Module 3 – Stars, Space and Aliens

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    • #208984
      Profile photo ofpbrennan_jy7f6fe0Pat Brennan
      Course Facilitator

        *Please Note:  Participants who use Word (Or equivalent) to write their assignments and then copy and paste these into the forum may find that additional extraneous formatting is brought across. To avoid this, either right click in the post window and choose ‘Paste as Plain Text’ or use the keyboard shortcut cmd+shift+v. Alternatively, you can first paste the content into Notepad (Or similar text editor) and then copy it from here to the topic window.

        ASSIGNMENT

        Choose from one of the activities or activity sets outlined in this module:

        • Activity Set: Stars
        • Activity Set: Space and Aliens

        How would you use the activity in your classroom? Post a reflective piece (150 words min) to the forum as a reply to this post. You may include digital records of the activities.
        Also, please respond to at least one other participant’s post.

      • #209659
        Eleanor Mc Sweeney
        Participant

          Activity: Stars
          English:
          Aiming this lesson towards infants, I would begin by teaching the classic nursery rhyme “Twinkle Twinkle”. I would ensure to have the word star printed in the classroom and refer to the word phonetically or children can look up at the word for letter formation. It would also be a great word for blending s-t-a-r = star. We will also use the word star to practise rhyming. Children will be invited to give words that rhyme with the word star

          Maths – Star shape, counting how many points to a typical maths star shape, what shape makes the points, ie. Triangles etc. I would reinforce this by simple activities such as tracing and cutting to consolidate learning

          Art – I would introduce a star related story such as “How to catch a star”. I would then move on to do the lots and lots of stars activity from module 3.

          SESE : Focus in on learning about stars in our solar system. I would begin by doing a think pair share to understand what the children know to date. I would then play https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07sMjGQasJM to help children learn about stars in our solar system. After, I would do a discussion in a circle. I would have a star (cut out of cardboard and decorated). Children would be invited to share what they have learned. As they share with others, they will hold the star.

          Music: Tempo – Discussion about fast and slow. I will play Star Light, Star Bright and children listen and decide if the music is fast or slow. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w79AosCp0I8

          • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by Profile photo ofpbrennan_jy7f6fe0Pat Brennan.
          • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy. Reason: tidied formatting
          • #209763
            Saoirse Gleeson
            Participant

              Hi Eleanor. I love how you integrated so many different subjects!

            • #210935
              Lynn McElroy
              Participant

                This is a lovely way to incorporate nursery rhymes into the theme.

              • #214572

                Yes Eleanor I agree. The integration is very well planned/structured.

              • #209817
                Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                Participant

                  Great stuff Eleanor.

                  Don’t forget to paste as plain text to avoid the extra formatting coming through.

                • #210013
                  Claire Kelly
                  Participant

                    Hi Eleanor

                    Your lesson is fantastic as you have integrated so may subjects into it and it  would suit every child in a class.

                  • #210316
                    Michelle McGee
                    Participant

                      The activity I would love to try out in my classroom is the stars activity, making the plough. I will suggest it for a project across all year groups during STEM week next year as it integrates science, maths and design so well. It would also make an incredible display in the hall corridors, as students can see as they ascend the stairs their view of the stars appear different. Orians belt could be another constellation that could be done. I believe using these two will engage the students as they can so clearly be seen at night. We could encourage students to even take night photos of the constellations to add to a STEM school display, could this be extended to a summer project, asking students who travel abroad to take photos of the plough from a different geographical location? Could you take photos of the consellation at different seasons?

                    • #210588
                      Paula Mc Gee
                      Participant

                        That sounds like a good lesson to use for STEM week. I can see how it can be adapted for all levels. I like the idea of children taking pictures that can be shown in school of the constellations.

                      • #210780
                        Louise O Grady
                        Participant

                          I agree Michelle, this would be a great activity to do with the children. It’s very hands on and there’s lots of learning involved.

                        • #212193
                          Siobhan Rooney
                          Participant

                            Hi Michelle,

                            I really like the idea of the children taking photos of the plough at night. Really helps to put it in context for them. Pictures could easily be uploaded to google classroom for everyone to see.

                          • #212442
                            Sarah Harrington
                            Participant

                              I love how you shared this all over the school as it integrates all class levels and allows each class to benefit from science week.

                            • #214043
                              Chloe Buckley
                              Participant

                                Hi Michelle,

                                I loved this lesson also. It’s really interactive, creative and visual and has great math integration too. It also has great scope for home school link as you mentioned. Cant wait to bring this one to my staff!

                                Chloe

                              • #210431
                                Sinéad Heffernan
                                Participant

                                  Activity set – Space and Aliens
                                  Introduction: Story – Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freedman.
                                  1. Wax Crayon Painting
                                  Needed: paper, white wax crayons, watery paint, paint brushes.
                                  Children draw an alien from the story using white wax crayons. Ensure they press hard with white crayons while drawing, chunky white crayons work best.
                                  Talk about what the children notice, can they see their drawings? …..explain its difficult to see as both paper and crayons are white.
                                  Now do some magic painting to make their drawings appear.
                                  Children paint over the top of their drawings with watery paint.
                                  Why can they see their picture now?…….Watery paint won’t stick to the wax from the crayon.
                                  2. Flying Alien
                                  Needed: green balloons, markers, toilet roll, sellotape.
                                  Draw an alien face on the (uninflated) balloons using the markers.
                                  Blow up the balloons but do not tie them.
                                  Using the sellotape attach some toilet roll to the slimmer end of the balloon to make a tail.
                                  Let go of the balloon and watch your alien whizz around the room.
                                  3. Grow a Balloon Alien
                                  Needed: bottle, vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, balloon, marker.
                                  Before beginning, blow up a balloon. Pinch the end closed and use a marker to draw an alien face on the balloon and then let out the air. This will make the balloon easier to inflate when doing the experiment.
                                  Place two tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda into the bottle.
                                  Add 200ml of vinegar.
                                  Immediately place the balloon over the mouth of the bottle and hold tightly.
                                  Watch the alien grow as the balloon fills with gas.
                                  If the reaction is slowing down, give the bottle a little shake to mix the ingredients together.
                                  Carefully remove the balloon and tie it.

                                • #210507
                                  Jennifer Dempsey
                                  Participant

                                    I really like these activities Sinéad. You could also use the flying rocket idea of the balloon on the string either for the alien to see the distance it travels along the string (tying in Maths and length) rather than letting it fly off either.

                                  • #210620
                                    Orla Byrne
                                    Participant

                                      I will definitely incorporate this into my aliens lesson , I only ever think of bicarbonate of soda for volcanos  and they are so bored of that

                                    • #210702
                                      Roisin McLarnon
                                      Participant

                                        Sounds like gres fun ,will try  this out next year.

                                      • #213783
                                        Eleanor Mccaffrey
                                        Participant

                                          Oh I like this idea Jennifer thanks for Sharing

                                        • #211624
                                          Sharon Coyne
                                          Participant

                                            Love this idea Sinead and I will use this with my class

                                          • #212367
                                            Lucy O Mahony
                                            Participant

                                              Hi Sinead

                                              I agree

                                              You have some lovely activities for the children to do in your lesson. I’ve tries the flying ballon one and the children really enjoyed it!

                                            • #215397
                                              siobhan mckenna
                                              Participant

                                                Oh I love these ideas, they would be brilliant for my setting, but also how fun for the younger children. Thanks for sharing.

                                              • #212979
                                                Michelle Rowley
                                                Participant

                                                  A great story to use as a starting point. The experiment with the balloon and bicarbonate of soda is a great alternative to using it for volcanos! Experiments like these are brilliant as the children can hypothesis what will happen. It really gets them talking and they can come up with the most wonderful ideas and guesses!

                                                • #213344
                                                  David Gavin
                                                  Participant

                                                    I really like this lesson.

                                                    A lot of creativity and fun. I look forward to trying this out with my own class.

                                                  • #213460
                                                    Sharon Murphy
                                                    Participant

                                                      Great lesson ideas Sinead, will definitely try one or two next year!

                                                    • #213843
                                                      Emma O Connor
                                                      Participant

                                                        Growing a balloon alien, what a lovely idea!

                                                      • #214179
                                                        Tracy Frawley
                                                        Participant

                                                          Super ideas, Sinead! The children would love them. I will add these ideas to my “Space” Aistear kit! Thank you

                                                        • #214181
                                                          Helen O Sullivan
                                                          Participant

                                                            Hi Sinead

                                                            I love these alien activities especially the flying aliens using the balloons!

                                                            The Grow your Own Alien is a fabulous activity. It will lead to lots of shrieks and excitement. This is an activity that they will remember forever!

                                                             

                                                          • #214183
                                                            Tracy Frawley
                                                            Participant

                                                              Design a Martian lesson

                                                              Trigger: We would read the book “The Way Back Home” by Oliver Jeffers. This book is about a boy and a Martian that both land on the moon, and help each other before they both return home. We would chat about the story, we would look at the illustration of the Martian, and where the Martian had come from.

                                                              This would lead us into learning a little about Mars./ Wondering what it’s like, I found this video on YouTube. Much of the info might be too difficult but I did like that the images are clear, showing the moon lander.  Journey to Mars/ SciShowKids https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAGGntBUYFM

                                                              This fun Outer Space:We are the Planets Song also introduces each planet briefly, in a rap style. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHAqT4hXnMw

                                                              When we had established that Mars is “The Red Planet” , is very cold and has huge dust storms, we would start thinking about what a Martian may look like….the same as in the book, or different? Children would sketch their own Martian. They would tell their partner about their design.

                                                              Children would be given the time to create their Martian. All children would sit in a circle at the end of the lesson so that they could talk about their creation, materials used. Children could say what they liked about each other’s work.

                                                              In a follow up lesson, children could create the model landscape of Mars as the setting for their Martians.

                                                               

                                                            • #215178
                                                              Bríd O’Donoghue
                                                              Participant

                                                                Some brilliant ideas here Sinéad, thank you for sharing them. I will be using them for sure in the future!

                                                              • #215467

                                                                These are some fantastic activities Sinéad, love the idea of aliens flying around the room.

                                                              • #211007
                                                                CLAIRE DEMPSEY
                                                                Participant

                                                                  I love the Idea of Using Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as a stimulus for a lesson on Space! I am thinking here of the possibility of integrating music with this theme.

                                                                • #211629
                                                                  Sharon Coyne
                                                                  Participant

                                                                    I would start by using the story Aliens wear underpants as a stimulus for discussing space and aliens.

                                                                    We would discuss what we know about space and aliens.

                                                                    I  would ask what would an alien look like? We would draw or paint aliens, we would make our aliens using 3-d materials- clay/ construction materials/ playdough.

                                                                    Then we would discuss and classify our aliens- 3 eyed aliens together, aliens with 3 heads together etc

                                                                    We would then discuss the aliens home in space. We would create a small world area with constellations (stars) and the moon using concrete objects. Then we would play with our aliens in the space areas.

                                                                    We would also create rockets and spaceships that we would use in the small world area.

                                                                  • #211670
                                                                    Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                    Participant

                                                                      Sharon,

                                                                      the maths with the families of aliens is one my favourite parts of this.

                                                                      Which aliens belong together? Make groupings based on colour of body, shape, height, number of eyes…

                                                                      Find me an alien with more eyes than this one…

                                                                      So many possibilities.

                                                                    • #211935
                                                                      Anita Cooke
                                                                      Participant

                                                                        Hi Sharon, I like your idea to introduce the topic with that story. All kids really enjoy it and it stimulates their imagination for the rest of your lessons that integrate into the different subjects!

                                                                      • #213094
                                                                        Stephanie Mc Cann
                                                                        Participant

                                                                          Love the idea of making 3D aliens with clay and  creating a small word area with constellations!

                                                                        • #211698
                                                                          Karen Walsh
                                                                          Participant

                                                                            Great lesson plan. Such differentiation which will be suitable to all the different types of learners.

                                                                          • #212757
                                                                            Muireann McCarthy
                                                                            Participant

                                                                              I really like all the integration!

                                                                            • #212930
                                                                              Padraig McGrath
                                                                              Participant

                                                                                I am intrigued by the amount of links that can be made across so many subject areas. There are some great ideas for linkage here and I will definitely use some of them when teaching space in the classroom.

                                                                              • #213410
                                                                                Sarah Breen
                                                                                Participant

                                                                                  Yes when you start thinking about it there are so many opportunities for integration across so many subject areas in particular in the infant classroom.

                                                                                • #213406
                                                                                  CLAIRE DEMPSEY
                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                    A very simple but effective way of teaching about stars and integrating with other curricular areas.

                                                                                  • #213606
                                                                                    Jill O Callaghan
                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                      I really like this idea and love how many subjects you’ve incorporated into the lesson.

                                                                                    • #213707
                                                                                      Laura O Neill
                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                        Hi Eleanor, there are some lovely lesson ideas here. You’ve thought of lots of ways to integrate the theme across so many subjects. Thanks!

                                                                                      • #213911
                                                                                        Rachel Breen
                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                          Hi Eleanor, I love the way you integrated the theme across a number of subjects. Teaching thematically is very beneficial for the children.

                                                                                        • #214284
                                                                                          Sarah Byrne
                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                            Hi Eleanor,

                                                                                            I love how you included the story ‘How to Catch a Star’. I used this as a stimulus for an Art lesson before too. We used polystyrene and etched a star into it using a toothpick. We then used it for a printing lesson. The kids loved it!

                                                                                          • #214288
                                                                                            Sarah Byrne
                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                              Activity Set: Space and Aliens
                                                                                              There are lots of opportunities here for imaginative play and creativity among the children.
                                                                                              I would begin with the story ‘Aliens Love Underpants’. There are lots of different images of aliens in this book. I would encourage the children to create their very own alien and to draw an image of it. I would then ask them to think about what planet their alien comes from? What food they eat? How do they communicate? We could explore the planets here in more detail and after this study we would then decide which planet would best suit their alien. create clay models of our aliens and using circle time or the ‘Artist’s Chair’ we would interview the alien to find out more about them, this could also be done in pairs.
                                                                                              Teacher in Role as an alien and children think of questions to ask the alien.

                                                                                            • #214369
                                                                                              Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                Sarah,

                                                                                                Your idea of

                                                                                                We could explore the planets here in more detail and after this study we would then decide which planet would best suit their alien.

                                                                                                seems to be a perfect way to link science content (facts about the planet) to the created alien and access some pretty high order thinking skills! The child who can say – Venus is really hot with acid rain, so the alien with the thick skin will do best because their skin will protect them (like a hippo) is doing brilliantly.

                                                                                              • #214348
                                                                                                Grace O’Connor
                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                  This sounds great, I love all the cross-curricular activities!

                                                                                                • #214681
                                                                                                  Mary Walker
                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                    What a wonderful idea ! Incorporating nursery rhymes into the lesson is such a good way to capture the children’s attentions.

                                                                                                  • #214686
                                                                                                    Pol o hici
                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                      Eleanor, I think that it is fantastic how you were able to link so many subjects! A great idea to get the children engaged from the beginning by using a nursery rhyme. I have infants next year and I will definitely be using this. Maith thú!

                                                                                                    • #215003
                                                                                                      Eimear Campbell
                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                        This is brilliant, I love how you integrated the subjects.

                                                                                                      • #215112
                                                                                                        David Brennan
                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                          I really like how you have considered integration so much with this lesson and set it at an age-appropriate level.

                                                                                                        • #215115
                                                                                                          Marie Concannon
                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                            Hi Eleanor, I think this would be a fantastic lesson for infants. The content is fab. I love the way you’ve integrated this topic across the curriculum. This would really consolidate the learning on stars for the children. The lesson is a really lovely infant level lesson.

                                                                                                          • #215677
                                                                                                            Anthony O sullivan
                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                              This is a lovely activity that is very well thought out!

                                                                                                            • #215743
                                                                                                              Aoife Wadding
                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                I love the idea of basing the lesson on a Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. It’s a very common song that all children would know, so it sets up such a great lesson!

                                                                                                            • #209693
                                                                                                              Saoirse Gleeson
                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                Activity Set: Stars

                                                                                                                1.Introduction:Begin by introducing the topic of stars and space to the students. Discuss the importance of stars in the universe and their role in the night sky.

                                                                                                                2. Reading Activity: Distribute copies of the “Lots and Lots of Stars” document to the students or display it on a screen for the class to read together. Encourage students to read the document individually or in small groups and highlight key points or interesting facts about stars.

                                                                                                                3. Discussion: Facilitate a class discussion based on the information presented in the document. Encourage students to share their findings, ask questions, and express their thoughts on the topic of stars.

                                                                                                                4. Hands-on Activities: Make a Star Lantern.

                                                                                                                5. Creative Projects: Encourage students to create their own star-themed projects. They can design posters, write poems, create artwork or draw their own constellations.

                                                                                                                6. Interactive Learning: Do a Kahoot Quiz to reinforce learning and make the topic of stars more engaging for students.

                                                                                                                7. Conclusion :Conclude the lesson by summarizing the key takeaways about stars and space. Encourage students to reflect on what they’ve learned and how it has enhanced their understanding of the universe.

                                                                                                                • #209777
                                                                                                                  Alyson O Rourke
                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                    I really like the idea of a Kahoot Quiz in this lesson, it adds a fun element whilst also providing the teacher with a means of informal assessment !

                                                                                                                  • #209796
                                                                                                                    Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                      agreed – if you make a Kahoot, please share the link so other teachers can use it

                                                                                                                    • #214128
                                                                                                                      Eleanor Mccaffrey
                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                        kahoot – Thxs brilliant idea

                                                                                                                      • #210621
                                                                                                                        susan molloy
                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                          We used Kahoot recently before in a Croke park hour and it was brilliant ! we had so much as teachers using it so I can only imagine how much fun the children would enjoy it !!

                                                                                                                        • #209821
                                                                                                                          Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                            Saoirse,

                                                                                                                            I think the images from Lots and Lots of Stars might be worth sharing, but not the full document.

                                                                                                                            Other beautiful night sky images can be found at ESO.

                                                                                                                            I like to share ESO images since many of them were taken with ground based telescopes, but images from Hubble or Webb may also be suitable.

                                                                                                                          • #210315
                                                                                                                            Dean Vaughan
                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                              Children love Kahoot quizzes and they would definitely be a fan incorporating that element here also.

                                                                                                                            • #210420
                                                                                                                              Sinéad Heffernan
                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                Great ideas here, Kahoot Quiz always works so well.

                                                                                                                              • #211820
                                                                                                                                Ashling Mccartan
                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                  I love the idea of using the Kahoot quiz to reinforce the learning. Children love the opportunity to play on Kahoot.

                                                                                                                                • #213672
                                                                                                                                  Ciara Evans
                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                    I love how you integrate the lesson across all the curriculum areas. I find art is a great way to finish off a subject and leaves a lasting memory. The kahoot quiz would add great enjoyment to a topic.

                                                                                                                                • #209781
                                                                                                                                  Alyson O Rourke
                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                    Aliens and Space

                                                                                                                                    I would introduce this lesson by reading the children the story ‘When Alien Comes For Tea’ in a circle. We would discuss the events of the stories and I would question the children on Aliens. Questioning would occur surrounding do all aliens look the same, why/ why not? I would ask the children to share Aliens they may be familair with from books or tv shows. After this, I would divide the class into pairs. Each pair would recieve a variety of cards (eyes, body, feet, nose, arm, etc).I would model the activity first ‘My alien has 3 eyes, a purple body, wiggly arms and no legs’ The children would experiment with the different cards to create their own Alien. I would then ask the children to descibe their Alien to me. Discussion would occur surrouding the differences and similarities of the Aliens. In a follow on lesson, I would get the children to create their aliens using playdough and a variety of different materials such as string, googley eyes, lollypop sticks

                                                                                                                                    • #209785
                                                                                                                                      Ursula OConnor
                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                        I love the hands on activities here which the children would love and would definitely engage interest. Lots of ideas I would use with infants.

                                                                                                                                      • #210931
                                                                                                                                        Rebecca Behan
                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                          This would be such a fun and creative lesson for infants. Really engaging lesson idea!

                                                                                                                                      • #209801
                                                                                                                                        Ursula OConnor
                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                          I would focus on the following activity set: Stars

                                                                                                                                          With infant classes, I think some of the activities can certainly be modified to use and engage their interest.

                                                                                                                                          I like the idea of Draw your own Constellation – For this I would use black sugar paper and gold star stickers and chalk. I would pre prepare some dots on which the pupils would have to stick the stars and then link the stars with chalk lines. This would be done to explore how to make and look at a constellation.

                                                                                                                                          From here I would link into previous lessons on planets, and use the loo roll solar system plan with fruit to develop the concept of distance from the sun – a huge star which we cant find a fruit big enough to be in comparison to our other fruit planets.

                                                                                                                                          Looking at the Draw your own Constellation template again, I think pegs and boards play and also display and discuss what they can see would be very interesting – pupils could join the dots and create what they see in the the constellations.

                                                                                                                                          I would integrate this clip :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjBGpA2Muyc

                                                                                                                                          as it would give the children some visual ideas and also develop the names in an interesting way.

                                                                                                                                          In Maths I would elicit ideas for naming a star and hold a poll – displaying a data graph using coloured post it notes to display each child’s vote from a choice of four names and explain that it is possible to name a star.

                                                                                                                                          Finally, I would develop the ideas from this pack using age appropriate templates for craft and aistear, such as https://inthebagkidscrafts.com/constellations-for-kids/

                                                                                                                                          Art and Craft activities to build interest and promote language.

                                                                                                                                          • #209824
                                                                                                                                            Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                              Ursula,

                                                                                                                                              I really like the CBeebies clip you have found, really nice at showing the stars and it connects so nicely with the rest of the star activities you have planned.

                                                                                                                                              Hold onto this lesson plan and do it in Space Week this year – I’m sure it would be a hit!

                                                                                                                                            • #210003
                                                                                                                                              Christine O’Brien
                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                Hi Ursula,

                                                                                                                                                Tht link to the constellation song has just been added to my Space Travel Agent planning for next year – lovely simple air and gives a great sense of the constellations.

                                                                                                                                                I also really like the idea of using the peg boards to create constellations – they could even cut string or straws to connect them.

                                                                                                                                                The idea of naming a star is great and especially involving student voice and linking it to a poll in maths.

                                                                                                                                              • #210318
                                                                                                                                                Michelle McGee
                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                  The peg board idea for create your own constellation is a great idea, what a fun way to bring in motor skills into a space theme. I will definitely consider bringing it into an Aistear station next year!

                                                                                                                                                • #209925
                                                                                                                                                  Criona Corroon
                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                    Hi Usurla. I really like your ideas for teaching infants.

                                                                                                                                                    1. Draw Your Own Constellation: I really like this idea! Using black sugar paper, gold star stickers, and chalk to create constellations sounds engaging. Preparing dots for students to stick the stars and then connecting them with chalk lines is a great way to explore constellations.

                                                                                                                                                    2. Distance from the Sun: Ah, the loo roll solar system plan with fruit – brilliant! It’s a fun way to teach kids about the vast distances between planets. Comparing the sun (our huge star) to different fruits as planets is both creative and educational.

                                                                                                                                                    3. Pegs and Boards Play: I find this intriguing! Having students join the dots on the “Draw Your Own Constellation” template and discuss what they see in the constellations is a clever way to encourage observation and creativity.

                                                                                                                                                    4. YouTube Clip Integration: Excellent choice! Visual resources can enhance learning. The YouTube clip will provide visual ideas and make the lesson more interesting.

                                                                                                                                                    5. Naming a Star Poll: I love this interactive element! Eliciting ideas for star names and displaying children’s votes using colored post-it notes is a fantastic way to involve students and show that naming a star is possible.

                                                                                                                                                    6. Craft Templates: These age-appropriate templates from In the Bag Kids Crafts are perfect. Crafting and exploring constellations will not only build interest but also promote language skills.

                                                                                                                                                    Overall, this lesson seems engaging and well-rounded and fun. Thanks so much.

                                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                  • #210078
                                                                                                                                                    Laura Kenny
                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                      Hi Criona, I love the idea of the peg boards, its a great way of bringing the idea of constellations and encouraging creativity!

                                                                                                                                                    • #211420
                                                                                                                                                      Sarah Harrington
                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                        I love the idea of using the peg board in your lesson, will make the lesson lots of fun.

                                                                                                                                                      • #211557
                                                                                                                                                        Aine Gannon
                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                          I agree that the use of peg boards is wonderful for creating star constellations.

                                                                                                                                                        • #211560
                                                                                                                                                          Aine Gannon
                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                            There are many different ways and materials that children can use to create  star constellations. I think peg boards would work fantastically.

                                                                                                                                                          • #211710
                                                                                                                                                            Bridget O Grady
                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                              Peg boards are such a good idea for making constellations.

                                                                                                                                                            • #210385
                                                                                                                                                              Fiona Daly
                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                Love the idea of using the peg boards for the lesson. Very hands on and allows the children to try different patterns before maybe settling on one design to use/draw.

                                                                                                                                                              • #211828
                                                                                                                                                                Laura O’Meara
                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                  Ursula I really like your idea of drawing your own constellations using the black paper, chalk and star stickers.

                                                                                                                                                                  The cbeebies song is something I really like and will definitely be using with my class.

                                                                                                                                                                • #214529
                                                                                                                                                                  Niamh O Sullivan
                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                    The idea of using pegboards to create constellations is clever for younger classes.

                                                                                                                                                                  • #214637
                                                                                                                                                                    Michelle Curran
                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                      Great idea to use the star stickers Ursula, the kids always LOVE using teacher’s stickers so I can see this being a huge hit!

                                                                                                                                                                    • #215738
                                                                                                                                                                      Heidi collins
                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                        Thank Alison

                                                                                                                                                                        There are loads of good tips here to adapt for Infants which would also work great to differentiate the task for 1st/2nd class children as needed.  The clip is lovely and yes I agree – using teacher’s stickers makes it very enticing for the children!

                                                                                                                                                                    • #209919
                                                                                                                                                                      Criona Corroon
                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                        I would teach a lesson trying to explore the concept of space, planets, and imaginary aliens and to encourage creativity and imagination.
                                                                                                                                                                        We would need: A copy of the picture book “Beegu” by Alexis Deacon, A4 paper, colours.
                                                                                                                                                                        I would begin by showing the children the cover of the book “Beegu” and introduce the main character, Beegu, an adorable alien. I would also explain that we’ll be going on our own alien adventure today!
                                                                                                                                                                        I would then read aloud the picture book “Beegu. I would also encourage the children to pay attention to Beegu’s experiences on Earth and how she interacts with humans. We could discuss the emotions Beegu feels and how she tries to find her way back home
                                                                                                                                                                        After reading I would ask the children to imagine their own alien friends. I would then invite the children to draw their unique alien characters, thinking about what features their aliens might have (number of eyes, shape, colour, etc. The next step would be to have each child share their alien drawing with the group. I would encourage them to describe their alien’s personality, where it comes from, and what special abilities it has, reminding them that just like Beegu, their aliens can be friendly and curious. A good extension activity could be to write a Letter to Beegu .Or even the whole class might write a friendly letter to Beegu, telling her about our Earth and the special things we have here. We would try to mention the objects or animals we’d want Beegu to see if she visited us. Finally I would conclude the lesson by emphasizing the power of imagination and how stories like “Beegu” inspire us to explore beyond our world.
                                                                                                                                                                        I would remind the children that even though real aliens haven’t been found yet, our imaginations can take us on incredible adventures.

                                                                                                                                                                      • #209981
                                                                                                                                                                        Claire Kelly
                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                          Aliens and space

                                                                                                                                                                          I would begin my lessons with a story book called ‘The Smeds and The Smoos’ by Julia Donaldson & Alex Scheffler .The children would sit in a circle and enjoy the fabulous rhymes in the story. I would ask the children to describe the aliens before showing them the illustrations in the book. I would write the features of their aliens on the board .Having read the story we would compare our predictions with the actual aliens illustrated in the story.

                                                                                                                                                                          The children would then work with their partner and using lots of materials      ( card, buttons, eyes, pipe cleaners, playdough, etc )  make  models  of the Smeds and Smoos relations . One family is blue while the the other is red.

                                                                                                                                                                          On completion the children would describe their character by attributes and categorize into  a particular family. We would discuss the similarities and difference in appearance of each family.

                                                                                                                                                                          The story emphasizes friendship, love, adventure and togetherness.

                                                                                                                                                                          As a follow on lesson the children could add a chapter to the story using their created characters.

                                                                                                                                                                          • #209993
                                                                                                                                                                            Laura Ryan
                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                              The Smeds and the Smoos is one of my favourite picture books to use in Junior Infants. It is so useful for so many different topics. I often use it as a starter for colour mixing but I love you ideas of the children making their own Smeds and Smoos. This would be a very cute Junk Art activity during free play too.

                                                                                                                                                                            • #210023
                                                                                                                                                                              Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                Claire,

                                                                                                                                                                                I love the way you have brought interpreting the story to life with the simple task of “describe the aliens” from the description.

                                                                                                                                                                                “they have strange hair upon their heads!”

                                                                                                                                                                                Here’s Julia Donaldson reading her story – you’d have to be careful not to show the pictures though.

                                                                                                                                                                              • #210077
                                                                                                                                                                                Yvonne Kelly
                                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                  Claire

                                                                                                                                                                                  Such a good idea to use the Smeds and the Smoos for this lesson. I can imagine how this would really engage the kids as the majority of them should be familiar with the characters.

                                                                                                                                                                                • #212923
                                                                                                                                                                                  Clodagh McClean
                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                    I love the Smeds and the Smoos! I also do an art lesson from it but will definitely be trying 3d ones next year!

                                                                                                                                                                                • #210002
                                                                                                                                                                                  Christine O’Brien
                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                    Activity Set: Space and Aliens

                                                                                                                                                                                    How would you use the activity in your classroom?

                                                                                                                                                                                    Both activities in this set really work to develop further two activities that we did in Senior Infants recently.

                                                                                                                                                                                    We completed a drama activity whereby children had to work in groups to act out a scene of the arrival of an alien but the only word they were able to use was ‘Alien’. Doing the ESERO lesson Special Life prior to this would equip them to further develop the scene in greater detail and create better linkage across the curriculum.

                                                                                                                                                                                    We also completed a similar activity to the spaceweek.ie Mars – Design a Martian activity. We read a story by Colin McNaughton titled ‘Here Comes the Alien’ and we used this a springboard to design an alien using play-doh and craft materials. I really like how the spaceweek.ie activity takes it a step further, connecting it to real-life (Mars) and across the curriculum (sorting and classifying in Maths). It creates a better structure on the activity and is definitely something I will use in tandem with it in the future.

                                                                                                                                                                                  • #210005
                                                                                                                                                                                    Laura Ryan
                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                      I think children in Junior Infants would really enjoy the Design a Martian activity from the Space and Aliens activity set.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I’d begin by reading the story ‘The Way Back Home’ by Oliver Jeffers. Engage the children in a discussion about the Martian in the story. Have the children think about the following: I wonder what it’s like to live on Mars? Is it hot or cold?

                                                                                                                                                                                      Show the children the video ‘Meet the Mars Rovers’ to give the children the opportunity to see the Martian landscape. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujh-dtEvyIw What would a Martian need to survive in this landscape? What would this Martian look like?

                                                                                                                                                                                      From here the children will be challenged to design a Martian on their own or in pairs using 3D materials.

                                                                                                                                                                                      The children could record their model Martians in front of a green screen and we could add a suitable Martian landscape background to their videos.

                                                                                                                                                                                      As an extension the children could construct a vehicle that would bring their Martians back home.

                                                                                                                                                                                      • #210030
                                                                                                                                                                                        Irene Lynch
                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                          This is a really niced idea Laura, I think the children will really enjoy making there own Martian’s.

                                                                                                                                                                                        • #210089
                                                                                                                                                                                          Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for sharing that video link Laura – it has lots of information about the rovers.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I wonder if children today aren’t as excited, since there are so many functioning rovers on Mars that they are just common place.

                                                                                                                                                                                            We had Dr Fuk Li share an overview of the rovers 14 years ago! This was before some of them were delayed. I like seeing them all together so that you can get a sense of the scale of them.

                                                                                                                                                                                          • #210267
                                                                                                                                                                                            Sean Furlong
                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                              I really like the idea of the children recording their Martians in front of a green screen. The children would love creating their own cartoon/show.

                                                                                                                                                                                            • #211890
                                                                                                                                                                                              Louise Brosnan
                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                Lovely idea Laura, thank you for sharing the link.

                                                                                                                                                                                            • #210027
                                                                                                                                                                                              Irene Lynch
                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                Introduction: Ask your class what they see when they look up in the sky at night. Talk about how they see stars.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Wondering: What are stars made of, how do they light up the night sky. Explain to your students that stars are made up of gas and that’s how they light up the night sky.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Starter Question: Show students the cover of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Have students make predictions about what the story will be about. Record the answers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                The Lesson:  Explain to the students that today they are going to make their very own starry night scene. Give each child a piece of paper, paintbrushes and paint. They children can choose to paint their page either black or blue. After the paint has dried, pass the paintings back out to your children. Pass out star stencils and crayons. Allow the children to place stars of various colours on their skies.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Interpreting results: Look at all the pictures, ask the children about the differences and remind them that the sky looks different for every person, why? Are the in a different country, time zone?
                                                                                                                                                                                                This lesson could be extended with phases of the moon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Teacher reflection with the class

                                                                                                                                                                                                • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by Irene Lynch.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • #210192
                                                                                                                                                                                                  colette browne
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Greta idea Irene. Like how you incorporate the science with music and art. Kids will love that!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #210193
                                                                                                                                                                                                    colette browne
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Great idea Irene. Like how you incorporate the science with music and art. Kids will love that!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #210053
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Laura Kenny
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I would look at the lesson around aliens and space, as I think there would be a great interest in the infant classroom.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I would start the lesson with a clip from Toy Story with their idea of aliens, we would discuss their colour, features, and whether we think they would be able to speak to us etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      We would then complete a group activity where we would do similarities and differences between humans and aliens on the whiteboard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      The children will then begin the design side of the lesson, where they will first sketch their martian before using clay to create them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      They would then create their clay martians, and paint them when dry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      The last part of this activity, would be a show and tell activity, where the children show their creations  to their classmates.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #212470
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fiona Kavanagh
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Laura, love the idea of tying in a clip from toy story of the aliens, it’s a great way to prompt the children, especially those who may be less confident in sharing their ideas of what an alien might look like!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #212485
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fiona – I sometimes show the clip of the Cantina scene from the first Star Wars film. Lots of aliens and most children still know who Chewbacca is!

                                                                                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #210118
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yvonne Kelly
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                            A lesson on Space and Aliens;

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Storybook “Aliens Love Underpants” by Claire Freedman

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Props such as toy spaceships, paper alien masks etc

                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Paper, twistables

                                                                                                                                                                                                            4. Space-themed background music

                                                                                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Lesson will start by playing space-themed music such as Star Wars in the background to set the mood. I will elicit from the children what they already know about space and aliens. Record their responses on the whiteboard.  Read the storybook ‘Aliens Love Underpants’, engaging the children by showing them the illustrations and encouraging them to ask questions. Ask leading questions; “What did the aliens look like?” “What do you think aliens eat?” “If you met an alien, what would you say to them?” Paper and colours are distributed and the children are encouraged to draw their own alien or spaceship, reminding them to be creative and use their imagination. An extension activity could be using an A3 sheet of paper folded in quarters. Class divided into 4 and each group given a specific body part to draw. This could be further tied into Maths by saying they could only use 2D shapes. We will listen to the song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbpCrp2mbjQ  Time will be given at the end of the lesson to share their drawings or any new things they learned about space and aliens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #210129
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sean Flanagan
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I really like your idea Yvonne, it sounds like a very fun and engaging lesson. I really like how it could be integrated into lots of different subject areas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • #210170
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sinead Shanley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love the idea of using Space themed Music as a trigger for discussion. Definitely one that would catch my classes attention and curiosity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #211071
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ursula OConnor
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love the idea of a collaborative activity, splitting the page into 4. Definitely one they would enjoy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A lovely, multi sensory active lesson.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #214573
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sinead Parsons
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Space themed music simple but effective. I think it would get the class buzzing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #210123
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sean Flanagan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Activity Set: Space and Aliens.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I like this activity set and feel that it could be easily taught in second class. I particularly like this activity as it integrates drama, science, art and English and has endless possibilities in the class. I would start by explaining that Earth is a planet in space. Ask what they would want to show visitors from other planets about Earth. Encourage ideas about special objects or animals and how they might look to someone not from earth. Have them draw and act out a message to share Earth’s wonders.I would then expand to discuss aliens. Currently in second class, we spend each term focussing on different writing genres in English. Using this lesson on drawing aliens and acting out different scenes and stories, it links in great to narrative writing. In my classroom, I would use the drawing and descriptions on their aliens as a base for a narrative story on the theme of space. A book I have used before, ‘Aliens love underpants’ could be used a stimulus to get children thinking about aliens and different images of them. Pictures of aliens from popular children’s films, Monsters Inc, ET or Space Jam could be explored to create oral discussion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #210171
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sean,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          with a 2nd class it could be interesting to point out the film depiction of aliens and how in older films the aliens look very human in shape (1 head, 2 arms, 2 legs) because they were humans in suits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Animated films don’t have that constraint, so the aliens in toy story look very different.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #210165
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sinead Shanley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The Activity Set I would choose is Space and Aliens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I would most likely use this lesson below as a follow on from Planets and after having a look at the Mars landscape with the children. (Using lessons for the Space Week Workbook) We would have created our own models of a mars landscape through Art and Crafts using clay, sand, paint and modelling tools and completing a comparison lesson to Earths landscape.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I would start by reading a picture book- All Time favourite ‘Aliens love Underpants’ by Claire Freeman and Ben Cort in circle floor time. It really engages the children and brings even the more reserved pupil out of their shell with laughter. While there are great activities and lesson ideas you can take from this book for literacy , it is a greater starter for Talk and discussion on the activity Set Space and Aliens. Do Aliens exist? Have people ever found aliens? What might they look like? We would discuss the children’s ideas together before allowing them to draw their own alien/Marian on paper. Each child may show their alien to the class and describe it. (Children could be encouraged to use their maths shape and spatial language here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Following on from this activity I would build an aistear plan for the week using the following stations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Creative Arts and Crafts- Using your drawing can you make your alien from the modelling and craft materials. Maths language flash cards for shape, lines, length would be available to inspire the chidren to describe their aliens to others. We could encourage children to use language in describing their aliens to others without showing the finished product. Can the others follow your instructions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Drama: Space Exploration . Using our Big Cardboard Box the children can turn it into a space ship to travel to and explore Mars where they will meet some Aliens. Children could use aliens drawing or 3D created models for small world play using their mars landscapes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Construction: Lego The children could build alien spaceships for the 3d alien models

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4. Communication: Puzzles and board games. Rockets and comets from Orchard Games. The children will play the games using space vocabulary developing good social and communication skills.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There are many cross curricular opportunities (Literacy, Maths, Geography, STEM, Art, Drama) and skills development opportunities while teaching this topic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #215063
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Rachel Doyle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This all sounds amazing. Some lovely inspiration to use these ideas in my own classroom.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #210189
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            colette browne
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              For a space and aliens lesson for senior infant lesson I woould start by reading a fun and interactive storybook about space exploration and meeting friendly aliens. After the story, I would engage the children in a hands-on activity where they get to create their own alien using craft materials like coloured paper, googly eyes, and pipe cleaners. I would encourage them to think about what features their alien might have and what planet it comes from.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              To further enhance the learning experience, I would set up a “space station” or “aistear”  play area in the classroom where children can pretend to be astronauts exploring outer space and encountering different kinds of aliens. This will help them develop their imagination and creativity while learning more about space and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. I would incorporate simple space-related facts and vocabulary throughout the lesson to reinforce their understanding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • #210668
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi Colette,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Have you a particular book  in mind? Other teachers love finding out specific stories that have been used successfully.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A teacher who took this summer course back when it was  face-to-face started an Aistear corner, which other teachers have added to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I attach a picture or two that I took when I visited that school last year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #210701
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Deirdre Tiernan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Making the aliens with such crafty materials is a great idea to get the ideas flowing. Last year, we drew aliens and then wrote about them using describing words. I think your method would work better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #210246
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sean Furlong
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would begin the lesson by gathering the children in a circle and showing them the cover of the book “The Stars” by Martha E. H. Rustad.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would ask, “What do you see in the night sky?” and listen to their responses.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would read the book aloud, discussing the illustrations and facts about stars.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would then explain that stars are huge balls of burning gas that shine in the sky.I would introduce the concept of constellations and how people have used them to navigate.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Then I would hand out black construction paper and white crayons or chalk.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would get the children to draw their own night sky filled with stars.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Encouraging them to create their own constellations by connecting the stars.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would also hand out star stickers or cutouts for students to add to their drawings.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Then I would have the children share their starry night drawings with the class.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And ask each student to describe their constellation and what they named it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You could sing a simple star-related song, such as “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Reinforce the wonder of stars and encourage students to look up at the night sky with curiosity and imagination.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would also review key points: Stars are far away, they form patterns called constellations, and they have guided people for thousands of years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #210544
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Patrick Carroll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I like this lesson and the detail you give about stars- especially being used for navigation. I think in the Disney film Moana they use stars to navigate the way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Students making and describing their own constellations is a great follow up activity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #210268
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Suzy Furlong
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Aliens
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Objective:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Students will use their imagination to learn about aliens, enhancing creativity and understanding of different life forms.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Materials:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        “Aliens Love Underpants” by Claire Freedman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Crayons, markers, and colored pencils
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Construction paper

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Foam eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Googly eyes, stickers, and other craft supplies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Glue sticks and scissors

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Introduction:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Gather students in a circle.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Show the picture book cover and ask, “What do you think aliens look like?”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Read the picture book aloud, pausing to discuss the illustrations and story.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Discussion:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Talk about what aliens might look like if they existed. Ask questions like, “How many eyes do you think an alien has?” or “What color is an alien’s skin?”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Activity:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hand out construction paper and craft supplies.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Instruct students to draw and create their own aliens using the materials provided.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Encourage creativity: aliens can have multiple eyes, tentacles, colorful patterns, etc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Help students glue on googly eyes, stickers, and other decorations to complete their alien creations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sharing:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Have children sit in a circle and share their alien creations with the class.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Encourage each student to say one fun fact about their alien e.g., “My alien has three eyes and loves to eat space ice cream!”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sing a simple, fun song about aliens (e.g., “The Aliens Go Marching” to the tune of “The Ants Go Marching”).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Conclusion:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Reinforce the idea that imagination and creativity are important. Encourage students to continue thinking about what other imaginary creatures they might encounter in space

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #210288
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Carol anne Savery
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I forgot about aliens love underpants, such a fantastic book for infants.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #210350
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mary Herlihy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hi  Suzy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I love the introduction to you lesson. Circle time and story combined a real winner!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #210287
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Carol anne Savery
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Topic : Space and Aliens
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              (I would do this lesson after extensive learning about the planets)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Engage:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I would start the lesson by singing the ‘family of the sun’ song to recall prior learning about the planets.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Then I would ask the children to think about what kinds of beings might live on various planets- which planets are more likely to have aliens ? why?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I would then read the story ‘ Welcome to Alien school’ by Caryl Hart and Ed Davis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We would discuss what the aliens in the story looked like. What special features did they have? How might these features help them to live in space?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Investigation:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Then I pose the question – what would an alien look like?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I would ask the children to draw an alien and think , pair, share on why they gave their aliens particular features.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The children would then be encouraged to model their alien using morla and bits from the miscellaneous arts and crafts box ( pipe cleaners, buttons, sticks , googly eyes etc.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Take the next step:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Discuss how the features would allow the alien to live on various planets.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ask the children to role play as their alien and describe the planet that they live on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • #210342
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Rachael Gill
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi Carol

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This seems like it would be a really nice lesson to teach in the classroom. I really like how you have outlined each of the steps of the curious minds/ESERO inquiry framework in explaining how you would make use of the space and aliens activity set.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • #210317
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dean Vaughan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am choosing Aliens!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Stimulus: Aliens love Underpants! A lovely story that is comical for children

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I also would look at the Cantina scene from Star Wars which has an abundance of different alien species.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We would brainstorm what aliens might look like. Draw pictures or use playdough to create your own fantastical alien species! Next, we’ll travel to the library and explore books about space. Look for pictures of planets and imagine if any could support life. We can even write letters to friendly aliens, asking questions about their homes and families.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Scientists use powerful telescopes to search for planets outside our solar system. Maybe we can build our own “alien detectors” from cardboard boxes and flashlights! Remember, scientists haven’t found aliens yet, but they’re always looking! We can learn about the tools they use, like telescopes and rovers, and imagine what future discoveries might hold. By asking questions, exploring stories, and using our imaginations, we’ll be on our way to becoming experts on the search for life beyond Earth!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #210325
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Kate Muckian
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi Dean

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I love this book and the kids just love it too. This sounds great. The children would absolutely love to write to aliens to know more about them in their own home. You could even try this with the younger classes too where the teacher writes the letter to the aliens including all the questions the kids have for them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #210345
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Suzy Furlong
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I love the idea of an “alien detector”. The children would have such fun making and using these!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #211108
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Donna Mcevoy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I like this link to aliens to make writing fit in cross curricular and make it purposeful to the children. They would love to explain about themselves and draw pictures to explain to aliens. I also think the idea of an alien detector would be alot of fun for children!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #210323
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Kate Muckian
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Activity Set: Stars

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Introduction to Stars:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Begin with a brief discussion about stars. Show pictures of stars and simple constellations. Explain that stars are bright points of light in the night sky.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” together to get the children excited about the activity

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Creating their own constellations:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Show the children simple constellation cards and explain that constellations are patterns of stars in the sky. Give children some star stickers and some paper/card. Using silver or white crayons and markers, help the children connect some of the star stickers on their paper to form their own constellations. They can use the constellation cards as a guide or create their own patterns.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          OR

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Give the children a cut out template of a star, (made from card or harder cardboard that they painted the day before) some string and star stickers. The children can stick the stickers onto the string and they can weave the string around the star template creating their own constellation pattern or copy one from the constellation cards. This also incorporated fine motor skills.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #210405
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Barbara Farrell
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This lesson around constellations is very interesting. I like the idea of creating their own constellations and then maybe naming their creations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #210473
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I used to have a beautiful set of constellation cards that could be used to make star viewers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A quick search has produced it here – but the original was from a museum in Australia. These are reversed, for use in star viewers, so that you punch from one side, but look from the other.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • #211073
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ursula OConnor
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  These are a fantastic resource – thank you

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #214541
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Niamh O Sullivan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    these would make lovely templates for star lanterns for older classes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #210503
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    kevin kennedy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That sounds like a fantastic activity set for introducing children to stars! Starting with a discussion and pictures of stars and constellations, followed by singing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” is a wonderful way to engage and excite them. The hands-on activities, like creating their own constellations with star stickers and paper or weaving string around star templates, will not only spark their creativity but also develop their fine motor skills. Great job planning such an educational and fun experience!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #210341
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Rachael Gill
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      An Activity set that I would be interested in exploring in my classroom is the Stars set. An activity that particularly interests me in this set is the star constellation activity from Space Week. I would use this activity at the end of a lesson, following some investigation based on stars using the curious minds/ESERO inquiry framework. I would use this activity to conclude a lesson based on stars as I believe that it would encourage children to reflect. It would encourage children to reflect as it would promote quite a lot of discussion. It would promote discussion as in this activity the children would have to explain the different patterns they can identify in the same constellation. In this way it would tie a lesson together quite nicely as it would stimulate childrens imagination. The children would have to use their imagination to identify different shapes within the same constellation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #210349
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mary Herlihy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stars- I would use these activities with my class
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Look at drawings of constellations. What do you see?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Can you recognize some of them?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now make a star lantern which is going to project the constellation on the walls!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What do you need:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Needle, coloured paper, glue stick, flashlight , newspaper, brush, crepe paper, luminous paint, string, A4 paper, stapler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Copy a constellation or create your own on a piece of paper
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Paint it with luminous paint on the coloured paper
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Prick holes in the stars
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4. Fold the paper in a circle and staple it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5. Tie a piece of string across the cylinder.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        6. Tie the flashlight to the stick.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        7. Hang the lantern from the stick and decorate it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        8. Light it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stars- Seeing Stars-Looking at the plough in two different ways
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What you need for this activity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        An A4 sheet of black cardboard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bluetack
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Seven 15x 15cm Squares of tin foil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Seven 30cm lengths of black wool
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A ruler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sellotape
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A Pencil to poke hole in the cardboard.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Star map from Activity sheet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Method
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. To start stick the star map to the black cardboard using the sellotape
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Poke a hole through each of the stars on the map so that there is a hole in the black cardboard.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Now make the stars , To do this use sellotape to stick the end of a piece of wool to the centre of a piece of tin foil.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4. When this is done crumple the foil up into a ball.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5. Do this until you have made seven stars.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        6. Now starting from the black side of the model poke the free end of each piece of wool through the cardboard and the star map. Don’t pull the wool all the way through as we will use Maths to calculate how long each piece should be.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        7. Each of the seven stars in the plough is actually a different distance from earth, the distance chart in the activity sheet lists how far each star is from our planet and gives a length for each piece of wool we will be using to hold our stars
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        8. As all our pieces of wool are 30cm long using the chart calculate how much wool needs to be pulled through the back of the paper
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        9. Make calculations and pull each piece of wool through to the correct length.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        10. When all the stars are set they can be sellotaped in place at the back of the paper.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        11. Now you have built your 3D model of the Plough
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        12. Use your bluetack to stick your Model to the ceiling or the underside of your table
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        13. When you look up at it you will see that your stars look just like the plough, but when you look at it from a different angle you see what the stars in the plough would look like from space.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        These activities would be great as a group work within the classroom. Mixed ability groupings or putting an older class with a younger class to carry out the activity. Older children could help with the Maths calculations.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        At Assembly the children could describe the process involved and display their Models in the hall for the whole school to appreciate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #210782
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mary,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            do you feel these activities will be suitable for the children you work with? The fine motor skills that are needed with ‘Make the Plough’ mean that I would do the string and lengths with ages 10 and up – and use straws with younger children.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have seen star lanterns made with mobile phone torches as the light source – they can be very effective in a dark room.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #210361
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Fiona Daly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Activity Set – Stars

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I would use a video and some images of stars and constellations, encouraging the children to wonder about patterns, shapes, names etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I would show the children different constellations and ask them to discuss how they think they got their names.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The main activities I would have the children complete would be the Draw your own constellations. Magpie-ing from another post, I would also use peg boards to allow the children to create their own constellations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I love the idea of linking Art and Science so the next step would be for the children to make their own star lanterns. Instead of the torch, I would use battery operated tea lights so the children could bring them home once complete and SESE focus has moved on to something else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #214211
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Orla Glynn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hi Fiona, I think using pegboards to create their own constellations is a great activity. It would be a good imaginative morning activity for the students to engage in independently.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #210403
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Barbara Farrell
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Activity set – Stars

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I would start by asking the children what they know about stars. We only see them at night, stars look like they twinkle, some stars seem brighter than others, they are very far away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We can then create some star art activities such as – Use star cookie cutters to dip in paint on paper plates and stamp on paper for beautiful star print art.  Use cookie cutters with play dough for a fun shape lesson. Try cutting cheese slices into star shapes for an exciting star-themed snack time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Questions the children may have will be noted such as  – Where do they come from? How do they shine? Are stars all the same? How long do they live for?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We will then examine some night sky images and describe what we see and record anymore questions that arise. The children can then watch the Stars in the solar system clip – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07sMjGQasJM which explains what a star is and the lifecycle of a star.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We will then look into the Lifecycle of a star i greater detail using print outs of the stages and a powerpoint presentation explaining these stages.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Birth – Stars start out in giant clouds of dust called nebulae. Gravity forces the dust to bunch together.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Main Sequence Star – Once a star, it will continue to burn energy and glow for billions of years. . The star will remain this way until it runs out of hydrogen.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Red Giant – When the hydrogen runs out, the outside of the star expands and it becomes a red giant.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Collapse – Eventually the core of the star will start to make iron. This will cause the star to collapse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As a conclusion the children in groups will sequence the images of the lifecycle  4 stages and discuss what they have learned.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #210447
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi Barbara,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    what age would you do this with? Life cycle of a star was in the curriculum when I taught second level in the UK, but not anywhere in the Irish curriculum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If you have children who are interested in this, you can engage everyone in the class by asking if they have noticed that stars at night are slightly different colours – in particular if you look at Orion, the top left star is slightly reddish tinged, and the bottom right star is a brighter blue-white. This has to do with the type of star they are.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Orion is visible in the early evening in January-February, so easy to see as soon as it gets dark. It disappears into the sunset in May.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #210502
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  kevin kennedy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Introducing the “Stars” activity in my classroom would  be a highly engaging and educational experience. To start, I would kick off the lesson with a brief, interactive presentation about stars, including fascinating facts about their types, life cycles, and constellations. This would be followed by an online google space session to observe stars and identify constellations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Students would engage in a hands-on craft activity where they create their own constellations using black construction paper, star stickers, and chalk to draw the connections. Additionally, incorporating technology, students could use a star map app on tablets to explore different stars and constellations virtually.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    To document the activity, students would write a short reflective journal entry about what they learned and their favorite part of the activity. These reflections, along with photos of their constellation crafts and screenshots from the star map app, would be compiled into a digital class scrapbook. This activity not only enhances their understanding of astronomy but also integrates art, technology, and writing skills, making it a great learning experience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #210525
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Jennifer Dempsey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Starry Sky

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1.Introduction: I would use a visual of a picture of a starlit night sky for the children to view and prompt discussion. I think I would use something factual from ESA’s satellite images, but Van Gogh’s ‘Starry NIght’ could be used too if it integrated into Art lessons/ themes in other subjects, etc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Discussion:Discuss the pictures and do a KWL/ Mind Map with the class to see what they already know about stars, what they want to learn about them-jot down any questions they have about stars.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Hands-on Activities: Make a Star Constellation-they could use the plough template in the activity from this module. https://teachnet.ie/ej/pdf/dpsm_class_activity_the_plough.pdf or they could make their own using construction straws and play dough.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5. Integrated learning: They can write poems, stories based on stars or create artwork based on the star picture used as a visual aid/ prompt.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      6. Digital Learning: Allow the children to investigate the Stellarium apps on the iPad. The Stellarium app could be shown by teacher on the IWB first of how to use it/ by using a QR code to share with the class etc. This may only work for 1st/ 2nd class rather than infant level.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      7. Conclusion: To finish the lesson by summarizing what they have learned about stars-finishing their KWL Chart for what they’ve learned and name a few constellations that they found out about.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #214986
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Veronica Gardiner
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Jennifer, I loved your lesson on the constellations suitable for older children. I was interested in the ‘Stellarium’ app you mentioned for digital learning and I will certainly try it out. I also liked your use of visuals especially Van Gogh’s ‘starry night’

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #210530
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Patrick Carroll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I like the lesson about Aliens and Mars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          To introduce we would collectively read the story ‘The Smeds and the Smoo’s by Julia Donaldson.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We would discuss and write down all the characteristics of each Alien, Talk about space travel, and also discuss the different Planets and their characteristics- making links to colours, textures of the surface and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If they think it is warm or cold there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          To follow this I would ask students if they can name any planets and concentrating on mars, question in more detail what it is like. We would then discuss the facts about planet mars showing photos or short videos of the planet, we would also discuss Rover on Mars and why humans have not gone to Mars yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Students would then be asked to create a 3D model using clay of the surface of mars based on the facts and an Alien of their choice to live on Mars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A follow on to this lesson would be to discuss the other planets in the solar system and their characteristics.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #210622
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Making Mars surfaces is so much fun! Particularly if you use reddish coloured clay material. I have done this on paper plates, and made little volcanoes with the clay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              To explore Mars up close you can use Google Earth, choose Mars from the drop down at the top. For some of the rover missions (Spirit and Opportunity), there is the ability to “fly into the image” and this can elicit more than a few ‘wows’ from viewers when you do this in the classroom.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You can search for the rover in the search panel in the left of the google earth screen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Look for a little camera symbol on the route of the rover and then you can “fly in”.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #210539
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jennifer Dempsey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1.Introduction: I would use a visual of a picture of a starlit night sky for the children to view and prompt discussion. I think I would use something factual from ESA’s satellite images, but Van Gogh’s ‘Starry NIght’ could be used too if it integrated into Art lessons/ themes in other subjects, etc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Discussion:Discuss the pictures and do a KWL/ Mind Map with the class to see what they already know about stars, what they want to learn about them-jot down any questions they have about stars.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Hands-on Activities: Make a Star Constellation-they could use the plough template in the activity from this module. https://teachnet.ie/ej/pdf/dpsm_class_activity_the_plough.pdf or they could make their own using construction straws and play dough.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              5. Integrated learning: They can write poems, stories based on stars or create artwork based on the star picture used as a visual aid/ prompt.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              6. Digital Learning: Allow the children to investigate the Stellarium apps on the iPad. The Stellarium app could be shown by teacher on the IWB first of how to use it/ by using a QR code to share with the class etc. This may only work for 1st/ 2nd class rather than infant level.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              7. Conclusion: To finish the lesson by summarizing what they have learned about stars-finishing their KWL Chart for what they’ve learned and name a few constellations that they found out about.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #210558
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Jennifer Dempsey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Apologies, my replies do not seem to post as soon as I post them and then I try again, and again, still can’t see them, panic, try to post again! and then half an hour later when I go to check, there are multiple of my posts there so apologies. I have been in contact with TEach Net about this yesterday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • #210635
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Orla Byrne
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Topi : space and aliens

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  cross curricula : PE movement and dance , maths 3d shapes , art construction and materials , aistear space, literacy reading and writing, drama

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  start with the warm up song 10 aliens jumping on the bed or I’m a little Martian . Next introduce the book by mark brownlow . Children to describe the aliens , what happened to them, what words rhyme . Ch to draw their own alien and write or teacher to scribe  what happens  to them.  If the are 10 aliens and then only 9 , how many disappeared etc … continue mathematical questioning.  Introduce children to 3 d shapes . Using play dough who can make a sphere for the body etc…. Children to make their own play dough alien . Use different textures d.g. Pipe cleaners to add detail.  Put ch in groups of 10 with their play dough aliens to act out the story

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  next discuss if children think aliens really exist? , watch are aliens real https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Smeg1KUa3qU and discuss

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  finish by asking children to think of a question they would like to ask an alien if they met one. Teacher to scribe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  PE: can you travel across the floor like a space snake, zoom like a rocket, dance like an alien… etc ….

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  using gym equipment, model how the children can move over, under, through the galaxy, moon rock, shooting stars etc…

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  cool down stretch to I’m a little alien ( tune of I’m a little tea pot )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #211109
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Donna Mcevoy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I did a unit on space dancing before! Children loved it. They could create their own dance either to space themed music!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #210647
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    susan molloy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Activity Set: Space and Aliens
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I would begin the lesson with the story ‘There’s an Alien in Your Book’ by Tom Fletcher. The basis of this story is about acceptance, and inclusion so it provides a great basis for SPHE and the oral language around this discussion. Other subjects I would also cover are:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Literacy: Story Sequencing/Caption writing and a debate about why aliens could or could not live on planet Earth.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Maths: Using shapes as a morning table top activity to build spaceships.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Music: Children compose accompanying sounds using percussion instruments to a read aloud of the story.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Art: Paper plate spaceship craft to launch our aliens back to Space/ making alien masks which could be used in Dramatic Play/ Aistear for Space Travel Agent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #211827
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Valerie Ryan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Susan,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I love that book by Tom Fletcher. It does a lovely job to promote inclusion and would definitely be an ideal springboard for exploring space and aliens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #210587
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Paula Mc Gee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I would choose the activity set: Stars
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          To engage the children I would show the One Billion + Stars video

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Next I would do the activity from universe in a box where you out marbles in a jar and ask if there are more stars in the sky than marbles in the jar. Then add more marbles to the amount of pupils in the class, then fill the jar with marbles and ask if there are more stars.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Using the chromebooks the children will access the Britannica Launchpack Space Exploration Years 3 – 5 and look at the videos and do the activities in the pack.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Then we will listen to the constellation song

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In maths we will do a poll for what to name a star. We will gather the information and graph the results.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Finally in Art we will draw an alien on white paper with white wax crayons. Then we will paint a dark sky background over it. To finish the children will add lots of stars using combs and toothbrushes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #212981
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Michelle Rowley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I love the constellation song! No better way to reinforce with Infant Classes! Thanks for sharing Paula!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #210698
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Deirdre Tiernan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have actually completed many lessons with my Senior Infants this year. As a stimulus I read the book “Goldilocks in Space” by Peter Bentley. This is a fabulous book. The images are interesting, the story itself is a good length and the text is well written. The story itself is based upon the notion of the Goldilocks zone – this is the area around astar where an orbiting planet could host liquid water and hence support life. The planet needs to be “just right” like the Bears porridge. From this stimulus, the children were then encouraged to create their own planets. We then discussed the possibility of alien life of their planets. To further engage students, I would incorporate digital resources such as videos of space exploration or interactive simulations of alien encounters. Another story that fosters an interest and encourages the children’s scientific inquiry is the Smed’s and the Smoo’s.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • #210761
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Profile photo ofmarymc21@gmail.comMary McNamara
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This sounds lovely, Deirdre! I was thinking of Goldilocks myself during this lesson, so that book would be a great addition to our library! I’ve used the Smeds and the Smoos, so it would be a nice way of considering how life adapts to different environments, and relate that to our place in space. Thanks for the idea!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #211150
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for sharing story suggestions Deirdre,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Goldilocks in Space

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    looks good for introducing the idea that planets can be quite different depending on their distance from their star.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We did a session on this with second level teachers as part of one of our teacher conferences with Dr Elizabeth Tasker – she added that in addition to the distance from the star, you need to consider what the planet is ‘wearing’ – as in, some planets have thick atmospheres, which keep heat in, and some have thin atmospheres which let heat out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #211730
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bridget O Grady
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Have not heard of that story before. “Goldilocks in space” , brilliant idea by  the author  Peter Bentley, creating this story explaining the Goldilocks zone, just brilliant. Making a note of that one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #215457
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Aine OBrien
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This book seems like the perfect addition to the lessons. The familiarity of the traditional Goldilocks story combined with the ‘just right’ concept would be a perfect stimulus for Creating a Martian challenge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #210708
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Profile photo ofmarymc21@gmail.comMary McNamara
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The activity for the plough and the stars (!) was such an interesting idea. I know that some elements are beyond the scope of infants, but I would still absolutely love to do it with my infants class. Even recognising numbers like 32, 28 etc. is a great stretch for more able children, and there are so many stages to the project that there are opportunities for every child to participate usefully. Space can be such an abstract concept for children, that I could see myself using this to usefully demonstrate the differences in star distances.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This could be combined nicely with an adventure in the forest (we have a grove of trees nearby) and we could talk about how the leaves and canopy look different when observing from the ground, compared to when we climb onto the branches (low and safe!). Looking at the stars would be similar if we could travel through space.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was also thinking that I could use the “what I see” drawing activity, but I couldn’t decide whether I’d do it before the constellation creation or after. Perhaps after, since we’d have seen the stars from other directions too at that point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #211410
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mary, thanks for your thoughtful consideration of this resource for your class. Measuring out the lengths would need some good fine motor skills – and practice with placing one end at zero etc — I have had second level students who didn’t know how to measure out lengths!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #210736
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Roisin McLarnon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I would introduce the lesson by firstly getting the kids to recite the nursery rhyme Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and then discuss the things that they know about stars. How many corners ,edges etc What colour are they? How many do they think there are ? more grains of sand than stars?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There are many childrens books on the stars and our sky.’ The Sky is Full of Stars’ byFranklyn Banley. ‘Our Stars ‘ Anne Rockwell or ‘Zoo in the Sky’ by Jackqueline Mitton are to name some . I would read the book or evn better use the IWB ro show a video of the story to the kids. After in a darkened room I would use a Star Lamp to project stars around the room and with the children lying dowm getting them to look for patterns or shapes they may see. Tell them about constellations.Remind them that space is silent and could they imagine themselves as one of these stars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I would then continue the lesson with some print making .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They will need a styrafoam tray, pencil , paint (black,dark blue,yellow) and a piece of plain white paper. The children will cut out the base of the tray and jusy have a smooth flat piece of styrafoam .The y will poke holes through it to represent the stars and then using the pencil trace lines to connect the stars just enough to see the lines . They then paint it black and then press on the plain paper to make a print o f their stars and constellation .They can then reprint with the blue paint . They could then name their constellation and display.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Finish off with some quite time gazind at the star projector lamp in the darkened classroom .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #210788
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Louise O Grady
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I would base my lesson on the space and aliens activity set.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Students would learn basic facts about Mars using picture books about space and Mars as a prompt, e.g. The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield. I would show them posters and images of Mars, pointing out its red color, surface features like craters and volcanoes, and its two moons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Class discussion and questioning, eg. “What do you think it would be like to visit Mars?” and “What kind of aliens might live there?”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I would provide students with red and orange construction paper, markers, crayons, scissors, and glue. Ask them to create their own alien that might live on Mars. What would their alien would need to survive on Mars. Will it have extra arms for digging? Big eyes for seeing in the dark? The children could build a Mars rover using a small box and foil. They could use playdoh to create the surface of Mars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              To reflect and assess the children could present their aliens, rovers and landscapes of Mars to the class.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #210938
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lynn McElroy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I would start off by reading the story Aliens love underpants and go through all space specific vocabulary to make sure it is understood.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We would then integrate with art to create an alien and spaceship of their own choice.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hands on activity: Create a star lantern.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Interactive learning: Kahoot quiz in groups. This reinforces learning and assessment.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nursery Rhymes: Twinkl Twinkl Little Star, Hey Diddle Diddle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Creative Projects: In groups on space
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Questioning: Constant questions throughout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • #210942
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Rebecca Behan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The activity set I would explore in the junior classroom is Stars. I would introduce the lesson with the book ‘How to catch a star’. We would then brainstorm how the students would go about catching stars. Then we will make our very own shooting star in a jar.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Materials needed:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -Food colouring
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -Water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -Small Jar with lid (one per table)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -Large clear glass jar, bottle, or vase
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -vegetable oil

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Method:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Fill each small jar half way full with oil.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Drop food colouring into the oil (these droplets will be the stars)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Shake the jar. (Shake up high, shake down low, blast off like a rocket ship, but don’t let go!!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Add the contents of the small jar into the bigger jar filled with water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The gravity will bring the colours down into the water as they pull away from the oil creating a shooting star like pattern.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The children will enjoy seeing the speed at which the ‘stars’ are moving and this can be used to expand on with discussions of the galaxy and milky way etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #211107
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Donna Mcevoy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would love to try the looking at the plough lesson on the stars and definitely think it could be used across the whole school (during Science week).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love the way it looks at the star from different perspectives.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hook: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (to engage children and draw them in).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Discussion/Predictions: What do they already know about the stars. Where are they? How many are there? What is their purpose. Allow them to draw some on paper or offer them tool to do it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Teach them some interesting facts about stars. Introduce them to the star plough. Go through the shape of stars (link to maths with the sides and corners).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Explain that they are going to be making one (in groups to start: 3 children), Model making it. Go through the steps and support groups (may need adult to support 2 groups).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would encourage children to then discuss the stars and why they might look different from different directions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This could be linked with Van Gogh Starry Night (should also be a winter lesson). I would also link it to the story Toys in Space.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Furthermore I would create stars in a jar using glass bottles, tin foil and tea candle led lights, scissors and drawing pin (under supervision).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #211328
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Michelle O Mahony
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I’ve never seen the stars in a jar activity before – very cute!! I’d love to try this sometime. It would be a lovely sensory activity in a special class setting too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #211577
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Anne Breen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I love this stars in a jar activity Donna. It is very effective and also very easy to do with the infants. And I agree with Michelle when she mentions it would be a lovely sensory activity. I’ll definitely be trying it next year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #211324
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Michelle O Mahony
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I would like to try the Star activity set, particularly the ‘making the plough’ lesson. At first, I was thinking that the lesson would be pitched too high for infants, but actually I think it’s very adaptable. I do think, however, that it would need to be done in small groups. It could be done in maths stations as there is integration there, or possibly during Aistear or play time. As a whole class ‘twinkle twinkle’ could be sung, or read ‘How to catch a star’. A little bit of chat about stars, and constellations and maybe watch a video on the constellations pitched to younger children.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The actual making the plough lesson, is also great for developing fine motor skills. It would also be easy to differentiate within the class. I would have the wool cut to the correct lengths for the children where measuring the length is too difficult, but I’m sure some children would love the challenge, which brings in the maths integration. I think the children would really love the finished products. As a conclusion the children could then draw their own constellations using some tracing sheets of other constellations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #211411
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Michelle – if the Plough, with 7 stars to position is too challenging, you could try Cassiopeia, and that is described as activity 5.4 on page 149 of Universe in Box.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In that version, the stars are held on sticks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #211549
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Aine Gannon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lesson Set

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #211668
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Aine Gannon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Activity set: The Stars

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hook: Story- Can You See The Stars Tonight?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Introduction: Whole class Mind map – what do we know about stars.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Display a photo of a farmer ploughing a field for group discussion. What shape is the tool? Can we use geoboards and bands to create the shape?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Introducing constellations: display the constellations of the Leo and Draco without identifying them by name. Children in pairs/ groups name name the constellations. Background on constellations. How they get their name? Can you suggest a better name?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Looking at a variety of items from different perspectives eg. A tree as we see it and a bird’s eye view, a leaf as we see it and an insect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Photo/video of constellation of the plough.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Create the constellation with string, blue tack or with skewers and mini marshmallows.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #211757
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Áine,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Leo is great – I often show it inside our portable planetarium – and am told that it looks like a computer mouse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You can review this video that one of my former colleagues created in 2020 – it outlines the difference between asterisms and constellations (using Stellarium).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #211934
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Naomi Marica
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi Áine I love the idea with the names never even thought of that! The children will have so much fun here. You could even provide them with some names to make it more lower order/middle order and they can guess which name suits the constellation best. And when they create their own constellations to name them – I’m sure the names created will be fabulous and hilarious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #211694
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Elaine Breen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The topic I have chosen for this module is the Stars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As I have previously said I love looking at the stars but I have just returned to the classroom this year after many years of job sharing so my teaching experience of the solar system has been very limited.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I suppose if I were to teach a lesson about stars I would begin by reading the book How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers which is also available on YouTube as a read aloud book. we could learn out the various constellations via YouTube videos understanding that stars are huge balls of burning gas far away in space. We could make our own constellations by placing silver stars on by cards and the naming the and sharing them with the class.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I remember serval years ago we had a company/organisation visit the school, they had an inflatable dome shaped bouncy castle and the kids lay down inside and they projected the different constellations and told the kids all about them and the kids were mesmerised by it, it was fab and it’s something I’d love to look into doing again

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #211701
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Elaine,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          there a few portable planetarium providers in the country.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In the Dublin area try Big Bear Planetarium, Armagh Planetarium also travel. In the west try Exploration Dome and we (BCO) cover the south with our StarDome.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You can replicate it to a certain degree by using Stellarium with a projector onto the biggest wall you can find in a room that you can make fully dark.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          BCO have also recently been making D.O.M.E.s with schools – out of cardboard. You can see the details and how-to here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #211735
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mary Herlihy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          For this Mdule I would choose Life in Space lesson from Esero

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          What is special?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Explain to the children that we live on Earth. Earth is a planet. There are many more planets in space. As far as we know there are no people living there. But if people did live there, what would the children like to show them here on Earth? What objects or animals here on Earth are so special that visitors from other planets should see them? Encourage the children to make a range of suggestions, and then decide what message to draw and act out. Give each child a sheet of A4 paper and colouring pencils. Encourage each child to draw what he or she has thought of, without letting the other children see. This maintains an element of surprise about what they will be acting out. The children think about how they can best act out their special object on Earth.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Act it out! Sit in a circle with the children. Ask a child to act out what is in their drawing, without showing the drawing to anyone. Let the other children guess what is being enacted. Does it match the drawing? Make sure every child has a turn.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Draw an alien .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ask the children if they know what an alien is. What do they think an alien would look like? Encourage them to make a drawing of this. When they have finished, discuss what they have drawn. Why does their alien look like that? Explain that no-one has found any real aliens yet, so we don’t know if they exist or what they look like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #211803
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Karen Walsh
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Activity: Alien Craft

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Materials needed:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Construction paper

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Scissors

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Glue stick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Googly eyes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Markers or crayons

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pipe cleaners

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Popsicle sticks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Instructions:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            First, cut out various shapes from the construction paper. The children will use their imagination and create alien body parts such as circles, squares, triangles, and ovals. They can also create spaceships, planets, and other outer space objects.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Once they have their shapes ready, they will use glue sticks and glue the shapes onto a larger piece of construction paper to create their alien characters. They can mix and match different shapes to create unique aliens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            After sticking the shapes, the children will get googly eyes to add to their alien’s face. They can choose the number of eyes their alien has and stick them on using glue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The children will use markers or crayons to draw additional details on their aliens such as mouths, noses, antennas, and any other features they like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To make the aliens even more interesting, the children will use pipe cleaners to create arms, legs, or antennas. They can twist and bend the pipe cleaners into different shapes and stick them onto their aliens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Finally,popsicle sticks will be glued to their aliens onto the sticks. This will allow them to play with their creations and make them “fly” around like real aliens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Once the aliens are complete, encourage the children to use their imagination and come up with stories or adventures for their aliens. They can pretend the aliens are exploring outer space or visiting Earth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #211920
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Karen,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                creating aliens from craft material is a great design and make task. If you wanted children to use their scientific understanding of living things, you could ask them to group the made aliens into families – or, for slightly older children – into ecosystems.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have done this before, by asking — where would this alien live? it looks like it has big eyes, so is it like an owl that goes out at night? etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #211816
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ashling Mccartan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The activity set that I have chosen is ‘Space and Aliens. There is a wide variety of different ways that children can explore the topic of Space and Aliens.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Show the children a picture of space and ask the children do they know anything about the topic. After a few discussion points, show a fun picture of a friendly alien and ask the children what they think or know. Ask the children what they would like to show the alien here on earth – What animals, objects, places etc. Use Google Slides to make a slideshow of the different things the class would like to show the alien.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Story Book – Aliens Love Underpants. Discuss the story and get children to say their favourite part.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Drawing – The children must draw and colour what they think an alien would look like. Children can give the alien a name and they must present their alien to the class.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Good Noodle Dance – Alien Boogie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWftd3b6zX0

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #211844
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sinead Forde
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This is a lovely lesson which incorporates a story, song, drawing and dance and which would definitely appeal to a younger class. I love the idea of the children showing the alien different things here on Earth – I’m sure they would come up with some fascinating and interesting ideas!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #211835
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Valerie Ryan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The activity set I have chosen for this assignment is The Stars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think an ideal time of year for this would be around Christmas where there are so many references to stars and the night sky happening for the pupils. Songs like Catch a Falling Star or When you wish upon a Star could be used to introduce the topic. Stories like How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers would also provide a great prompt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would use the ESERO lesson, Lots and lots of stars. I think this would be a very effective lesson to illustrate the vast number of stars. If I had another adult in the room, I would aim for group work with this as the different ‘starscapes’ produced would provide a great source of discussion and response for the pupils. If not, individual responses would work very well also.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would make a conscious decision to give the pupils a mix of equipment so that we don’t have 24 splatterboards or 24 toothbrushes etc. The use of different tools means that the pupils would get to see the effect and results of the different methods and it would make the lesson more interesting for them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I like the opportunities for integration of maths. The pieces of equipment can be counted as well as the stars on the worksheets at the end.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    At the end of the lesson, I would display all of the pieces on the corridor/in the hall as a starry sky from our whole class and allow the opportunity for the pupils to explain their process and share what they have learned about stars at a school assembly or for visiting pupils from another class.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This Twinkl link has lots of great ideas and activities:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    https://www.twinkl.ie/blog/astronomy-for-kids-with-star-facts-from-twinkl-kids-tv

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #211921
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Valerie,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I’m kicking myself that I didn’t take a picture of a galaxy wall display that I once made with children. We all created one or more spatter star paintings on black card, then arranged them with denser regions and sparser regions to create a huge galaxy on the window. It was amazing and the children could see that stars make up galaxies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #211843
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sinead Forde
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I would adapt the lesson ‘Lots and Lots of Stars’ for an infant class.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I would begin with the nursery rhyme ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ followed by asking the children simple questions about stars: Have you seen stars? Where do you usually see stars? Do stars give light? Is the sun a star?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I would then explain that you can see stars most clearly at night and that the sun is our closest star. It gives off so much light that we have light during the day. The light is so bright that we cannot see the other stars until it is night time (and the sky is clear!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I would ask the children to guess how many stars there are in the universe. As we are fortunate enough in our school to be located close to the beach, we would go to the beach where I would explain that there are more stars than there are grains of sand on the whole of planet Earth! The children could explore the sand before returning to the classroom to continue our lesson.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For the next part of the lesson, we would make a starry sky. I have previously completed this lesson with an infant class, where the children used their fingers to flick the toothbrush with paint to create stars across the page – messy, but immensely enjoyable!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To consolidate the lesson, we would show and discuss our completed pictures before recapping over the learning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #211888
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Louise Brosnan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lesson to introduce children to the concept of space and the idea of aliens in a fun and engaging way.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Materials Needed: Picture books about space and aliens – Colouring sheets of planets and aliens – Crayons and markers – Stickers of stars and planets – Space-themed music

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Introduction (10 minutes):
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Welcome and Greeting: Start with a welcome song e.g. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Discussion: Ask, “What do you think is up in the sky at night?” and listen to their answers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Story Time (15 minutes):
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Read a Book: Choose an engaging picture book about space and aliens e.g. Welcome to Alien School by Caryl Hart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Questions: Ask questions about the story to encourage participation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Activity (15 minutes):
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Colouring: Hand out colouring sheets of planets and aliens.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Decorating: Let the children use stickers to decorate their sheets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Movement Activity (10 minutes):
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Space Adventure: Play space-themed music and pretend to be astronauts exploring space.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Conclusion (10 minutes):
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Show and Tell: Allow children to share their coloured sheets.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Closing: Remind them of the exciting things they learned about space and aliens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #211932
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Naomi Marica
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Set: Stars

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Space copy: what do the stars look like? (Before lesson)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Lesson and videos on stars & constellations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Space copy: what do stars look like? (After the lesson).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Discuss at your table or in pairs were you close? What is your favourite fact about stars?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Constellation stations:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Station 1: constellations pictures and chalk/whiteboard activities to draw them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Station 2: create constellations using playdoh and toothpicks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Station 3: star chart and star plough activity as shown in video (with teacher scaffolding).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Station 4: create your own constellations – draw.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            After all children have completed their 4 stations children as a class create their constellations using playdoh and tooth picks and in turns fo a show and tell of their constellations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #211939
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Naomi – this is a lovely way to support children learning about constellations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                With light pollution ever increasing, if you are a city based school there is a good chance that the children haven’t seen more than just the very brightest stars in the sky. Only children who are lucky enough to live in more remote areas can enjoy the sky 🙁

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • #212768
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Deirdre Leonard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I like the idea of using stations for studying constellations. It will make it much more fun for the children and is more personal to them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • #211942
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Anita Cooke
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Introduce lesson with the nursery rhyme ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little star’ to stimulate some discussion about stars.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Talk and discussion about stars- where do you see them and when? What do they remind you of? What do you think they do?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Explain to them that a group of stars that form a pattern or a picture is called a ‘Constellation’. We will look at some examples of constellations on IWB and discuss the names given Orion the Great hunter, Leo the Lion and Taurus the bull.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Using some card, string, tinfoil and cellotape we will make a constellation to hang up in our room- (whole class activity)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Children will then design and name their own constellation.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  To conclude the lesson the children will listen to and respond through movement to the song ‘Sky full of stars’ by Coldplay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #211966
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Laura O’Meara
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would look at the topic of Space and Aliens for this module. I love using the Aliens love books as a stimulus for these lessons. The children in my classes have always really enjoyed these books and it would get them interested in the lesson. We would then have a class discussion about Aliens and Martians and what they might look like. We would also discuss about whether they think there might be life on other planets and what this might look like and how it would differ from our lives here on Earth. Following on from our discussions the children would be given the opportunity to create their own Aliens or Martians using play doh and other junk art materials like pipe cleaners, googly eyes, sequins etc. Once the children have all created their creature we would look at them all and see if we could group them at all into ‘families’ and look at the ways that they could be grouped. This would be a good way of using our Maths skills within the lesson.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #211980
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dympna Kilcoyne
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I also love the theme of Aliens and the Aliens love… books; also the Julia Donaldson book The Smeds and the Smoos. The children are fascinated by them and their imagination responds so well. I have also encouraged the children to design their own aliens in the Junk Art and playdough stations with pipe cleaners, googly eyes, sequins, sparkles, buttons, tinfoil, sticks, bottle caps etc. during Aistear and found it fantastic in helping them develop their creativity, fine motor skills and explore their thinking around Space further.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #212027
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Gwen Williams
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for sharing these books Dympna.  I love working with books based on a theme, I’ll add these to the list for September

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #212387
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Margaret Lane
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Love the idea of junk modelling. I did this before with a class and they were so engaged in the lesson and creating their Alien. It allowed the children to really explore and be creative.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #211978
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dympna Kilcoyne
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Activity: Lots and lots of Stars
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I will definitely be availing of this ESERO activity next year; perhaps in a thematic unit of work on stars during my Space month. I think I would introduce it after the Counting Can game and ask who thinks there are more stars than those marbles? We would count and move to a see-through container. I explain that there are more and ask are there more stars than there are children in the class? We count the number of children and put that many marbles in a second transparent container. I explain that there are even more and fill a third large container to the top. Explain that there are so many stars that we need computers to count how many there are. I would open up a discussion with questions such as: ‘Have you ever seen the stars? What did they look like? Were there a lot of them? Do stars give light? When do you usually see the stars? Is the Sun a star too?’ The photo of the starry sky would lead to more discussion and discovery and help me explain that the Sun gives off so much light that we have light during the day and this light is so bright that we can’t see the other stars. The children would discover that there are lots of stars in the universe.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My class would love creating their Starry Sky extension Art activity and this would really emphasize that there are so many stars; I would link this with Van Gogh’s Starry Night piece for Looking and Responding in art, star related stories and Twinkle Twinkle in literacy and Gaeilge Lonraigh, lonraigh, réalt os cionn https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=3XVxrgn73ps, the Maths counting worksheet and numerous other possibilities in Maths, Aistear and Geography: making constellations with playdough or Junk-Art, star themed musical and drama performances and activites etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #213132
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Dolores Mc Monagle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love your ideas for the Lots and lots of Stars activity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I will also be using this lesson as a thematic unit of work. I hope to link it with space in Oral Language and I will include the book ‘Where to hide a Star’ by Oliver Jeffers to the literacy resources I plan on using. I will also show ‘Starry Night’ by Van Gogh as part of my teaching.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love your idea of singing and reciting Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star as part of the thematic work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #212026
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Gwen Williams
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The topic that I would like to use in my classroom next year is that of Stars.  This module has helped me to reflect on how I would plan and develop this as a topic in an infant classroom.  It has been particularly helpful in helping me think about using many curricular areas to teach science themes and topics..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I work in a DEIS school. We always try to place an emphasis on literacy.  I love using books, especially picture books in the infant classroom to spark the children’s interest in a topic.  For this topic I would use How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers.  This is a beautiful book that really captures the children’s imagination and it’s a bonus that Oliver is an Irish author

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                https://www.google.com/search?gs_ssp=eJzj4tLP1TcwKTHOTUoyYPQSzsgvVyjJV0hOLEnOUEhUKC5JLAIAp7EKeQ&q=how+to+catch+a+star&oq=How+to+catch+a+st&gs_lcrp=EgZjaHJvbWUqBwgBEC4YgAQyCggAEAAY4wIYgAQyBwgBEC4YgAQyBggCEEUYOTIHCAMQABiABDIHCAQQABiABDIHCAUQABiABDIHCAYQABiABDIHCAcQABiABDIHCAgQABiABDIHCAkQABiABNIBDTEwNDEwNjQ5ajBqMTWoAgCwAgA&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#kpvalbx=_-DexZMz-IOmhhbIPufuN0As_57

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I would introduce the lesson asking the children some questions

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I wonder what is in the sky at night?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I wonder what a star is made of?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I wonder how many stars are in the sky at night ?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I would do a looking and responding activity with the children. I would show them the following three pieces of art

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Vincent Van Gogh – Starry Night Over the Rhone
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                James Whistler – Nocturne in Black and Gold
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Rita Oates – A Star
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We would explore and discuss these artworks together, focusing on how each artist uniquely portrays the stars. During winter, I’d encourage the children to observe the stars before bedtime (although in summer, it stays light too late for this). Equipped with art supplies, the children would create a piece of art inspired by these artists,  their imagination or their observations from the previous night. I would share their artwork with the entire class and establish a class gallery, where each child receives positive feedback from a classmate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Integration with maths – sorting stars from planets, making patterns with stars and various materials, word problems involving stars e.g. I saw two stars shining in the sky, then three more stars appeared. How many stars are in the sky now?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Integration with Aistear – going to Space theme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Integration with English – write star acrostic poems

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Encourage the children  to explore the night sky with their families and share their discoveries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #212093
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Gwen – such a nice outline of Arts and Science. May I share it with teachers for Space Week?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #212195
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Anne Breen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Module 3 assignment

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Activity Set: Space and Aliens

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    How would you use the activity in your classroom?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I plan to do a lesson about aliens and space, as I think it would be a fun one to do in the infant classroom. I would use the ESERO 19 Special life resource as a guide to the lesson.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I will explain to the children that we live on planet Earth and that there are many more planets in space. I will explain that as far as we know there are no people living on the other planets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A discussion will occur where I will ask the children if aliens did live on the other planets what would the children like to show them here on Earth? What objects or animals here on Earth are so special that the aliens from other planets should see them or learn about them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The children will be encouraged to make a range of suggestions and they will then decide what object to draw. I will give each child a sheet of A4 paper and crayons. Each child will draw what he/she has thought of.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The children will then think about how they can best act out their special object on Earth. The children will sit in a circle and each child will take a turn to act out his/her object in the centre of the circle. The rest of the children will then try guess what the object is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Finally, the children will be invited to think about and visualise the alien. They are asked to think about what it looks like. Has it got any special features and what planet is it from. The children will then draw their alien. Afterwards they can find a partner and they can take turns to describe the alien they have drawn. These drawings can be displayed on the wow wall.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    There’s a good link to the arts and literacy curriculums in this lesson and the children will benefit from listening to each other describing their aliens and from acting out their special objects.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #212210
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Aoife Purcell
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I really like the idea of acting out the special object, it would be fun and engaging as the children try to guess the object.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #213162
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Rachel Byrne
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I love the idea of getting the children to draw what the alien looks like. This would especially be interesting in a Junior Infant class of boys as they love to use their imagination when it comes to drawing which is great to see. I think it would be a great idea and something that the children could share openly with the rest of the class as to their alien they have drawn (authors chair). I can just imagine the laughter the class would get out of some of the aliens that some of the children would come up with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #213215
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Rachel – for the child who isn’t confident in their own drawing, you can use the folded paper and each person add a different part of the alien  – simple but effective.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #212198
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Siobhan Rooney
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Activity: Stars

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I would introduce this lesson by reading the storybook ‘Can you see the stars tonight’ by Anna Terreros Martin. This should spark a discussion about stars in the night sky. I will ask the children have they every heard of the plough? We will then look at pictures of the plough and identify why it has its name.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We will then try to recreate our own classroom plough during an art lesson. I will give the children a variety of art materials such as black card, matchsticks, lollipop sticks, pipe cleaners etc. Every child will have an opportunity to recreate their own plough. This hopefully will help children understand its shape and help them identify the plough in the night sky. We will create a classroom display of our ploughs. We will then compare them to pictures of the Plough in the night sky and see how they are different/the same
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I will email parents and ask them to help their children identify the Plough at night. This might be an nice activity to do during midterm in October, when the sky is very dark.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #212209
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Aoife Purcell
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The activity that I would like to focus on is ESERO 19: Special Life. I feel this could be adapted for Aistear stations for the infants. I would use 3 stations with the following activities:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oral Language – Using visuals I would invite the children to share the words that come into their head when we think of planet Earth, e.g. people, animals, objects, etc. I would explain that there are many more planets in space, but as far as we know there are no living people there. I would then ask the children to think about, if people did visit from other planets, what would they like to show them here on Earth? What makes Earth so special? I would record all of their answers on poster paper, which can then be moved with the children and displayed as a stimulus in the next area.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Role play – The children would then act out an alien visiting their planet and what they would tell them about Earth, what they would show them about Earth. Teacher can observe and partake in the role play if necessary.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Art – Invite the children to share what they think an alien would look like – discuss body parts, colours, shapes, textures etc. The children would then draw and design their own alien. I would provide the children with a range of materials to create different textures e.g. wool, fabric, plastic, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • #212234
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Aoife,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Your planning for Aistear around the special-ness of Earth is great. You could include picture of different parts of Earth if you wanted – or lots of photos of the immediate school area if that is your focus and the children could also describe the pictures and tell you what they think is important or special about the area.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I reminds me of a radio station that I listened to when I lived in London. Each week the DJ would choose a different part of London and ask listeners to ring in with what made it special. I learnt a lot about other areas from listening.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #212395
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Barbara Sadlier
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I might just steal your ideas for Aistear Aoife. They are three interesting stations that I think the children in my class would really enjoy and learn alot from.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #214543
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Olivia Smith
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I love the ideas for the different Aistear stations, I could see the students really enjoying this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #214544
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Olivia Smith
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A lesson I would like to do with my class around Space and Aliens is Design an Alien.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I would start the lesson by reading the students the story ‘Ten Little Aliens’. I would then ask the children to describe some of the characteristics and brainstorm together on the board. The students will then use their imaginations and draw what they think an Alien would look like. The students will then use clay to model an Alien, thinking about arms, legs and facial features. I would then link in literacy, the students would create a character profile for their alien, thinking about their likes/dislikes and creating a world for them. We will then compare and contrast the different creatures that were made, using oral language to come up with the similarities and differences.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #212360
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Lucy O Mahony
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stars

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To begin we would sing the nursery rhyme Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and I’d read the story ‘ How to Catch a Star’ by Oliver  Jeffers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Question children about stars e.g.Have you ever seen a star? When can you see the stars?  What can sometimes prevent us from seeing the stars eg clouds or too much artificial light. Can you see stars during the day. Explain to children that the sun is a star. Revise what we know about the sun i.e. light, heat, supports life.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Show pictures of some star patterns such as the Plough or Orion’s Belt.  Show different pictures and ask them to identify a pattern.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Construct a 3 D model of the plough pattern using straws cut at the correct length, blue tack and tinfoil.  Look at the pattern from different angles and choose the best position to view it in order to see the pattern.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Conclude the lesson by singing Twinkle Twinkle and displaying the model of the Plough on the ceiling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #212385
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Margaret Lane
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Intro: I would read ‘Aliens Love Underpants’ by Claire Freedman to engage and hook the children on the lesson. Have some props from the story perhaps teddies, puppets for children to refer to.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Literacy- Children focus on oral language talking about the different aliens in the book e.g. similarities and differences, physical description. Focus on description of an alien from the story.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Main Lesson: Art and design- Children design their Alien by drawing their own alien.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Literacy- Create vocabulary based on what they would like their Alien to be like (mind-map ideas or write lists). Write simple and complex sentences about your Alien.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lesson 2: Create an alien using clay modelling or use junk modelling from recycled materials and art supplies different materials. This can also link with the science strand properties and characteristics of materials. Here children can create 3D models of their Alien.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #212394
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Barbara Sadlier
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I like the lesson Design a Martian. I feel like I will definitely use this lesson next year with my Infant class.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I would first ask the children to use their imaginations and draw what they think a Martian would look like. In groups I would ask the children to act out in small groups how their aliens might move and communicate with each other.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To extend this lesson the children could then use play doh to make 3d models of their Martians.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To link this lesson with Maths these 3d models could be used as concrete materials in the teaching of classifying, pattern and number work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We would explore further the topic of aliens through reading stories about aliens and looking at artists’ impressions of aliens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #212412
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Barbara,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                creating with science thinking is lovely way to bring Arts and STEM together. I LOVE your idea of

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I would ask the children to act out in small groups how their aliens might move and communicate with each other.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My colleague did aliens as the theme for Space Week Art in 2022. You can find it here

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Space Art With BCO

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                and view at YouTube:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #212451
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sarah Harrington
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Activity Set- Space and Aliens.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Design your own Martian/Alien.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Introduction: I would begin the lesson by asking the children some questions to enhance their imaginations, e.g. What is mars like? What is the weather like on Mars, is it hot or cold? What kind of creature could live in this climate or environment? Predict what a martian may look like? I would then ask the children to draw a martian from their imagination.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mian lesson: After the children have drawn their ideas of martians, we will discuss their ideas in groups. The children will then be given a variety of materials and will be asked to make a Martian using 3d materials.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Conclusion: Once the children have created their martian, they will engage in role play where they will ask their martian questions about their planet and they will tell them some things about earth. The children can name and introduce their martian to the rest of the class/group.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • #212472
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Fiona Kavanagh
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Activity set: Space and Aliens

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Introduction: Play ‘little alien space kids song’ for the children on Youtube.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Activity/Investigation: Begin by asking the children what makes us different to aliens? What might be similar between humans and aliens? If you were to meet an alien, what might they look/sound like?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Create a list of questions the children might like to ask if they ever met an alien.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Roll play: Teacher in role as alien who has landed from a planet, the children must ask the alien questions; where did you come from? What does your planet look like? Do you have gravity/water/living organisms on your planet? How far away are you from earth? Do you like earth? etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The children will then work to create their own aliens using playdough. Afterwards, they must create a full persona for the alien (name, favourite food, which planet you’re from)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Conclusion: The children will be encouraged to take turns to be in role as their individual alien whilst the other children in the class ‘interview’ the alien.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #212491
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Is this the song?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I really like the questioning the alien (teacher) – what a great way to use the questions and to rephrase as needed in the light of information that the teacher provides.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Connecting to science understanding by creating the full persona is super – and some children might work together to create an alien ecosystem. I sometimes do that with children who find the creating aspect challenging and have created “rocks” or lumps — I suggest that these are very well disguised aliens – they look like lumps if anyone else is around…!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #213014
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Laura Reidy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think teacher in role is a great way to get the children thinking while making it very fun and engaging. It’s a great way to encourage deeper thinking on the topic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #212767
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Deirdre Leonard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am teaching 1st and 2nd class next year and I would like to use the Activity Set on Stars with my class.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Introduction: I would use the song Sky Full of Stars from Sing 2 with the children to initiate a discussion about stars. We would elicit what they know about stars and what they might like to find out about them.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sing 2 (2021) – A Sky Full of Stars Scene | Movieclips
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have used this song before with my 1st and 2nd class and after doing this course I now see how useful it would be as a starter for the Lots and Lots of Stars activity from ESERO. The song could then be integrated into a music lesson.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I would also use The Starry Night picture by Van Gogh and use this for an art lesson.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As I have a sister who lives in Australia and I have seen the constellations in the Southern Hemisphere I would also explore with the children the fact that there are different constellations in the Northern and the Southern Hemisphere. I would encourage the class to come up with their own constellations too and name them themselves. It would be a great way to focus an oral language lesson and why they name their constellation the way they did.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        After doing this module I see how broad the topic is and where it can lead you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #212786
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Deirdre,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            we used to have a sheet of dots that children could use to make their own constellations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Similar to it are these set of the 3 night sky pictures, with 3 constellations to find from Project Astro – Constellation Detective.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have these printed A3 size, laminated, and I tape them to the bottom of the table so that children can lie on their backs and look up at the “sky” to find the constellation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #215250
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Deirdre ODriscoll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This is fantastic Frances. I’m sure the children thoroughly enjoyed lying on the ground and looking at the constellations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I look forward to trying this out in the future.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #212872
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Muireann McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lesson based on Stars:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Start the lesson by eliciting from the children what they know about stars. Record this on a KWL Chart.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Read the Story: “How to Catch a Star” by Oliver Jeffers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Pick one of the activity sheets based on the story: Spot the Difference, Join the dots, make a mobile, maze sheets, colouring sheets.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Create their own constellations: Show the children simple examples of constellation on cards and on the Interactive Whiteboard. Discuss that constellations are patterns of stars in the sky and go through some of the names they have. The children could use some star stickers and some paper/card. Using silver or white crayons and markers, help the children connect some of the star stickers on their paper to create their own constellations patterns. They can copy the constellation cards or create their own patterns.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Video based on stars: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeNuj2GH8xg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Going back to the KWL chart and elicit from the children what they have learned from the lesson.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • #212944
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Muireann,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  the Geography Curriculum names 2 constellations in the exemplars for 5th and 6th class – the Great Bear and Pole Star,  Orion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So please try to point those out from an early age. Ursa Major is visible all year round, and children can use the Spaceweek.ie resource (https://www.spaceweek.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Draw-Your-Own-Constellation.pdf)  to make their own shape for the Plough, Orion is visible in the early evening in January – April.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Older children might explore how the position of the Plough tells you the time of night, with this Plough Clock.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • #212925
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Clodagh McClean
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There are so many options and activities that can be done when you introduce stars. the children are fascinated by them and rightly so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  However the activity set that I will be focusing on is space and Aliens. I think it opens such a creative element to space and the children love it. One of the stories I always start with is the Man on the Moon and the children find it hilarious. There are so many lovely storybooks around aliens such as Aliens love underpants and the Smeds and Smoos. we do so much Drama and art out of this and i find it always draws the children who are not confident to come out of their comfort zones as the sillier an alien looks the better.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We also link this in sometimes with Maths and get them to roll a dice for the eyes, arms, antennae, etc and they have to draw how many the dice says. and sometimes I get the children to fold up paper into 4 strips and play musical chairs. WHen the children land on the next chair, they draw the next part without seeing the previous drawing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Our Christmas play that I have done for anumber of years is called Christmas with the Aliens and it is a lovely transition from Space which I usualy do in November to our festive season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #212946
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Padraig McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lesson based on stars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Introduction: Star-Gazing Activity: Create a mini planetarium using a darkened room and stick glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling. Then, turn off the lights and use a flashlight to mimic different star constellations. Children can share stories about stars and children will be encouraged to make their own constellations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Star Plough: Display an images of the star plough on the IWB, invite the children to look at the image and discuss what they see. Explain that the constellation looks like a plough in the sky. Invite the children to create their own drawings or 3-D models based on the famous star pattern. Link with maths (shapes) and art (construction). This will be an hands on activity, the children could work independently, in pairs or in small groups when completing this task.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Conclusion: Invite the children to sing the song ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’. This will link with music, the children can sing this in small groups and then as a whole class.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #212955
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bridget O Grady
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The activity set; Space and Aliens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There are so many books listed in the comments that can be used the begin an activity about Aliens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      When Aliens come to tea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Here come the Aliens

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The way back Home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Darkest dark

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Beegu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have use the story “Aliens Love underpants” as a stimulus for discussion about aliens . What will  “The Alien”  look like and how they might move, do they have eyes , a nose, ears, legs, arms, hands. What colour might the Alien be. We can use coloured paper to choose background and draw out Alien shape. Then we can glue googley eyes ,bits of foil, pipe cleaners or ribbon  on  to add features and texture. Teacher cuts out Alien to display.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We also have an option of colouring the Alien Underpants.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have added a picture of the display from an activity with Early Start this year,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Children enjoyed the activity and  also had fun moving like the Alien might move.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #212989
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Michelle Rowley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Activity Set – Stars

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Trigger – read ‘How to catch a star’ by Oliver Jeffers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Discussion – This can lead to discussion about starts – what they know about stars, and anything they would like to know about stars. Let them look at pictures of stars and of the constellations – without names . What do they see?  – what shapes can they see? What would they call this constellation? Show children a variety of constellations and name them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Song  – Constellation song – BBC

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Make a constellation activity – The Plough

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Using a print out of The Plough constellation, black paper, string/ straws and pieces of tin foil. (as per ‘Seeing Stars’ activity on the Curious Minds website)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Allow children to work in pairs on this, allowing for group/ collaborative work. To differentiate this activity allow some children to work with and measure the string, others to use some pre-cut straws. This enables the lessons to be adapted for all childnre in the class.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #213266
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Daire Dwyer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi Michelle, this is a lovely lesson and I really like the use of the song, children love music and its a great stimulus to add to lessons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #213012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Laura Reidy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I would choose to teach the lesson set about alien life. This set of lessons lends itself to cross curricular integration through art, drama, SPHE and religion. I would begin by doing a circle time and pose the question “What makes earth so wonderful?” We would discuss the fact that earth is a planet and I would have images on the interactive whiteboard to show planet earth in space. I would ask the children to think about this and then we would discuss as a whole class. I would go on to say that as far as we know, there are no other living things on other planets. If we were to have a visitor from space, what amazing things from earth would you like to show them. I would then ask the children in pairs to act out their response to this. The other children could guess what it is they are imitating. At the end of the lesson they would then be given materials for drawing and I would ask them to draw what they think an alien visitor would look like. This lesson had lots of scope for further extension. I would read books such as “We’re off to look for aliens” by Colin McNaughton. We could hone our thoughts and think about how they might be different from us. The children could then go on to create a 3D model of their alien using playdough or clay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #213099
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Daire Dwyer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Activity Set: Space and Aliens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I like this activity as it incorporates a number of different topics such as Literacy, Drama  and Science  I would spend some time discussing what things they would like to show aliens if they ever visited our planet. I would discuss the features of animals or places. I would use the lesson to expand on listening skills of the children and I would call out instructions for the children to draw, I would describe unusual features of obscure animals such as the Platypus, Blobfish or the Angler Fish with the aim that the children would create unique, bizarre, alien-like pictures of the creatures. I would keep the language simple and aim it at the age range in my class. I hope that these drawings would lead to a conversation around what makes a creature an alien? With the added twist that these creatures do in fact actually exist on this planet of ours. In first class we are beginning to explore descriptive language and I would hope this lesson really taps into this area with lots of suggestions about what makes something look alien using lots of adjectives. I would use a book called “The Aliens are Coming by Colin McNaughton” as a stimulus for the lesson it’s a lovely, colourful book for younger children which also gives lots of descriptive language and adjectives about different aliens as they are coming to Earth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by Daire Dwyer.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • #213250
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Profile photo ofjane.dooley@bco.ieJane Dooley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                TeachNet Moderator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Daire this is a lovely lesson!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #214126
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ciara Hayden
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Daire I love how visual this lesson is, and can imagine great creative use of colour and design by the pupils following the enjoyment of the book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #213106
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Stephanie Mc Cann
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Activity: Space and aliens

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Before beginning the lesson- Play the song ‘5 Little Men in a Flying Saucer’ https://youtu.be/2E3p_51tJx0?si=93csQJoTddG_ooL1 to begin the lesson. The song starts with 5 aliens in the flying saucer and they end up leaving the space craft one by one. (integrating maths)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Have a discussion as to ‘why do they think when the aliens were flying around the earth, that they didn’t like what they saw and one of them would fly away?’ ‘Would earth be a scary place for aliens?’ ‘What do they think is in space?’ ‘Do they think there are aliens in space?’ Display pictures of space, rockets, astronauts and aliens as prompts for discussion and for stimulus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Read a space/alien themed book such as ‘Aliens Love Underpants’ by Claire Freeman and discuss with class the characters and the setting. This would then lead us into our activity of creating our own aliens. Each child is provided with materials to create their own alien. Teacher to encourage them to use their imagination. They can use googly eyes, pipe cleaners, glitter, crayons, paint, toilet roll tubes and colourful paper to make their aliens. Ask each child to name their alien and share a fun fact about it with the class like ‘what planet do they come from?’ to try and make links to previous lesson about the solar system. Children love this activity as it is fun and engaging, they also love to see what sort of aliens their classmates have made and to listen to the stories about the aliens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #213128
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dolores Mc Monagle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Module 3 Assignment:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Activity: Stars

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ESERO 13: Lots and lots of Stars: Looking at the Stars

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I would introduce the lesson with questions so get the children thinking, how many stars are there? More than 5? More than the number of children in this class? More than the number of marbles in this jar?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I would then show them the discussion sheet and some images of the Milky Way to get them engaged and focused.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I would then explain about the stars and the Milky Way and that the sun is a star, our nearest and brightest star.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We would follow this with the art lesson to create a starry night. I would show them Van Gogh’s famous Starry Night scene to get them thinking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The children would use space themed play dough mats to create stars. I would add some glitter to the play dough to create a sparkling effect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I would finish off the learning by reading ‘Where to hide a star’ by Oliver Jeffers to the children.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is a delightful story about a boy who likes to play hide and seek with his two friends, the star and the penguin. The star was always easy to find as he is so bright but one day he goes missing. The boy radios a Martian for help and soon finds himself on an exciting spaceship rescue mission to the North Pole! But while there, he discovers that he isn’t the only one who dreams of having a star as a friend…
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is a lovely story about friendship that I know the children would enjoy and it would really consolidate their learning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #213159
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Rachel Byrne
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I would focus on using the ‘Stars’ activity in my Junior Infant classroom. To introduce the lesson and to elicit the children’s prior knowledge on the topic of ‘stars’ I would show the children a picture/video of a child friendly night sky full of stars. This would lead into an oral group discussion where the class teacher can ask open-ended questions to prompt engagement and curiosity of the children. Next, I would read the story ‘How to catch a star’ by Oliver Jeffers as this will further allow the children to explore their own personal perception of ‘I wonder how could we catch a star in the high sky etc., As a class we will use a white roll of paper across the floor so all children have access to it and each child will draw various stars of different shapes/size etc., (integration of Math/construction – visual art) across the paper. Next, the children will use glow in the dark paint and paint their stars various colours etc., once this dries we will cut out our stars and stick them onto black sugar card/paper. Next, we will turn off the lights/pull down the blinds etc., to make the room dark and for us to see our glow in the dark stars that we have created. Depending on the class, the teacher may need to model how to draw a star or have cut out templates at hand, otherwise the children are free to create their own versions of stars they see in the night sky. After this lesson we will reflect on what we have learned about stars etc., and if our predictions or thoughts about trying to catch a star has changed or stayed the same based on the L & L story read at the beginning of the lesson. (This activity can be integrated across Aistear/SESE & Visual Art). Whilst the children are working on their stars the class teacher is facilitating the children’s learning around the room by observing, using questioning/modelling etc.,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #213240
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sinead Devlin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Great Idea to use the Vincent Van Gough painting. Also lovely way of integrating and facilitating learning through Aistear.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #214274
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ciara FaganBarrett
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This is a fabulous lesson Rachel, I really like the collaboration of the whole class drawing a range of stars in a shared piece of art and also using the glow in the dark paint to bring to life in a darkened classroom.  I can see how effective this would be and would like to use with my class, many thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #213238
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sinead Devlin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I love the idea of the hands on activities for studying stars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I would use the books how to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers as a stimulus. This book will introduce the children to stars. We then will sing twinkle twinkle little star.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We would then move on to the lesson lots and lots of stars. Again I would use the KWL chart to introduce the knowledge we might already have. We would work together as a whole class on this or small groups. I would use the key questions at this point.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Have you ever seen the stars? What did they look like? Were there a lot of them? Do stars give light? When do you usually see the stars? Is the Sun a star too?’I love the ides of using marbles toad clear transparent jars to discuss stars. I may even use sweets like jellies to draw the children in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I thinks it would be lovely to create the paintings and stick them althoghetr as one big display to really show the children that there are lots and lots of stars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #213353
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              David Gavin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lesson Topic- Stars
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Title: Exploring Stars

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Objective: Introduce Junior and Senior Infant Children to stars and spark their curiosity about the night sky.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I would use various materials such as;

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Picture books about stars
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Flashcards with star images
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Glow-in-the-dark stars stickers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Art supplies (glitter, colored paper, glue, scissors)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Large sheet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Children’s telescope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i would introduce the lesson by showing a picture of stars and ask children if they have seen them before.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Explain that stars are glowing balls in the sky at night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I would Give children art supplies and ask them to create their own starry sky artwork.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Let them use their imagination to add as many stars as they want.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Share their artwork with the class.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Moving on I would show flashcards with star images and ask children to count the stars on each card.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Increase the number of stars gradually.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Reward their efforts with glow-in-the-dark star stickers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Finally I would carry out a Stargazing Adventure with the childrten.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Create a simulated night sky using a large sheet.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dim the lights and use a children’s telescope (if available) or project images of stars.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Point out constellations and explain their shapes using relatable examples.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Encourage children to imagine shapes in the stars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I would Discuss what the children learned about stars.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Recap the main points of the lesson.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Encourage them to explore the night sky with their families and share their discoveries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #213544
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    David,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have used simple telescope shape tubes for young children to imagine they are looking at the stars – made from corrugated cardboard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Optional is to then put a bit of black paper over the end with small holes poked through the black paper to make a star viewer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    All of it can be held together with elastic bands so it can be reused easily and stored together.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #215376
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sile Nic Spáidín
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This activity is highly useful as it combines art, counting, and interactive learning, making the concept of stars and constellations engaging and accessible for young children. By incorporating various methods like artwork, flashcards, and a simulated stargazing adventure, the lesson caters to different learning styles, reinforcing knowledge through both creativity and observation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #213376
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Katie-Jo O’Grady
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Topic – Aliens – What to martians look like?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I really like the idea of children creating and visualising their idea of what a martian would look like using clay.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We would begin with looking in mirrors and passing it around the circle. We would discuss how we are all human however we have different physical features or eye/hair colour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We would discuss shape – and revise 3D shapes n particular. I would display different 3D shapes at the top of the room and the children would then draw their idea of a martian on paper.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Following this they would then design and make their martians using the clay ensuring to adopt as many 3D shapes into their design as possible.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      When complete our martians we would sort them, by size, by use of shape, number of eyes/arms etc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Finally we could make a whole class pictogram displaying the number of different 3D shapes we used in our creations. Discuss the most/least popular shape used.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #213637
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Rachael Donnellan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I really like the idea of integrated 3-D shapes into this topic. The children would love making aliens using clay!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #213837
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cliodhna Kelly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Katie Jo, That sounds like great fun! I like how you’re starting with mirrors to highlight our unique features. Incorporating 3D shapes into designing Martians with clay will definitely make maths more exciting. The class pictogram at the end is a great way to wrap it all up!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #213407
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          CLAIRE DEMPSEY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Space and Aliens
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I would first start by introducing my lesson by singing the nursery rhyme “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I would also read the story “Back to Earth with a bump” from Twinkl to the children and we would discuss this. I would question the children on what they think the boy might have seen on his journey up to Space and hopefully they would feedback aliens.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We would discuss what we think aliens would look like and I would start by saying “Mine has 3 Green eyes, a purple body and spots on his back”. I would go around and ask some of the children what their alien looks like. To tie in with a lesson on Shape in Maths I would have some different shapes cut up and some for the children to cut up and they would have to make their own Shape Alien. This would also incorporate motor skills and Visual Arts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #213414
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sarah Breen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I love the idea of using a song or a story about Aliens to introduce a lesson to an infant class. I think Aliens would really trigger interest in the small children and I can imagine the excitement as they describe what their very own alien would look like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Stories which stand out to me which I have read before with infants and which they really enjoyed are ”The way back home” by Olivier Jeffers and “Aliens love Underpants” by Claire Freeman and Ben Cort. The latter would really raise a laugh and get the children excited about the lesson.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We would maybe act how you would react if you were to see an alien to integrate an element of drama. We would talk about what aliens might look like and I would give children a ball of clay each to create their own alien.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As a follow-on activity to this, We would paint our aliens as our art lesson for the week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #213463
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sharon Murphy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I’d start by reading a story about stars, such as “How to Catch a Star” by Oliver Jeffers. Encourage the kids to ask questions and make observations about the stars in the story.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Star Sorting Activity: Provide star stickers or cut-outs of different colours and sizes. Have them sort the stars by size, colour, or shape. Discuss the similarities and differences between the stars they have sorted.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Star Art Activity: Each child would get a piece of black construction paper and yellow paint. Dip their fingers in the paint and make finger print stars on the paper. The children would be encouraged to get creative with their art and create different patterns with the stars.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Star Gazing: I would take the children outside or to a window and look up at the sky. Point out any visible stars and constellations. Discuss how stars twinkle and how they light up the night.  Recap the lesson by asking the children to share one thing they learned about stars and conclude with the song Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #213545
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sharon,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think you might need to use something like Stellarium to show the stars in the daytime and then ask the children in winter (when it gets dark before their bedtime) to look for stars from home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    During school hours I think you’ll only be able to spot the Sun.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    What are finger print stars?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #213605
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Jill O Callaghan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Activity: Special Life (ESERO 19)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I was really interested in this activity when I came across it. I think it would be ideal for use in the infant classes and I believe it is adaptable to suit different needs that may arise in classes. I would explain to the children that we live on Earth, which is a planet in the solar system. I would show them a a globe and a picture of our solar system with all of the other planets. I would explain to them that people only live on earth and there is no evidence of human life on any other planet. I would tell them that we are going to pretend that people do live on these planets and they are coming to visit Earth. I would tell them that they want to see all of the special things on Earth. We would have a discussion about some special things on Earth and then the children would be able to choose how they want to represent their special object. They will be able to draw it/write about it/ make it out of playdough/ or use the iPads to get a picture of it online. Then everyone will gather in a circle and act out their special object while the other children guess what it is. When guessed they will reveal their representation of their special object. After this we will discuss aliens and what they are. Then they will choose the means of representation they prefer to construct an alien and we will display them to the class. I would ensure the children understand that no one has found aliens yet so we do not know if they really exist or what they look like. This means that everyone’s alien design is valid and unique.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #213635
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Rachael Donnellan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Activity Set: Space and Aliens
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Role-play/ drama activity:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Explain to the children that we live on Earth. Earth is a planet. There are many more planets in space. As far as we know there are no people living there. But if people did live there, what would the children like to show them here on Earth? What objects or animals here on Earth are so special that visitors from other planets should see them? The children could act out various scenarios and what they would say.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Give each child a sheet of A4 paper and colouring pencils. Encourage each child to draw what he or she has thought of, without letting the other children see. This maintains an element of surprise about what they will be acting out. The children think about how they can best act out their special object on Earth.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Sit in a circle with the children. Ask a child to act out what is in their drawing, without showing the drawing to anyone. Let the other children guess what is being acted out. Does it match the drawing? Make sure every child has a turn.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Art:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Ask the children if they know what an alien is. What do they think an alien would look like? Encourage them to make a drawing of this. When they have finished, discuss what they have drawn. Why does their alien look like that?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #213680
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ciara Evans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Aliens and Space

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Junior end of the school.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Introduction: Elicit prior knowledge of space and Aliens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stimulus: The Smeds and The Smoos by Julia Donaldson.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Using my space projector, I would darken the classroom and turn on the projector of the solar system. I would ask the students to get into a comfy position. I would read the story aloud. I would ask the students questions based the book I read and about the image they have of the aliens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Drama : Imagine you were one of the aliens in the book. I would like you to act out a scene in groups to show how an alien would handle 1) going to school 2) going swimming 3) going to the hospital 4) going food shopping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Art lesson: using clay we would create what we think the aliens look like and present to the class.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Finally show the students the aliens in the story.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #213722
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Corinna Carolan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi Ciara,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This sounds like a really lovely fun lesson.  I have never heard of that particular book but I Like Julia Donaldson so I’m guessing it’s just as good as her other ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I like the idea of darkening the room and using space projector.  It would be nice to play some space themed music too.  It links in very well with the drama and art ideas you mentioned and could probably be tied in with English, PE, Music etc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think it’s something I would like to try too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #214160
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Rhonda Rawle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              <p class=”helperbird-font-opendyslexic-regular”>Hi Ciara, I loved your lesson idea. I plan to use this book in the future. Thanks for sharing!</p>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #213699
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Laura O Neill
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I would use the Activity Set : Stars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I would start by engaging the children’s interest with the activity “How many stars are there?”. I would show the children five marbles and ask who thinks there are more stars than these five marbles. I would repeat this for the number of children in the class. Then I would fill a third container to the top with marbles and ask the question again. I would use questioning to gauge children’s prior knowledge of stars, eg What do stars look like?, When do you see stars?, Do stars give light?, Why do they look so small?. Through this discussion children would learn that there are lots of stars in the universe.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I would then look at drawings of constellations and ask children what they can see and if they recognise any of them. We could listen to some constellation stories to show children how different cultures might see different images in the constellations.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Then I would have them design and make a star lantern. They could choose whether to copy a constellation or create their own constellation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #213721
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Corinna Carolan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Module 3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The activity I would choose is based on stars. I’m going to be in SEN next year and one of the children I work with has a huge interest in space.  I think he would enjoy the activity, “Looking at the Plough from 2 different perspectives”.  I’d get him to follow the steps and make the 3D model shown in this module.  He should be able to manage most of it himself, even measuring out the correct lengths of string.  Then after looking at it from below and on the same level and discussing what he can see from both perspectives he could present it to his classmates and answer questions about it as this will be a confidence boost for him,  It could be displayed in his classroom.  I also think he would enjoy making a star lantern – he would probably prefer making actual constellations that exist rather than imaginary ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • #213834
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cliodhna Kelly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I teach 2nd class, this activity is based on the stars. I would begin by discussing what stars are: massive, luminous spheres of plasma held together by gravity. Explain the lifecycle of a star, from birth in a nebula to possible end stages as white dwarfs, neutron stars, or black holes. I would introduce myths and legends involving the stars from different cultures and traditions, for example, in Greek mythology The story of Orion, the hunter, and how he was placed in the sky. Students would listen to, discuss, retell, and record these stories. They could draw pictures to illustrate the myths or write short summaries. Followed by teaching students how to observe the night sky. Discussing constellations and how to identify them. We would use star charts or apps to help locate specific stars and constellations. This could be followed by a hands-on activity such as a star map creation: Create a star map using black paper and white chalk or stickers to represent stars. Students can map out a constellation or make their own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #213861
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cliodhna,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      some of the concepts you have suggested would be suitable for older children, where the Irish curriculum has (for 1st/2nd class)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      “identify the sun, the moon, stars, day and night”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I’d think that going into the life cycle of stars is probably too much. I know that some children are interested in black holes and the ideas around them, but linking mass of a star to its ultimate fate is something I used to teach at second level.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There is background for teachers at https://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/educators/lifecycles/LC_main3.html

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      and a poster: file:///C:/Users/frances.mccarthy/Pictures/SummerSchool_2024/imagine.pdf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      and there are some second level activities on that same page.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #213844
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Emma O Connor
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I choose Aliens and Space.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Here are some ideas I would or have used.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Role Play: Space rocket, i used black bags to black out an area, I used old sheep dosing containers and turned them upside down and attached straps as backpacks, I used some old keyboards and made a control panel. I used my child’s night projector. I used a high back booster seat as the rockets seat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sensory: we made moon sand

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Creation Station: Create aliens from recyclable materials

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Playdough: Use playdough and craft items such as googly eyes, buttons, matchsticks, pipe cleanerss to create aliens

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Small world: I got a wooden rocket in Aldi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Literacy: Aliens in Underpants Save the World,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      SESE

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ·        Recognise the difference between day and night

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ·        Recognise the differences between the streetscape during the day/night

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ·        Identify and discuss the sun, the moon and stars within the context of night and day

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ·        Recognise the difference between day and night

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ·        Identify and discuss the sun, the moon and stars within the context of night and day

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Art:paper plate aliens

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      P.E.:Space Walk and Alien Dance, Play music and children move like they are in space(slow, floating movements) and then like aliens (creative, silly movements)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sensory: Create Alien Slime, make slime withglue, baking soda, saline solution, food colouring, glitter and some small alien toys.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Music: Alien Sound Hunt, pre-recorded sounds (space sounds, beeping, whoosing) Have children mimic the sounds and discuss what each sound  might represent

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #213850
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Emma,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          thanks for sharing your wealth of experience. Have you a particular source of the

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Music: Alien Sound Hunt, pre-recorded sounds (space sounds, beeping, whoosing) ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #214102
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Alexandra McMahon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi Emma, I absolutely love your creativity in this lesson! The idea to use the black bags to create a dark space is so clever, I would have never thought of this. I’ll definitely be trying this idea with my class in September.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #213915
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Rachel Breen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The activity Set I am going to pick for this module is ‘Stars’.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I would introduce the topic to the children by showing pictures of stars and constellations. We will look at the different shapes and see can the children identify them e.g. Leo, looks like a crouching lion, Ursa Major, forms the shape of a bear. I will encourage the children to go out at night and see can they identify them.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Experiment: Learn why stars appear to twinkle.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fill a bowl two-thirds full with water. Crinkle up some aluminium foil and wrap it around the bowl. Darken the room and switch on a torch. Point the torch into the bowl. Tap the bowl to ripple the water and see twinkling light. The light is bent as it passes through the rippling water, in the same way the starlight is bent as it passes through the air around the Earth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #213995
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Rachel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                the experiment can make a good demo to prompt an inquiry, so I’s show this to a small group, let them play around (explore) with the equipment, and then see if they can devise a question that they can predict the answer to – and then try it out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                They might wonder – does it have to be a torch? could you use a laser pointer (there are often pointers in remote controls if you have an old one lying around), what happens if you change the angle of the torch -shine it in from the top, or the side, or from the bottom? etc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #214053
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Chloe Buckley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mind map: Constellations, telescope, stars, plough, spectroscope, refactor, orrery, martian canal, landscape,. surface, stargazing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I loved so many of the lesson ideas in the module. It really shows how easy it is to make learning about space fun and engaging. The lesson I am going to choose to explore is:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Space and Aliens: Special life- Life in Space

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Learning outcomes To:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • know that as far as we know there are no alien beings in space • know what they find special about life on Earth • dramatise their own drawings • use their imagination to draw an alien being

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Explain to the children that we live on Earth. Earth is a planet. There are many more planets in space. As far as we know there are no people living there. But if people did live there, what would the children like to show them here on Earth? What objects or animals here on Earth are so special that visitors from other planets should see them? Encourage the children to make a range of suggestions, and then decide what message to draw and act out. Give each child a sheet of A4 paper and colouring pencils. Encourage each child to draw what he or she has thought of, without letting the other children see. This maintains an element of surprise about what they will be acting out.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sit in a circle with the children. Ask a child to act out what is in their drawing, without showing the drawing to anyone. Let the other children guess what is being enacted. Does it match the drawing? Make sure every child has a turn.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Discuss how successful the enactment was. Was it difficult? Discuss with the children whether acting something out made it easy for them to show what they think is so special about Earth. Draw an alien 15 min. Ask the children if they know what an alien is. What do they think an alien would look like? Encourage them to make a drawing of this. When they have finished, discuss what they have drawn. Why does their alien look like that? Explain that no-one has found any real aliens yet, so we don’t know if they exist or what they look like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • #214093
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Aisling Mathews
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  As an infant teacher also I really like your ideas for teaching stars Eleanor. It’s a topic that children love and the integration into so many other subjects is excellent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #214303
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Katie Harrington
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I completed this lesson last year and the children loved it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #214101
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Alexandra McMahon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ESERO- Space and Aliens

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I would begin with a brief discussion about space exploration and the search for extraterrestrial life. I would show pictures or a short video clip about different planets and moons in our solar system, emphasising their unique environments.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Then I would explain the basic conditions necessary for life as we know it: water, suitable temperature range, atmosphere, and nutrients.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Discuss how scientists look for these conditions on other planets and moons. Introduce the concept of extremophiles – organisms that live in extreme environments on Earth – as examples of how life might adapt elsewhere.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I would then divide the class into small groups and provide each group with a planetary fact sheet from the ESERO activity set.Each group will use the information on their fact sheet to design an alien that could survive on their assigned planet or moon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I would finally have each group present their alien design to the class, explaining how it is adapted to survive on its specific planet or moon.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Encourage other students to ask questions and provide positive feedback.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #214134
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Aoife Dillon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think this is a great idea. The kids would love the creative aspect of working in a group to invent their own aliens. It could become an art project too, using a variety of materials to make their aliens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #214163
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Aisling Mathews
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I love the ideas here, especially for slightly older children. It’s great to introduce the children to the conditions necessary for life to survive and would be nice to continue on from there and talk about global warming and protecting our planet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #214125
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ciara Hayden
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Content Activity chosen: Aliens

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Special life: life in space

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think this activity has a lovely reflective aspect to it, and can help celebrate the unique ideas and creativity of each pupil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            When asked to consider meeting an alien, I would initially envoke their feelings about such an encounter, reassuring them that this is a positive and safe imaginary space we are going to visit, not to be feared.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            When considering the responses of pupils, whether orally initially or subsequently in written or drawn media, it is important to respect the views of each individual response as to what they think is unique in their world. There could potentially be a wide variation here, and some very interesting responses.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A comparison with The Snowman book by Raymond Briggs would be beneficial here, to demonstrate that what might seem mondain to us, could be of interest to someone who has yet to have such an experience.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            One example is cold, and the freezer for the snowman. Or the motor car -how normal it seems to us.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Further analysis for older pupils could involve potential dangers for visitors and safety warnings that would be required.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I would close this lesson with some quiet self-reflection of experiences that I am grateful to have had that others may not have, in a very broad sense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #214133
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Aoife Dillon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I loved the activity where students make their own constellations. In order to adapt it for junior classes, I would stick the constellation pages onto the card and cut the string to the correct length before the lesson. To start we would discuss stars and whether they know the names of any stars. I would show them some pictures of constellations and ask what shapes they see. I would show them a picture of the plough alongside a photo of an actual plough, we would compare them. I would have the children complete the hands-on activity of making their constellation as shown in the video with tin foil, blue tack and string. When they are finished we would talk about the differences between looking at the constellations from different angles, what do they notice. I would also ask them if they think it looks like anything else other than a plough. To finish we could discuss any other shapes or pictures that they see in their constellations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #214159
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Rhonda Rawle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have chosen the ‘stars activity’. To start, I would introduce the topic with a simple, engaging story about constellations and their mythological origins. This storytelling approach not only captures the students’ imagination but also provides a cultural context for our study of the stars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Next, we would create star charts and constellations using black construction paper and glow-in-the-dark stickers. Each student could choose a constellation to recreate, learning its name and story as they work. This hands-on activity makes the learning process interactive and enjoyable, and students can take their star charts home to share with their families.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                To integrate technology, I would use interactive apps that simulate the night sky. These tools allow students to explore the stars and constellations in real time, even during the day. We could have a “virtual stargasing” session in the classroom, where students can identify constellations and stars using the app.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Additionally, I would encourage students to keep a “Star Journal.” In this journal, they could draw their favorite constellations, write down interesting facts about stars, and note any questions they have. This journal serves as a creative outlet and a way to document their learning journey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                For cross-curricular connections, in art a lesson could involve creating starry night paintings, inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Throughout these activities, I would encourage the students to ask questions and share their observations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • #214161
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Aisling Mathews
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This is a topic that I really enjoy teaching to young children. I would start by making a little library of all the space and alien related books for the children to browse through and I would read one to them daily. Below is a list of some of the books I would use:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mousetronaut
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Aliens love Underpants
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Q Pootle 5
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Roaring Rockets
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Here come the Aliens
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I would get the children to brainstorm ideas about how they would like their monster to look. We would draw their monsters first and maybe do a wax resist picture. Then I would let the children make a model of their alien using clay.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We would use adjectives to describe our aliens to each other and list all the characteristics of the aliens on a chart. The children could label their alien depending on their level of ability.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I would also integrate some maths by counting eyes, legs and arms of our collective group of aliens. Another nice idea would be to create a graph e.g. how many people have aliens with 1 eye, 2 eyes, 3 eyes etc. We could do some graph reading from the results of this.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I would ask the children to look at the planets in the solar system and decide which planet their alien may have come from and why.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I would play a space game in PE where the children could move to music like aliens and when the music stops, go to a “planet” in a group of e.g. 3 or 4

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #214180
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Helen O Sullivan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would start with stories /songs and poems about the stars and night sky. There are so many wonderful resources available on line. This will peak their interest and stimulate so much interest in the activity to come.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So much Art /Craft can be integrated and linked to the activity. We could make star mobiles/decorate the night sky with stars which they could colour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In Maths we could make up our own star problems during Maths talk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    By now they are ready and set to start the

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Star Activity: Draw your own constellation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It’s a most beautiful activity which lends itself to so much oral language as I am circulating. The children will use their imaginations to draw their own constellations with the template provided.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    With my own templates then I can provide star constellations in shapes of various animals and they will have great fun talking about their constellations and giving them names

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    They can then cut around their constellations and paste them on to a black background which will serve as the night sky.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Finally, we can create oral stories about the adventures of their animal constellations in the sky.!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #214209
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Orla Glynn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Activity Set: Space and Aliens

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The activity set I have chosen is ‘Space and Aliens’. I like this activity set because it allows for an imaginative theme within the students’ learning. I would use this activity set with first class or second class. I would focus on the ‘Classroom Resource Booklet – Mars’ that was produced for Space Week by Discover Primary Science and Maths. I think the ‘Mars: Junior Activities’ are excellent. They link very well to STEM activities as the students engage in a design challenge when they are designing a martian. A good link to the students’ literacy, in particular the ‘Writing’ stand could be to write a character description about the martian they have designed. They could also write the description for the setting based on a landscape suitable for their martian. To link with the ‘Oral Language’ strand the students could work in pairs to talk about how they could describe Earth to an alien using the ‘Where Do You Live?’ resource from Esero. A link to Digital Technology could be using the iPads to explore Mars with Google Mars from Google Earth. As a link to Visual Art, the students could sketch or draw their martian. If time allowed, they could create their martian using 3D materials or recyclable materials.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #214268
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Eleanor Mccaffrey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Activity – Stars
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        literacy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        read the book  how to catch a star by Oliver Jeffers to get the children into the world of magical stars .word on rhyming words / cvc and ccvc words / shared reading and shared writing on dreams and perseverance and success and disappointment

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Art

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Draw and paint pictures of stars, constellations, and galaxies.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Create star-themed crafts, like glittery night skies

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        music

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sing songs about stars, such as “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Create simple instruments to make “star sounds” and compose star-inspired music.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        maths

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        count stars in pictures / add and subtract using star stickers /finish  pattern activity using different coloured stars /use different sized stars and order then small to big

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        PE

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        do star jumps / make constellations in groups / star tag / mindfulness activities to relax mind and body by looking up at night sky

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lots of cross curricular learning from this topic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #214273
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ciara FaganBarrett
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Activity Set: Space and Aliens
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It was very useful to see the DPSM/ESRO Framework for Inquiry applied in The Classroom Resource Booklet on Mars. I think this would work really well during Science Week where pupil’s complete challenges:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Challenge 1 – Can you create a landscape like Mars?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          – Explore Google Mars on ipads.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          – Discuss and investigate landscapes using different trays containing soil, sand with duplo small world space characters.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          – Use play dough to experiment making Mars with modelling accessories, then groups take tour of each others work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Challenge 2 – Can you create an alien to live on Mars?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          – In pairs look at a range of books including Moving to Mars, Toys in Space, Aliens in Underpants Save the World, Here Come the Aliens, then brainstorm ideas in groups.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          – Complete individual designs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          – Use clay to make alien and paint.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          – Name alien and hot seat as character, pupils to ask questions about their life on Mars etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #214365
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Niamh Larkin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ciara, I love the idea of using clay to make an alien, it would be so enjoyable!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #214757
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Eoghan Mulligan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I like how you have incorporated ideas from the visual art curriculum in this lesson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #214302
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Katie Harrington
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The activities in this set are really helpful to further develop the theme we have in my Senior Infant class, Space Travel Agent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We actually completed Esero 19 Special Life last year and I would use it again next year. As a stimulus we read the story Aliens Love Underpants. We then had a really in-depth discussion about aliens. It tied into our Ethical Education lessons as focused on opinion and that it is a matter of opinion whether we think aliens exist. I reiterated throughout the lesson that there is no proof that they do exist. We then brainstormed what items on Earth we think aliens would find fascinating.We had previously read the story Aliens Love Underpants so a lot of children said that. They then drew the items they brainstormed on their mini whiteboards. In groups the children then completed the drama activity described in Esero 19. We finished the lesson by each child drawing a picture of an alien. As this led into art time I used this as my art lesson for the week and we were looking at directed drawing, so we used Art for Kids Hub on youtube and followed a tutorial to draw the aliens. The children loved it, it was probably their favourite art lesson of the year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #214319
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Katie-

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I hadn’t thought about sharing opinions – and it such a good way to connect space to ethics.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Science opinions should reference facts -so could you ask children to explain why they think a certain way? I’m often asked if I think aliens exist and I answer “Yes and No” Yes – there are so many stars in so many galaxies that even if the chance of life on another planet was 1 in a million, when you have 200 billion (which is 200, thousand million) in just our galaxy, then that is 200,000 possible planets with life. And there are 2 trillion galaxies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The No is because space is big, so I don’t think the Earth has ever been visited by aliens (even though I love alien science fiction!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #214347
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Grace O’Connor
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Introduction to Stars for Senior Infants
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Objective:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • To introduce young children to the concept of stars, their characteristics, and their importance in space.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Materials Needed:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Picture book – Stars by Mary Lyn Ray
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Star stickers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Black card
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • White chalk or crayons
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Glow-in-the-dark star stickers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • A torch
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Introduction
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    o Begin with a simple question: “Who has seen stars in the night sky?”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    o Show a picture book about stars, discuss a few pages to spark interest.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Discussion: What are Stars?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    o Explain that stars are big balls of burning gas far away in space.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    o Use simple language: “Stars are like big, hot lights in the sky. They are much bigger and hotter than our sun, but they look small because they are so far away.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    o Show pictures of different stars and constellations.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Activity: Star Creation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    o Give each child a piece of black card and white chalk or crayons.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    o Encourage them to draw stars on their paper.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    o Hand out star stickers for them to add to their drawings.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    o Discuss the constellations they created, explaining that people see pictures in the way stars are arranged in the sky.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4. Interactive Demonstration: How Stars Shine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    o In a darkened room, use a torch to represent a star.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    o Explain that just like the torch shines bright light, stars shine because they are very hot and bright.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    o Let each child take a turn holding the torch and shining it in the room to understand how light travels from stars to us.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    5. Conclusion:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    o Review key points: Stars are far away, very hot, and shine brightly in the sky.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    o Ask a few questions to reinforce learning:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    “What are stars made of?”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    “Why do they look small?”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    “Can you name something that stars help us with?” (Guide them towards understanding navigation, light, and beauty in the night sky)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #214457
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Profile photo ofNiall.Smith@mtu.ieNiall Smith
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      TeachNet Moderator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Grace,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        interesting choice of book:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        it seems to be about a lot of different usages of stars (as rewards, as calendar markers, as something to keep in your pocket), but finishes up with a bit of night sky.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Given that SESE Geography expects Infants to identify and discuss the sun, the moon and stars 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I’d try to keep the discussion on similarities and differences.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Be careful with statements like: “They are much bigger and hotter than our sun” since some stars are bigger and hotter, but in the immediate region of space near the Sun, it is one of the biggest. Smaller and cooler stars are harder to see, so the stars we see in the night sky are preferentially the nearer and naturally brighter ones. This advanced level activity lists stars by proximity and brightness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        How long would you expect to take with this sequence of activities and would you arrange this as stations?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #214364
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Niamh Larkin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I would love to do the activity on ‘Special Life’ with my class. We would first read a book maybe ‘Adams Amazing Space Adventure’ and discuss space and earth. We would talk about why we like living on planet earth. We would make a mind map of some of the ideas why we think earth is special. Then the children would be split into groups and they would make roleplays of the different ideas they have come up with. Each group could make some drawings to help them visualize their ideas. We would discuss each roleplay and talk about what was tricky, and share ideas of what we liked about each groups drama activity.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Then , all children would have the opportunity to design their own alien! We would talk about what they might look like, what features would they have and what name we would each give our alien. They will discuss what they have drawn and show all their lovely drawings to the class.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #214580
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sinead Parsons
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I would choose the activity ‘making a star’.  This is a real hands on activity and lots of room for differentiation within the lesson.  I would begin with some star wars music in the background while the children share any songs or rhymes they know with the word star in them.  Have you ever looked up at the stars at night, what have you noticed.  Do the stars make shapes? Are some brighter than others?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I will them show them some images of constellations, the plough, orions belt etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Using black card with the glued on template the children will create the plough constellation in pairs.  Tin foil will be used for the stars and wool for the distance.  I will have the distances written on the templates the children are using so all they need to do is use a ruler to measure.  I like the idea of hanging the constellation on the ceiling and under their desks so they get the idea of how stars appear from different directions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #214587

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The activity I would choose from this module is Special Life – Life in space. The learning outcomes will investigate the possibility of alien life in space, followed by a discussion on what they find special about living on Earth. Exploration of life on earth and what they would like to show visitors from other planets could prove interesting and further develop their appreciation of our planet. Incorporating art and drama by asking the children to sketch/draw special animals or objects on earth and acting out their messages. Following on with discussion how successful the enactment was. Was it easier to act out their special object?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A follow on lesson from this I would introduce is from the Mars Classroom resource booklet. Investigating and designing a 3D Martian using clay and a variety of materials would be appropriate for 1st/2nd class. To conclude we would determine that no-one has found any real aliens yet, so we don’t know if they exist or what they look like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #214625
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Niamh O Sullivan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The activity I chose is Draw Your Own Constellation. I would start with a discussion about what people would have done at night before electricity , tv etc. to show the children the importance of storytelling and the connection that people had with the natural world. Light pollution could be brought into this as well as dark sky reserves. Then I would tell them some myths and legends about the constellations from in-the-sky.org.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Following that I would show the children simple pictures and names of constellations and ask them to match the picture and the name and to explain their choice. This should help them to visualize connecting the stars to create a whole image.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I would then use Stellarium to show them the night sky. Stellarium gives you an option of viewing the night sky with or without the constellations marked. I would ask the children to try and spot constellations before revealing them.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I would use dot / graf paper at the start when encouraging the children to create their own constellations. I think the structure may help them create a picture and could tie in with math. It may also help them understand that they are not a perfect outline of the intended image. At the start their partner could join the dots to reveal their constellation. When the children are more comfortable creating their constellation they could draw some free hand.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Follow on activities could be night sky art drawn with the children lying under their tables and their paper tacked above them or a creative writing / storytelling activity creating their own constellation story.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #214639
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Michelle Curran
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Activity Set: Space and Aliens

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I would combine the special life lesson from ESERO and the Mars lesson from the science week website to create a fun lesson on Aliens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Introduction:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Discuss that we do not know of any other life forms in our solar system so we are unique and special here on earth, as outlined in the ESERO lesson I would get the children to think about what they would like to show an alien about life here on earth if they did exist. They will work in pairs and act these out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Development:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Children will be given paper and pencil to sketch out what they think an alien would look like and will then be given clay to create their own alien, however they wish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Conclusion:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Children will present their alien to the class and give a description about any interesting features of their alien. They will also be asked about the environment where the alien lives and what they need to survive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Extension: In an extension activity as a whole class we will design a home for the aliens on a large IKEA roll of paper which will form the ground and backdrop to display the clay aliens. Each child will help to create this and ensure that they include whatever their own alien needs to survive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #214684
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mary Walker
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The activity set that I would choose to use in my classroom would have to Space and Aliens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I would first begin by reading allowed the book ‘Aliens have underpants’, I find that stories and even educational videos are amazing triggers to encourage the children to the creatively on the subject in question. After reading the book I would then supply  the children with paper, markers, crayons etc and allow them to draw and create their own aliens. We would then discuss the aliens as a class, sharing ideas and opinions to encourage further thinking. I would have some trigger questions prepared for the class , ‘where do aliens live ?’ ‘Do aliens know we exist ?’ ‘Would we be considered aliens in space?’. I would hope we could use the questions in a discussion, as it is of vital importance that the children not only learn the topic in question but team work skills and constructive debates where they can share thoughts positively. for a continuation of the topic , I would allow the children to create 3d versions of the aliens they have previously drawn (using supplies such as clay ,playdough, paints etc …)and following that  allow them to play and interact with each others aliens in whatever way they believe aliens would.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • #214692
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pol o hici
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I would use the activity set: Space and Aliens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I would start by using a story ‘Aliens in Underpants Save the World’  I have read with my own children, who loved it. Read Aloud Kids Book: Aliens in Underpants Save the World by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort (youtube.com)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I alternate between reading the books or using a nice version on YouTube as I find that the children can all see the pictures better using the interactive whiteboard and it also gives them a break from listening to my voice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  From this story we can discuss what we think aliens look like: colour, shape, features – eyes, mouth, hands, feet etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Next the children will draw/design their own alien – some might prefer to draw their own alien using markers and crayon while others can use straws, string, button, wool etc. or they can use both.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Next is the important part as they get to name their alien and write a small bit about what planet their aliens are from and how they live their lives: is it hot/cold, what type of house they live in, what job do they have, how they travel around, where do they go on holidays?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  To finish, the class will present their alien, tell us their name and how they live and the other children will get an opportunity to ask questions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #215008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Muireann Farrell
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It is a great idea to use the read aloud stories from youtube so that all of the class can see the pictures better. This sounds like a great lesson.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #214756
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Eoghan Mulligan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Using the stars activity set I would teach the children a lesson on stars. This lesson is for children in first class. I would start with a 15-minute discussion by sitting in a circle and showing five marbles. Ask if there are more stars than these marbles, and gradually increase the number of marbles to illustrate that there are far more stars than can fit in the containers. Ask questions like, “Have you ever seen the stars?” and “Is the Sun a star too?” I would show a picture of a starry sky and explain that stars give light and are most visible at night, while the Sun, also a star, is too bright to see other stars during the day. For the next 15 minutes, I would have the children paint a sheet of A4 paper to resemble the night sky, then use toothbrushes and splatter painting screens to create stars in various colors. I would spend the final 15 minutes discussing their artwork and completing a worksheet where children count and draw stars, reinforcing their understanding of stars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #214762
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Felicity Murphy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Space and aliens

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        An infant based lesson that can also be extended for older classes on space and aliens

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Begin with discussion  about what space looks like and what might be out there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        First, we’ll learn about the planets in our solar system and discuss how each one might look and feel different. Use of  pictures and models to see examples of rocky planets like Earth and Mars, and gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Next, a sensory activity! Have available in tubs or trays  different stations with materials representing the surfaces of planets. For rocky planets, we might use sandpaper to feel rough textures, and for gas giants, we could use balloons filled with air to feel smooth surfaces.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Discuss what  felt at each station and compare it to the planets learned about. Talk about why planets have different surfaces and what makes them unique.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Art extension- create  own planets using clay or playdough. Each child will make a planet with a surface texture they choose, like smooth or bumpy, to represent what they’ve learned.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To extend and discuss life on other planets

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Read simple space books “Is there anybody out there ?” By Laura Krantz would be a good choice

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This lesson can be extended in coming weeks to look at designing and landing a space shuttle, based on the surface of the planet what would be required ? What would we need to survive there? What must an alien be like to exist on the chosen planet?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • This reply was modified 2 days, 3 hours ago by Profile photo ofNiall.Smith@mtu.ieNiall Smith.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #214835
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sharon Grady
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Module 3 – Assignment.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Stars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I loved the idea of making constellations out of tin foil and straws, and this activity is a perfect way to introduce junior infants to astronomy. I would start by showing a picture of the Plough constellation and explaining its significance in simple terms.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I would give each child a piece of black construction paper, small pieces of tin foil to form the stars, and pre-cut straws to connect the stars. As they place the tin foil pieces on the paper and connect them with the straws, I would guide them, explaining the positions of each star.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          To make the lesson more engaging, I would read a picture book like “How to Catch a Star” by Oliver Jeffers. This book captures the wonder of the night sky and complements the activity perfectly. Also, I would incorporate nursery rhymes like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” to reinforce the theme and add a musical element to the lesson. I would try incorporate star jumps in PE.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We would finish by having the children share their creations with the class. This hands-on activity, combined with the picture book and nursery rhymes, makes learning about stars fun and memorable for young learners.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #214850
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Profile photo ofNiall.Smith@mtu.ieNiall Smith
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            TeachNet Moderator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sharon,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              one of our colleagues at Blackrock Castle ends her planetarium shows with “what is one difference between a planet and a star? — not sure — well, think of the old favourite ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Planet’ — what? I said it wrong? — then there’s a difference.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have seen these made with star stickers or yellow plasticine stars, all can be effective. The interesting learning around mathematics will come when the children look at the models from different angles and see that the Plough Shape is only visible if you are directly above, or, if you hang these on the ceiling , directly below the model.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #214951
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Deirdre McElligott
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hi Sharon, I love the idea of using the picture book during this lesson. I can imagine the conversation possibilities that this would provide. The children would love singing twinkle twinkle while constructing their constellations too. Lovely ideas!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • #215099
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sharon Beirne
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I also thought that this was an excellent and engaging lesson also. It would be interesting for the children to come up with their own constellation shapes and names – it would be a very engaging lesson and with many different outcomes. I liked how they showed an alternative for younger classes also.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • #214988
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Veronica Gardiner
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Activity Set: Stars-The Constellations Class:3rd/4th
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Introduction: Begin by introducing the topic of constellations with the students. Discuss the importance of stars in the universe and their role in the night sky. Pose questions and facilitate a class discussion on the following: Where do these points of light come from? How do they form? How do they shine and why do they twinkle? Why do scientists study stars? Why are stars important? Are stars all the same? If stars are born do they die?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Watch the YouTube Clip GAIA and 1 billion + stars: This provides a visual to stimulate their imagination and curiosity and enhance their interest to learn more about the constellations. Literacy: Students read about ‘the world of constellations’ from module 5 universe in a box resource and discuss. Art Activity: Draw their own constellation using the template from space week, then look at their drawing and discuss. History: link to the history of astronomy and its Greek origin. Read constellation stories from (universe in a box). Conclusion: Teacher would ask the same questions as at the beginning of the lesson and the children would answer them. The children would reflect on what they have learnt and recap on the key vocabulary they have learnt. Science/Art follow up activity: Make a star lantern using science week resource sheet.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  As a fun activity and with the permission of their parents they could become star gazers for a particular night at home weather permitting

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #215002
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Eimear Campbell
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would choose the “Stars” activity set to use in an infant classroom. This activity is suitable for infants as it encourages exploration and discovery through sensory experiences. I would set up a darkened room with twinkling lights or glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling to create a night sky effect. Infants would be able to explore and discover the stars using their senses, making connections between the visual and auditory stimuli. I would also provide soft, star-shaped objects for them to touch and manipulate, further developing their tactile sense. This activity would be a great way to engage infants in learning about the concept of the stars and night sky, while also promoting their cognitive and motor skills development.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #215021
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Profile photo ofNiall.Smith@mtu.ieNiall Smith
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      TeachNet Moderator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Eimear,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Please review the activities in the module, where Draw a Constellation or Make a Star Lantern ask the children to use their mathematical awareness around the theme of stars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The sensory activity you have mentioned

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I would set up a darkened room with twinkling lights or glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling to create a night sky effect

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        seem more suitable to actual infant children, rather than Infants in the Irish primary school system. Similarly, soft star objects for tactile sense seems a bit too juvenile.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Note that the curriculum expects:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        stars in Geography (Infants: identify and discuss the sun, the moon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        and stars)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        and the Sun in Science (recognise that the sun gives us heat and light, without which we could not survive and become aware of the dangers of looking directly at the sun in 1st class)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You could link stars to day and night with globes and models, or by having bright lights with dimmer lights near them to model the Sun ‘overpowering’ the much fainter stars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #215007
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Muireann Farrell
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have chosen the activity set ‘Stars’. I would introduce the topic by reading ‘How to Catch a Star’ by Oliver Jeffers. I would then ask the children to describe a previous occasion where they saw the stars. We would discuss what they know about stars already. I would play the first minute and a half of the video ‘What are Stars?’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrS3Ye8p61Y). I would ask them in pairs to guess how many stars they think there are. I would then give the children a photo of the night sky and ask them to count how many stars there are by separating the photo into sections and counting each section. We will discuss this and I will tell the class that there are so many stars that we need computers to count them for us and that in just our galaxy there are 100 billion stars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #215024
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Profile photo ofNiall.Smith@mtu.ieNiall Smith
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          TeachNet Moderator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Muireann,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            counting sections of an image is a great way to use estimation to gather data.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If your image includes a swathe of the Milky Way, this can lead to an purposeful discussion about how stars are not evenly distributed around us. For a further step, you could ask the children if it would be possible to tell where the Sun and Earth are in the Milky Way by looking at the star counts in different directions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The image from Lots and Lots of Stars could work, or this image from ESO called GigaGalaxy Zoom and here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #215130
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Elaine O’Donoghue
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Muireann, I too like this idea of counting the amount of stars they can see in a section of a photo and following it up with a discussion of the collossal numbr of stars are actually out there! It would lead too to a discussion on how we can’t see all the stars with the naked eye when we look up into the night sky.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #215031
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Deirdre McElligott
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I would use the activity set “space and aliens” aimed at infant classes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I would begin by reading the book “aliens love underpants” as a stimulus to this lesson.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We would discuss what the aliens look like, how many eyes, arms, hands, etc. Discuss the colours and sizes of aliens I the story.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We would then discuss where aliens live. I would introduce the planet song from YouTube to teach the children abit more about the planets.  We would discuss the most suitable planets for aliens to live on, giving reasons for out choices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I would ask the children to design/draw their own alien and to give it a unique name.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Finally, I would do a construction/STEM lesson where the children would design and make a suitable home for their alien to live in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We would conclude by letting the children intoruduce their alien, describe his/her unique features etc. Then they would describe the homes they have created for their aliens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • #215127
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Robyn Jones
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi Deirdre, ‘Aliens Love Underpants’ is such a fun book to use to introduce the idea of aliens and the different ways that they could look! I also liked the idea of having the children introduce their alien and their habitat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • #215041
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Robyn Jones
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I chose the activity set ‘Space and Aliens’. I would start the lesson by reading the book ‘Life on Mars’ (https://youtu.be/Y5sL4Q9zSAI) and asking students if they think there are any living things on Mars, we would also discuss the term martian.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Students would look at pictures of the landscape of Mars and discuss what they see. The teacher could ask guiding questions like is there water? Do you see any plants? Then I would ask them what they think a martian would look like, what kind of features would they need to survive on Mars? Discuss the features of animals from different climates like fur, colour, scales, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Students would then be given the opportunity to sketch what their martian will look like in their copybooks. The martians could be made out of clay or recycled materials like cardboard depending on what was available. After the martians have been constructed they could be painted or decorated with googly eyes, feathers, straws, or whatever other materials are in the classroom.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #215177
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Robyn,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      what a gorgeous little story! I can see so many spots where children could stop and discuss what they know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      To explore Mars, use google Mars (from Google Earth) and zoom into the images to show what Mars looks like from the rover’s viewpoint.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mars is one of the first workshops we offered at BCO, and still popular today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My Brownie Guide leader is shuddering at the picking of the flower – what happened to Leave No Trace!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #215067
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Rachel Doyle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Module 3:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      For this assignment, I choose the star’s activity. I would begin by getting the children to sing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ and design a star during an art activity. We would discuss when stars can be seen.  I would use the ‘Seeing Stars’ video from SFI as a resource for teaching the pupils about constellations. I would also use the ‘Draw your own constellation’.  Focusing on lines and the eight stars of the plough, the pupils would design a constellation while integrating a mathematical element. The pupils could then name and present their designs. In groups, the pupils can recreate their constellations using their bodies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #215182
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Rachel,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          how much fun to recreate the constellations with bodies. My Brownie Guides did a similar activity at an adventure centre, they had to make different letters  of the alphabet while lying on the ground, and use all the members of the six.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Do you think your children will design 4 pointed, 5 pointed, 6 pointed stars? You could show them some found in art or in quilting, where 8 pointed stars are common.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have used this folding activity to make a 5 pointed star -good for 2nd and up because of the hand strength needed to cut through 10 layers of paper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #215102
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sharon Beirne
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Topic: Space and Aliens

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I would begin by using a picture book to capture the children’s imagination (Adam’s Amazing Space Adventure is one that I have used with my class). After this we would have a discussion about the many different aspects of space visited by the characters. We could break into groups and choose different areas to draw and then order these to sequence the story.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          After this we would focus on Mars and use some ideas from ‘Mars Space week’. I would firstly get an idea of the children’s prior knowledge of Mars and see what new facts they are interested to learn. Using some different images, we would discuss and see the similarities and differences to Earth. Also important to make a link to Mars by showing some images of it in the night sky and encouraging them to observe it at night. Talk about a Martian and design their own Martian in small groups. Do some simple maths activities with the Martians and see how Martians would exist on Mars. Allow the children to use these figures during Aistear/free play to make sense of their new learning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #215120
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Marie Concannon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The activity set I’ve chosen to focus on is ‘stars’. This lesson would be aimed at the infant classes. I would begin the lesson by having a discussion about what we see in the sky in the night. I would then read the book ‘How to catch a star’, by Oliver Jeffers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            After this, I would show the children a short video of a night’s sky and question the children using higher and lower order questions.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Game. I would split the children into pairs and give then 2 hula hoops each. One would signify day and would signify night. I would give the children some pre-made pictures of things you would do during the day and night to differentiate between the two.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            After the pair activity, we would engage in a group activity. Each group would get a shoe box several holes punched on the lid. They would also get some black string and tinfoil for making their stars. To end their activity, each group could present their star box creations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #215123
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Elaine O’Donoghue
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have chosen the activity set of ‘stars’ and would aim this for 2nd class students.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I would display pictures of the constellations and ask the students what they think they look like. Then we would discuss what their official names are and what they are commonly said to look like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The activity that I would look to recreate would be the ‘looking at the plough in two different ways’ activity. I would differentiate the activity, with very capable students completing the activity as described in the video, perhaps with the tinfoil squares already cut out for them, but requiring them to measure out the lengths of string and assemble as described. Teacher support would be provided when required.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A related adaptation for other students would be that they could be given the dark construction paper/card and required to pierce holes the card in the correct positions of the stars, as instructed on the supplied template. They could join the ‘stars’ using white chalk to create the shape of the constellation on their page. They could display their work to the class by darkening the room and shining a lamp/torch behind their sheet so that the ‘constellation’ is projected on to the classroom wall.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              These two activities together would create familiarity of the ‘plough’ constellation amongst the students, who would all get a chance to observe each other’s creations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #215139
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              David Brennan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I would choose to use the Stars activity set there are some fantastic, interesting activities that my class would love to try out. I can see the activities generating more questions that would require further inquiry.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The activity I’m choosing is the Loo Roll Solar System. As an introduction, I would read The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield. This book is inspired by the childhood of real-life astronaut Chris Hadfield, who overcame his fear of the dark by dreaming of space exploration. I think this book would be a great way to introduce the idea of exploring our Space neighbourhood and consider the distances between the planets in our solar system and the challenges involved in reaching them to explore more deeply.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We could consider how long we think it would take and the type of speeds we would need to travel at to travel to different planets in our solar system. I love the fact that if the planets were placed at the correct distances in relation to the sizes of the fruit, we would need more than 2km of loo roll! I think this fact would really capture the imagination of the children.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                After the activity, we could revise our predictions and further discuss the challenges of interplanetary exploration. This could open the door to looking at manned flight versus unmanned probes and some of the exploration missions that have taken place and missions that are planned for the future.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • #215253
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Deirdre ODriscoll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lesson Plan: Learning About Stars

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1st/2nd Class

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Objectives
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  WALT: We Are Learning To understand what stars are, recognise their importance in the night sky, and create our own constellations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Introduction:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Starry Night Song:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I will play the song “Starry Night” and ask the children to listen .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We will discuss the beauty and mystery of stars in the night sky.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Basic Facts About Stars:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I will explain that stars are huge balls of gas far away in space.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I will mention that stars come out at night and twinkle in the sky.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I will introduce constellations as patterns of stars that form pictures in the sky.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Creating Constellations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I will give each student a piece of dark construction paper.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They will cut paper straws into smaller pieces to represent stars.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Using blue tack, students will create their own constellations on the paper.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Each student will then present their constellation to the class and explain what they have created.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Night Sky Exploration
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Looking at Night Sky Pictures:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I will tape pictures of the night sky under the desks beforehand as suggested by Frances MacCarthy in the Module 3 forum . She suggests using a set of the 3 night sky pictures, with 3 constellations to find from Project Astro – Constellation Detective.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Students will lie on the ground and look up at the pictures under their desks.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I will encourage them to identify any constellations they might recognise and will give them constellations to find.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Conclusion
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Story Time:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I will gather the students and read the story “How to Catch a Star” by Oliver Jeffers:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Discussion:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I will ask the students what they liked about the story.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I will encourage them to think about how dreams can come true in unexpected ways, just like the boy’s dream in the story.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I will encourage students to look at the stars with their families
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I will remind them to try and spot constellations they learned about
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Integration: Art
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Art Appreciation:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I will show the painting “Starry Night” by Vincent van Gogh.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Students will observe the painting and describe what they see.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We will discuss how van Gogh depicted the night sky and stars.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Creative Art Activity:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Students will create their own “Starry Night” inspired artwork using dark construction paper and chalk or pastels.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They will draw swirling night skies and bright stars, similar to van Gogh’s style.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #215380
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ellen Byrne
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi Deirdre, I really like your idea for integrating with art here 🙂

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #215375
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ellen Byrne
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      For Senior Infants class I would do the “Design a Martian” activity. I think this would be both age appropriate and a lot of fun.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. To start we would look at an image of earth and describe its characteristics. What does earth have on it that we need to live here eg. air, water etc. Also describe what does it look like, how does it feel in the desert, north pole etc. I think this would provide an important foundation before thinking about what Mars might be like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Look at images of Mars, what do we see, what do you think it feels like etc. Do you think we could live there? Why or Why not?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. What might a Martian look like/need to live here? Draw a picture of what you think a Martian would look like. Build a 3D model of the Martian based from discussions and plans. The children would be provided with a selection of materials such as playdough or clay, matchsticks, feathers and beads to allow them choice in their design.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The children should be able to orally explain their choices and thinking behind their design.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Depending on ability of class or individual pupils this could be extended to write some words or simple sentences about their Martians.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I like the idea of starting these units with a story to spark interest, and I am getting some great ideas of good space themed books for children from reading other posts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #215395
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        siobhan mckenna
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes I agree the books are invaluable. Especially for a concept such as a Martian, as we completely have to rely our imagination for this. So it’s good to have books as reference and to lend some guidance. Some great book ideas in this thread. It will come in useful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #215484
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ellen,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            there is so much science that can come into the children’s designing of a Martian.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think it is great that you plan for “The children should be able to orally explain their choices and thinking behind their design” – if they have designed an Martian with a wooly coat, they understand that Mars is cold and that wooly coats can keep animals warm on Earth. Great stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #215382
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sile Nic Spáidín
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Children are always very enthusiastic to learn about space and I love teaching Space through Aistear. One of our stations is usually junk art/ creative and I think the Design a Martian activity lends itself very well to this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I would start with a book such as ‘Míp’ which is about space and discuss what the children perceive Martians to look like. I like some of the trigger questions in the activity as it encourages the children to think about the similarities and differences with Earth. (How are animals adapted for places that are very cold or very warm? (Polar bears have thick fur)• Are other planets the same as the Earth?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This lesson lends itself well to a three week theme like we have. I would give the children different materials to work with. They could then be extended to thinking about the surface of Mars and how their Martian would get around. Would regular wheels work? This gives lots of opportunity to use the Irish words the children know including body parts, numbers and colours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #215482
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Síle,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                did you realise that most of the Mars rovers have 6 wheels? Part of the reason is if one or two break, the rover can still keep moving.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                One of the small rovers – Opportunity I think, had a problem with a wheel, so used to drive backwards part of the time. You can see this in the wheel tracks on the Martian sand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #215385
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              siobhan mckenna
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Activity Set: Space and Aliens

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This lesson is taught out assuming we have been covering the topic of space and aliens. I’m also directing this lesson to my SET setting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I feel drawn to having to do a lesson on space and aliens- how fun!.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Introduction:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I would set up a space exploration station. Here, the children can touch different textures like smooth foil representing spaceships, soft cotton balls as clouds, scrunched foil as craters, sensory bottles filled with glitter and shiny stars, cuddly toy aliens, sandpaper to represent the moon’s surface. As the children explore the box we will engage in lots of talk and discussion reinforcing the vocabulary of space.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • what would we see if we went to space?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • what do you think aliens look like?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • are we able to travel to space?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • how could we travel to space?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Main body:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Create an alien friend who has come to visit you on earth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                what would they look like- provide various materials including googly eyes, pipe cleaners, match sticks etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. what shape, colour size would they be?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. what food would they eat?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. what liquid would they drink?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4. where would they live?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5. what would you call them?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                6. what’s their favourite activity?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                7. how do they travel? walk, crawl, fly, hop?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Once completed the children could engage in pair work, whereby their alien friends meet. What would they talk about? what questions would they ask each other?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Conclusion: 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I would close the lesson with a yoga session- based on going to meet an alien in space https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kanagmDoZw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Next lesson: we would create a diorama for the alien using a shoebox and base it on the information given in this lesson about where they said their alien would live.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • #215499
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ciara Quealy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi Siobhan,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You’ve outlined a great lesson there. I really like the sound of the space exploration station with the different materials and textures.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ciara

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #215652

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Fantastic lesson Siobhán. I really like the materials you have chosen. I also like the integration of mindfulness with sensory bottles, and yoga practice to conclude your lesson.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #215588
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mark Murphy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is a great lesson Siobhan. Thanks for sharing this. It has given me some great ideas for September

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • #215465

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Activity Set – Space and Aliens

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I like using a book to introduce a topic or activity with a class and I feel this time the story ‘Aliens wear Underpants’ would be a fantastic was to introduce a lesson on designing aliens, while discussing space and Martians.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would make use of a KWL activity again by using a mind map with the class with the centre point being space and aliens.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As the children learn new pieces of information, they would add them to their mind map.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We would make use of a variety of materials to create our aliens; for one lesson we could focus on painting making use of ‘one colour’. For example a green alien but by adding a little bit of white paint/black paint they could change the colour slightly to create a tonal alien. We could also make our aliens 3D by making use of clay, construction materials or even marla.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    There are so many opportunities to integrate this topic with other subjects, which is fantastic. This lesson’s focus would be integrating with art so I was thinking that each pupil could create a diorama by themselves or with a group and their 3D Martians would have their own little ‘habitat’.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #215480
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fiona,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I do like your specific arts focus, working with green and tints/shades is great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Another material you might consider is one we use at BCO – Model Magic from Crayola. It is an air drying modelling material in a range of bright colour that can be combined.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We use it for making planets!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • #215495

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I’ve never heard of that modelling material, will definitely look into it, thank you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • #215496
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ciara Quealy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Choose from one of the activities or activity sets outlined in this module:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Activity Set: Stars
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Activity Set: Space and Aliens
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        How would you use the activity in your classroom?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I would choose the activity set ‘Stars’. I really liked the ESERO 13: Lots and lots of Stars lesson.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The link with Maths is a great way to build in numeracy activities throughout other subjects. As I mentioned before, I think that for the infant classes covering topics in a themed, cross-curricular way works best. There is great potential in this introduction for extending the children’s learning for any high achievers while still catering to the majority of children.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If I was doing this activity, I think it could work really well as an Aistear station. The children would be able to choose the colour of the night sky that they wanted to pick and they could also pick the colour of the stars. Letting the children have a choice and control over their play is really important. The downside to doing an art activity like this with paint is that it has the potential to be very messy, so I would probably wait for a time that I had another adult in the room so that this table would be supervised during the art activity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ciara

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #215615
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Profile photo ofFrances.McCarthy@bco.ieFrances McCarthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ciara,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think the mess potential is quite high – I have done this with slightly older 7-9 year olds, and we covered one large table with newspaper and went at it!. From the star splatters we decided how to assemble them to make a huge collage of a galaxy, with rich star regions and more sparse outlying areas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • #215587
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mark Murphy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Space and Aliens
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My learning objective for this topic would be to encourage imagination in the children. I liked the way this lesson was presented in module 3 and I would extend this lesson further. I would encourage the children to explore the idea that life could exist on other planets. We would explore the basic needs of humans and ask ourselves if life on other planets would have the same needs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This also can be linked to SPHE

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This lesson could be introduced with a book like “Zog” by Julia Donaldson. The children could be encouraged to design their own aliens as well as the planet that their alien lives on. Using rocks, sand etc is a great idea so that children could feel their planets with their own hands.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Life on our planet need our sun. Children could also be introduced to the fact the the universe has many suns that are much bigger than ours

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #215651

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have devised this lesson based to suit my First Class students.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Lesson: The Martian Maths Helpers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Objectives:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Students will create puppet Martians inspired by “The Boy from Mars.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Students will use their puppet Martians to engage in early number work, sorting, and classifying activities.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Students will practice counting, sorting, and classifying objects with the help of their puppet Martians.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Materials:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            “The Boy from Mars” storybook by Simon James –

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Craft supplies for making puppet Martians (paper bags, googley eyes, construction paper, markers, glue, scissors)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Assorted objects for sorting and classifying (buttons, beads, colored blocks, etc.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sorting trays or containers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Number cards (1-10)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Introduction (10 minutes)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Gather students on the carpet.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Read “The Boy from Mars” by Simon James to the class.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Discuss the story briefly, focusing on the concept of Martians and space.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ask students: “What do you think a Martian would look like? What kind of things would they help us with?”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Activity 1: Creating Puppet Martians (15 minutes)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Explain that each student will create their own puppet Martian who will help them with maths activities.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Provide each student with a paper bag and craft supplies.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Demonstrate how to make a simple puppet using the materials provided.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Allow students to create and decorate their Martian puppets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Activity 2: Martian Math Helpers (15 minutes)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Once the puppets are ready, explain that the Martian friends will help with maths tasks.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Set up sorting trays or containers with assorted objects (buttons, beads, blocks).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Demonstrate a sorting activity: “Let’s sort these objects by color. Can your Martian help you sort all the red objects into one tray and all the blue objects into another tray?”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Activity 3: Counting and Classifying (10 minutes)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Provide each student with number cards (1-10).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ask students to count out the correct number of objects that match each number card with their Martian’s help.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            For example, “Can your Martian find 5 red beads and put them next to the number 5 card?”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Encourage students to use their puppets to explain their sorting and counting process to a partner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Conclusion (5 minutes)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Gather students back on the carpet with their Martian puppets.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ask students to share one thing their Martian helped them learn today.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Praise students for their creativity and teamwork with their Martian helpers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Extension Activity:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Create a Martian Maths Centre in the classroom where students can use their puppet Martians to engage in various maths activities throughout the week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Assessment:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Observe student participation and engagement during the puppet-making activity.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Monitor students’ ability to sort and classify objects correctly with their puppet’s help.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Listen to students’ explanations during the sharing session to assess their understanding of counting, sorting, and classifying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • #215679
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Anthony O sullivan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              To introduce a lesson I would read Aliens love Underpants with the class.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              After this We would talk about the aliens in the story and what you think an alien would look like. I would encourage children to be very creative here by asking them questions such as “How many legs does the alien have?” and “What colour is the aliens body?’

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I would pass out modelling clay to each group- different colours placed at each table and ask the children to make their own alien/martian.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              To conclude this lesson the children would come up to the front of the class and show off their alien and the other children would say something they liked about the alien. The children would then be asked to find one other person who had the same colour or features and we would talk about the similarities and differences reminding children that we are all unique.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • #215701
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bríd O’Donoghue
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Activity Set – Space and Aliens.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Design your own Martian/Alien.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                To begin the lesson I would ask the children their prior knowledge on Mars and ask them to fill in a KWL chart. Each child would get a chance to give their thoughts and questions about what they’d like to know. I would prompt them if needed with questions such as ‘What does Mars look like?’ Or ‘Do they have mountains, rivers, lakes etc on Mars?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I would ask the children if they think anyone lives on mars. I would explain what the word Martian meant and ask the children to come up with ideas as to how this Martian would look. I would draw on the whiteboard as they give me ideas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The children would have a chance to draw their own martians as a draft and I would ask them to design their martians using clay. The children would make their 3D models and paint them once they were dry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • #215739
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Heidi collins
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Topic: Aliens

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Resources: The Special Life – Life in Space Activity pages / Smeds and Smoos Storybook

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Begin with recap with whole class discussion on prior learning about the solar system lesson (Sing the Planet Song).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I would show children the front cover of the Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler storybook The Smeds and The Smoos and take predictions about the story/characters/location/events.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pre-reading activity: have circle time discussing how we live on Earth and there are many more planets in space. As far as we know there are no people living there. But if people did live there, what would the children like to show them here on Earth? What objects or animals here on Earth are so special that visitors from other planets should see them?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Model oral language to encourage imagination, curiosity and possibility.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ·       I wonder if..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ·       Maybe..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ·       Do you think..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ·       Possibly..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Imagine if..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ·       Would it be funny if…

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Give children the opportunity to talk in pairs about their special object/animal on earth that they would show an alien.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  End lesson by reading The Smeds and The Smoos to the class.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Extended Art Activity: Draw your Alien and choose an Alien name for them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Gallery: Whole Class present and discuss drawings and find a positive praise for each one.

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