Children explore how smaller systems exist within larger systems as they build a collage of their place in space!
Before You Start:
Print images of Earth, the solar system, galaxies, and groups of galaxies. Images should be about one-sixth the size of the poster board.
Web sites for useful images:
Ask the children to name the parts of their family. Their answers may vary, but they probably will name brothers, sisters, pets, mothers and fathers, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.
Their family is part of the community, which is part of the town or city, which is part of the state. In nature, a system is a collection of things that can be organized into a group. They are related and influence each other.
In nature, a system is a group of structures that are related and influence each other. Systems have basic properties and can change over time. Scientists can predict these changes.
Invite the children to make a collage of their place in space by arranging their images in order from the smallest to the largest system. They will discover that each component is part of a system, and how that system can be a component in a larger system.
Provide each child with a poster board and ask them to divide it into a top and bottom half. Have them divide each half into three equal parts, and number the boxes from 1 to 6.
Provide the children with a set of images of Earth, the solar system, galaxies, and groups of galaxies. Ask them to place them in order, including the pictures of the children and their families.
Once the children have placed their images in order, have them glue or tape them onto the poster board. Invite them to place a title for their model of systems on their poster board and to highlight the stars or other parts of their poster with phosphorescent paint.
Have the children label each component (for example, family or galaxy).
Ask the children to reflect on their place in space.
Our Earth is an amazing place in the vastness of our galaxy. . . and universe — and each child is a unique individual on our unique, tiny Earth!
Invite the children to display their posters and talk about their systems and systems of systems. Darken the room and enjoy the show!
For each child:
Connections to the National Science Standard(s)
Standards A&D (grades K–4):Develop explanations using observation. Stars have properties and locations that can be observed and described.
Standards A & D (grades 5–8): Develop explanations and models based on observations and communicate scientific explanations.