Dream Big and Explore!
National Space Day 5th May
Just one day earlier, and we could have entitled this article: “May the 4th be with you!”
But never mind! Missed opportunity for puns notwithstanding – children of all ages (and their teachers) will surely love any excuse to celebrate something as exciting and awe-inspiring as SPACE!
Whether you are planning a whole day of activities or just giving a nod to the day, we believe the ethos behind it is so wonderful and important - to inspire everyone in the pursuit of progress, knowledge and endless possibilities.
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
Super space-themed suggestions!
You will no doubt already have many exciting activity ideas, but maybe one, or more of these could be added to your list!
1. Take a rocket trip together (all ages!) Decide where you will go – the moon, a star, just above the atmosphere or perhaps a planet. Maybe the one made of diamonds -55 Cancri e – would be a good choice. Or discover a new one!
2. Set up your rocket – perhaps seats in the classroom or a huge chalk drawing on the playground, then count down and blast off together! Will you float as you leave the atmosphere and enter space? How will you move around if you land on a planet? What can you see there? Explore and perhaps bring some carefully selected specimens to examine back on Earth.
3. Make your classroom into a spaceship. Wrap parts of it in silver foil! Black out the windows and draw stars on them. Put a live image of space up on the whiteboard. This will make the day extra memorable!
4. Write, or record, a description of an alien, then swap and ask a partner to draw it. Is that how they imagined it would look?
5. Play a space-themed piece of music, such as The Planet Suite by Holst and allow children to paint how it makes them feel, or the images it inspires.
6. Find out about real-life astronauts such as: Neil Armstrong, John Young, Jim Lovell, John Glenn, Buzz Aldrin, Kalpana Chawla, Sunita Williams, Tim Peake, Helen Sharman.
Older children might pull a name from a hat and discover as much as they can about that person, perhaps creating a factsheet. The sheets could be made into ‘Class __’s Book of Astronauts’.
7. Make a timeline about space exploration so far.
8. Read only space-themed books today! There are so many brilliant ones to choose from, but a few favourites are: Toys in Space by Mini Grey, Beegu by Alexis Deacon, Hello Star by Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic, Q Pootle 5 by Nick Butterworth, How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers and The Darkest Dark by astronaut Chris Hadfied.
9. Find out about some of the future space exploration plans, such as the Artemis program. The mission is to return humans to the moon by 2024.
10. If you are a EuHu member, you could try the WOW lesson - How does the Moon move and what do we see from Earth? Written by science expert and author Nicky Waller, this lesson explores misconceptions children often have about the Moon.
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Join Science expert, Nicky Waller, as she shares a lesson that will help children to understand the movement of the Moon relative to the Earth. In this lesson, your pupils will be observing over time, as well as making and using models, to help them learn about the Moon phases and explain how we see the Moon from Earth.
There are so many celebratory days in the school year, but this is surely one not to be missed. Spread the enjoyment, and May 5th be with you!!