space activities: math and literacy spaced-themed centers for kindergarten. Have fun with these activities while learning about stars and planets.
Our students started showing an interest in space, so we decided to start an inquiry in our classroom. We planned activities and centers based around space, and we did them over 2 weeks.
We watched videos, read books, and researched to learn more about and answer questions about space during this time. You can find this unit all about space that will help you teach your students all about the galaxy, universe and the solar system.
Hopefully, this post will give you some ideas for your math and literacy centers during your space inquiry.
Star Sight Words
We taped stars to our ceiling that had sight words written on them. Our students could use a ‘telescope’ (a piece of black construction paper that I rolled up and taped) to find a sight word, then they wrote it in the moon sand.
I made the moon sand by adding some black tempera paint to salt. I mixed it really well and let it dry overnight. The next day it was really hard, but I just had to break it up using my fingers, and it was ready to go!
Our students loved practicing our sight words this way, and it kept them engaged for a long time.
Star Sight Word Craft
We continued our sight word work with this literacy center. We traced a star on a yellow piece of paper, and our students cut them out. Then they added the strips of paper and the sight word to their star. They turned out so cute, and our students loved them!
If you are looking for more play-based sight word activities, check out these posts:
- Practicing Sight Words in Kindergarten
- 3 Sight Word Play-Based Centers
- Easy, Low-Prep Sight Word Activities
Our small world center turned into a construction site during our space unit. Students could use the blueprint page to draw their spaceship, then try to build it using the blocks. I also had an iPad available to them so that they could take a picture of their creation.
Our students loved this so much that we left it out for two weeks, and they never seemed to get bored of it. I was inspired by this blog post from Pocket of Preschool. I also printed out pictures of their creations and put them up on the wall to see what others had made.
Our space-themed sensory bin had black beans as the base, and I added gems and balls of aluminum foil to it. The plastic balls had letters on them that they could use to spell out the sight words on the sticks.
To find out more about how I use sensory bins in my classroom check out this post.
Constellation Chalk Art
I put out constellation cards, black construction paper and white pencil crayons, and let students explore and draw. They tried recreating each of the constellations and discussed what they noticed about the different constellations.
We put the same constellation cards back out on a different day, this time with beads and pipe cleaners. Students tried to use these materials to recreate the constellations.
This was a great challenge for our students, and was perfect for working on problem solving and fine motor skills.
Space Play Dough
We invited students to explore the different materials and recreate the craters we see on the moon. They could use the different items any way they wanted, and it was great for exploring different textures.
Let’s Learn About Space!
Need a lesson to teach about the different planets and space travel? I have the perfect slide deck that will make teaching easy! It is easy to navigate and use, and comes with a variety of printables and activities that you can print for your students.
You can learn more about how I teach science to my kindergarten students in my 3 Effective Ways to Teach Kindergarten Science blog post.
Grab the Space Unit!
We challenged our students with this construction center. They were given blocks to build a rocket as high as they could, then they measured their creation using snap cubes.
This was a very popular center and our students kept trying to make their rocket higher and higher.
We asked students to make a star out of snap cubes and count how many they used for this challenge. This was a great introduction to the concept of area and worked on their fine motor skills.
Space Writing Craft
You can have students reflect on their learning with these planet writing crafts. Have each student complete one and put them together to make a solar system for your class. You can also have your students make all of the planets to create their own solar system.
We ended our space unit with this writing prompt. We gave the students the option of writing about a planet they know about or making up their own planet.
They did a great job with this and made up some really great planets! I love that they were able to show off everything they learned about space and still be creative!
If you would like to use this writing prompt with your students, I have added it to my Resource Library as a free download!
I wrote a blog post about how I Get my Kindergarten Students Writing and one about my classroom Writing Center. I also like to use Class Books with my students to get them excited about writing.
Space Loose Parts
I set out a tray of loose parts with different stock images of space. Students could create images on them and play with the different loose parts.
Space Print Paintings
Students were invited to paint their own planets and make prints. Have students put paint on the back of a COATED paper plate. Once they have added enough paint, they can press it onto a piece of black construction paper to make their print.
If you want to learn more about how I use all these space activities, check out My Ultimate Guide to Kindergarten Centers.
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