Creation Science – Day 4

Here we are at day four of creation. At this point, God has made light, separated the waters, and made plants and fruit bearing trees – you can read my previous posts on the HEAV blog – Day 1 – Let there be Light, Day 2 – Separating the Waters, and Day 3 – Plant Science. Now we arrive at day four. Wait, that didn’t sound right. Actually, we are about to read about my plans to teach day four of creation science, we–humans–didn’t get here on earth until day six.

Day four is the day God set lights in the vault of the sky to separate day and night. He created the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. The Bible also tells us that God made the stars. The first question is one that is asked at a very young age. Why? Why did God make the sun? Why did He make the stars and the moon? Do I know the answer? Uhhh, no, but I can always ask God when I meet Him. Until then I am quite happy that he did make the sun, moon, and stars.

The Sun

The sun is the center of our universe. According to NASA, the sun is made up of two main elements–92.1% hydrogen and 7.8% helium. I know you math people out there are thinking, “Wait, that is only 99.9%”. To you I say, “This is science class, not math!” However, for your peace of mind, the other .1% is made up of a mixture of various elements including oxygen, carbon, neon, and nitrogen. At the surface, the sun’s temperature can be measured at approximately 10,000°F or 5500°C–either way, it’s hot. The sun is approximately 92,960,000 miles from Earth or 1 astronomical unit. If the sun was any closer, the earth would be too hot; if the sun was any farther away, the earth would be too cold. God put the sun in the center of the universe, and then he put the planets in order so that they were the right distance from the sun.

What color is the sun? If you ask your kids this, be prepared to tell them to just make a guess because you really aren’t supposed to go stare at the sun. It’s not good for your eyes. My class and I decided that the sun could be represented by the colors or orange, red, and yellow.

Activity #1 – Painting the Sun

Materials
Newspaper (to cover the table)
White construction paper cut into circles
Black construction paper (big enough to put the circles onto and still have room around the outer edge of the circle)
Red, yellow, and orange paint
Plastic wrap
Glue
Q-tip® or paint brush

Step 1 – Cut circles out of white construction paper. I picked up white poster board and then Bug drew the circles for me using a paper plate. Note: this is a bonus activity, as he is learning drawing, tracing, fine motor, and helpfulness skills.

Step 2 – Cover the table with newspaper. Depending on the age and ability of your children, you may also want to cover the floor, the chair, the children, and yourself.

Step 3 – Place the white circle onto the newspaper and put some swirls of paint onto it. If your kids are older you can have them do the painting themselves.

Step 4 – Cover the paint with plastic wrap.

Step 5 – Let the kids mash, squish, smash, and rub the paint all over the white circle. Here, you get the bonus of pointing out how the colors mix together to form secondary and tertiary colors.

Step 6 – Carefully remove the plastic wrap, place a circle of glue onto the black construction paper and then place the circle onto the black construction paper. The circle may not be completely glued down, but it will be ok until it is dry and you can glue it down better if need be.

Step 7 – Using the Q-tips® or paint brush, have the kids make rays emanate from the sun by dragging lines of wet paint off of the circle onto the black paper.

The results were amazing. In fact, they were…out of this world!

We left our suns on the tables to dry and headed outside for the next part of class. We know that sometimes distances can be hard to judge: is an object 10 feet or 11 feet away? When we have questions about short distances, we pull out a tape measure. When we have questions about larger distance, we use references– a quarter of a mile is about as long as the Empire State Building is tall. However, when we are talking about millions of miles, the references are few and far between, so here we utilize the principle of perspective.

Activity #2 – Walking the Solar System

Find a location that will be your starting point. Explain to the children that you are now standing on the sun. Feel free to jump around and holler as it is quite warm when you are standing on the sun. Mark the location of the sun. In my class I had enough kids to mark each location with a child. As we moved from location to location we would always point back at the sun and then have the kids shout out the name of the planet that they were standing upon. If you don’t have nine extra kids to spare, you can use chalk, flags, cones, sticks, toys, or whatever else happens to be handy.

So, beginning at the sun, take three steps; you have now arrived on Mercury. Two-and-a-half steps from Mercury and you reach Venus. I assume you see where this is going–each time you take your steps you arrive at the next planet. The amazing thing is how far apart some of these planets end up being. To walk the whole solar system refer to this handy chart.

Planetary Distances in Perspective

 Sun to Mercury 3 steps Mercury to Venus 2.5 steps Venus to Earth 2 steps Earth to Mars 4 steps Mars to Jupiter 27 steps Jupiter to Saturn 32.5 steps Saturn to Uranus 72 steps Uranus to Neptune 81.5 steps Neptune to Kuiper Belt/Pluto 71 steps

You will note that I included Pluto. I did this because, when I was young, Pluto was still a planet. Technically, Pluto is a dwarf planet because of its size and because it cannot clear other objects out of its path.

I had planned to talk to the kids about the phases of the moon, but after painting the sun and traipsing all over the solar system we were running low on time. If you want to do some projects about the phases of the moon I have some different options on my Pinterest Science board. Please note, however, that I have not checked out all of these so be sure to check them yourself before sending the kids to take a look.

Even though we ran out of time for the phases of the moon, before the kids were allowed to leave I had each of them come over, lie on the floor, and strike a pose while I took a picture of them. I know that this sounds a bit crazy, but it really was for something cool and I even had one of the kids take my picture.

What did I do with these pictures? Well, using Microsoft Publisher, I put the pictures onto a page, then I used the drawing tool and placed a star shape on their heads, all of their joints–shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees–and on their hands and feet. After this was done, I used lines to connect the stars. If you want your kids to do their own constellations, you can print out pictures of them and have them hold the picture up to a bright window. Then the kids can place stars at their head, joints, hands and feet. Check out our new constellations.

I hope you enjoyed teaching–and learning–a little bit about day four of creation when God made the sun, the moon, and the stars in the sky. On day five we will be learning about the birds that fly and creatures that swim. Just wait until you see what we do with cheerios, pipe cleaners, and a bit of shortening!

Michelle, a Virginia native, currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and three children. Active in Scouts, area homeschool groups, and with her family, she can be found on her blog, “Homeschooler on the Edge,” as well as FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.