For the second installment of this six-month series of easy, fun and engaging arts integration activities that kids and families can enjoy together, we’re exploring systems. Integrating the arts with students’ everyday academics is proven to increase comprehension and retention! Whether your kids are learning virtually, in a classroom setting or homeschooled, there are plenty of opportunities to learn together with this solar system activity.
Lesson 2: Look to the Stars
What do you see when you look up in the sky at night? On a clear night, you can see the moon, stars and, if you look at the right time, even a planet or two! This is because the planets are always moving. Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are all planets that orbit our solar system’s star — the sun. These eight planets make up our solar system. What makes this system work? Every planet has its own orbit caused by the sun’s gravitational pull.
Salt Planet Solar Systems
All eight planets have unique orbits, sizes and shapes. Visit this website to learn more about each one: https://www.dkfindout.com/us/space/solar-system/
Use what you learned to create a visual representation of the planets in our solar system.
First, gather your materials:
- A large piece of black paper or poster board
- 9 circles of different sizes to trace. Make sure these will all fit on your paper. (Hint: Check the kitchen for different sized bottles and lids!)
- A pencil
- Liquid glue (like Elmers)
- Table salt
Next, add a drop of water into each watercolor to help soften the color. (We’ll come back to these at the end!). You are ready to get started
- Choose your largest circle. That will be your sun. Trace your sun on the paper, either in the middle or on the corner, depending on the sizes of your circles.
- Place each of your circles to trace on your paper, keeping in mind the size and orbit of each planet.
- Make your planets three dimensional. The three dimensions are height, width and depth. Your drawing created the height and width. Now it’s time to add the depth:
- Fill a planet’s shape with glue.
- Spread it carefully to fill the circle. Sprinkle salt on top of the glue, making sure to cover the entire space in the circle.
- Let the glue and salt dry. Then shake away any loose salt over a trash can or sink.
- Now paint your Solar System:
- Dip your paintbrush in water, then in a watercolor
- Touch the paintbrush tip to the salt
- Continue in this way, using your desired colors to create each planet.
Share a photo or video of your sculpture with the tag #okcfamilyfun for a chance to be shared in MetroFamily! Go online for more integrated-arts activities provided by Oklahoma A+ Schools plus information about this organization at metrofamilymagazine.com/integrated-arts.