little as I had them guess how many steps we should take to find the location of Jupiter.

95 Paces to Jupiter!
The child holding Jupiter placed it in position ~ Our Giant Planet was now set and it was time to move on...much more traveling to do!

Next Stop would be Saturn ~ another 112 paces.

Then on to Uranus ~ they were starting to wonder if we'd ever reach all the way to Pluto ~ we had to take another 249 paces to reach Uranus!!!

I loved the guesses they'd give!  I think they were starting to get a little worried...our paces kept increasing with each planet we visited!

Neptune would be our next planet to visit!  In just 281 paces we'd arrive!!!

After FINALLY arriving at Neptune,
I had several kids say,
"maybe we should just skip Pluto, remember they don't even consider it a planet anymore!"
I would have nothing to do with that!!!
We'd made it this far and we would make it all the way to Pluto!

We had an easy 242 Paces to go.  When we arrived at Pluto, we all wanted to celebrate!!!  We placed a tiny little mustard seed on the ground to represent our little dwarf planet.

Oh dear...and now for the march back to the Sun.  You would have thought that these kiddos would be tuckered out at this point.  Think again!  Most of them took off running.  This lovely body of mine doesn't really enjoy running, but I couldn't let them all leave me in the dust, so I did my best to keep up.  I didn't say that I actually kept up with all of them, I just did my best.  :0)

The only thing that I feel could have made this day any more spectacular would have been if I had the ability and the location for us to go in a single straight line for them to actually "see" just how far we had traveled.  I think they still got it, but if we could have had a pair of binoculars to spot the sun...would that not have been simply amazing??!!

ANYWAY, I sooooo suggest this to anyone that wishes to make an impression to a group of kiddos!  This one will have them gasping!  What a magnificent day!!!

One more wish...
How I would love to be the driver of that lovely little MAGIC SCHOOL BUS!
We'd be making some spectacular field trips...
oh well, for now we'll just have to use a little imagination and a whole bunch of creativity!