In spite of the unusual weather in many parts of the world, summer really is around the corner. Some of you have already started your summer vacation while others of us are in school for most of June (and searching for fun, educational activities to keep our students from checking out early!). Whether you are looking for lessons to round out this year, ideas to use later, or even activities to do with your own kids at home, Joann’s space shuttle picks could give you a nice variety.
Launching a vessel into space is an intriguing idea for kids and adults alike, and a concept that lends itself well to fun classroom activities. Kids build imaginary rockets and pretend to be on their own space adventures for fun. Space shuttles, rockets, stars, and planets adorn the walls of children’s bedrooms around the world. It’s a logical step to take this fun concept and use it in your teaching. English, math, science, and history lessons can take on an interesting twist when you connect them to the study of space shuttles. Even as the shuttle program officially ends, learning about space shuttles, the space program, and space science can continue to grow in the classroom.
Students have gotten the chance to witness history as they have watched space shuttle launches on TV since the eighties. I will never forget the day we watched the live coverage of the Challenger lifting off in my elementary school classroom. That tragedy presented unique challenges for teachers and a very memorable teachable moment in history. Activities like 5,4,3,2,1 Blast Off! combine a study of this recent history with science and rocket design.
I particularly liked some activities on the Gateway this week that are hands on explorations of the topic. Thirteen Ed Online has a wonderful resource that features a space shuttle simulation. This resource includes multiple activities, allowing students to be part of a simulated shuttle crew that conducts experiments, maps routes, and holds multimedia press releases. For a quick and fun activity, you can have your students design paper rockets attached to film canisters (if you can still find any!). To launch, fill the canister ¾ full of water, drop in ½ of an Alka-Selzer tablet, put on the lid, and POP! You have a homemade rocket to study.
~Peggy's Corner - 6/3/2011~