Tuesday: Mercury

Apr 17, 2012   //   by Miss Kim   //   Daily Lessons  //  No Comments

Calendar:  Discussed calendar in English and Spanish.  Finn put the number on the calendar, discussed the weather and found the day of the week in Spanish.  He helped us review all our Spanish and Sign language words.

Brainstorm/Fun Facts:  We reviewed what we learned about Saturn.  Today the children told me all that they know about Mercury.  Mercury is a rock planet.  Fun facts:  The surface of Mercury is very similar to our moon.  It has a very barren, rocky surface covered with many craters.  Being so close to the Sun, the daytime temperature on Mercury is scorching- reaching over 400 degrees Celsius.  At night however, without an atmosphere to hold the heat in, the temperatures plummet, dropping to -180 degrees Celsius.  Mercury has very low surface gravity.  It has no atmosphere which means there is no wind or weather to speak of.  There is also no water on the surface of Mercury, it is possible however that there could be water underneath the surface.  Likewise, there is no air on the surface but it could be trapped underneath.  

Speaking:  Discussed:  What might happen if Earth was closer to the sun?  Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, but it is too hot for anything living to survive.  Explained that we get just the right amount of sun where our planet is located to keep us warm and give us light.  We learned a new Sign Language word: Sun.  How to do the sign for “sun”:  Close fingers and thumb above right shoulder, make a circle near head.  Open fingers and thumb towards face, like sunlight.  We practice this sign a lot as the children got very confused on where to put their hand and how to open the hand towards the face.   We then sang a song and used the sign for “sun” each time we came to that word in the song.  

Visual Art:  Discussed: What do you think Mercury looks like?  Mercury’s surface is rocky and wrinkly with many craters.  The gas of the sun makes solar winds that blow on the crusty surface of Mercury.   We looked at the craft they will be making in afternoon centers. Discussed how to press the bubble wrap in the paint to make the craters or bumpy rocks on the plate.

Visual Art:  Discussed:  What do you think the temperature is at night on Mercury? Since Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, it seems like it would still be hot at night, but it isn’t.  Extreme temperatures on Mercury range from 875 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime to -300 degrees Fahrenheit.  Discussed what color they think of when they think of night: BLACK.  Explained that Mercury is very dark at night because it has NO moon to reflect the sun’s light.  We pretended one wall in the room was “night” very cold and the chair was “day” very hot.  I showed the children the black bird which represents the Night wall.  I had 2 children at a time come stand in the middle.  They ran to the Night wall if I held up the black bird and then when I put the black bird down they ran to the day chair.  We did this until each child had a turn.

Show and Tell:     Each child was to wear Black today.  I had each child stand up and show me all the black they were wearing.  We then compared how many people had black on to those children that had no black on.  Discussed more and less.

Speaking:  Discussed:  How many moons do you think Mercury has? Mercury has no moons.  It is one of only two planets with no moons (Venus is the other).  The children told me how many moons that Earth has (1).  I showed the children the Story Sequence Card and we discussed what was happening in each picture.  The children then had to put the 3 pictures in order.  Some of the children had difficulty with this.  

Afternoon Centers:
  Center 1:  Outside play  Center 2:  Mercury art-  the children will have two plates stapled together with beans in the middle and a craft stick to hold onto.  They will dip their bubble wrap in blue paint for the cold and make prints on the one paper plate to represent craters.  They will then dip another bubble wrap in red paint for hot and make prints on the other paper plate.    They can then show Hot and Cold by turning their plates.  Center 3:  Blank Book-  the children will start this activity today.  They will make a book about Our Solar System.  They will add a planet on a page and tell a Fact about that planet.  

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