Astronomy Unit Study: Unit Three – Mercury

We are on unit three of our astronomy studies and have been learning all about Mercury.  We have been using Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Astronomy. I also have access to Everyday Astronomy from School House Teachers, as well as lots of bits and pieces I used with my older ones that I have collected over the years:

astronomy unit study

Facts about Mercury

Mercury is the closest planet to the sun. It has little to no atmosphere which means it reaches incredibly high temperatures during the day and incredibly low temperatures at night.  This means no-one has ever landed there and so we do not know much about it.

We do know that it takes 59 earth days for Mercury to experience one day and one night, because it spins on its axis very slowly.  Conversely, it revolves around the sun very quickly, taking just 88 earth days to make one revolution.  One day on Mercury is 59 earth days and one year is 88.  This means a year on Mercury is less than two days long 🙂

The girls filled in their notebooks to record all they were learning:

Mercury

Mercury

They also created their own puzzles which they have since played with numerous times:

Mercury

Mercury

Demonstrating how Craters are made on Planet Mercury

The girls collected some flour and different sized stones:

They took it in turns to drop the stones into the flour:

 

Then carefully tried to remove the stones to leave the craters:

 

This didn’t work as well as I had hoped, so we tried again with sturdier icing sugar.  This worked much better:

The girls recorded the activity in their notebook and filled in some mini-books as well:

Making a Model of Planet Mercury

This time the girls used flour, salt, oil and warm water to create a model of Mercury, craters and all:

    

Designing a Travel Brochure Encouraging People to Holiday on Mercury

This was a great activity for consolidating the girls knowledge.  I asked them to come up with some key points about this planet and change them slightly to put a positive spin on them.

The girls dressed up in their astronaut play clothes and we used duvets to mimic the rocky terrain.  I took a photo in black and white.  This would create the basis of our brochure:

We typed in everything we could think of to encourage people to visit:

This was such a fun activity, which I am certain we will attempt to recreate for some of the other planets.

For more Astronomy posts click on the following links:

Astronomy Presentation from my teens when they were younger:

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Astronomy Unit One: The Solar System

Astronomy Unit Two: The Sun

Astronomy Unit Study (Sun)

2 comments

  1. This brings back great memories. We did some of these activities, too. I really love the Apologia curriculum for elementary aged children. The journals made it all come together.

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