Simple Planet Spiral Mobile

Lesson #5025
5025

Create a simple spiral depicting the stars and planets.



Grade Level:

Following a unit on the solar system, create an interesting mobile featuring the inner and outer planets along an elliptical orbit. Younger students create colorful whimsical planets, while older ones replicate actual planetary characteristics. Discuss the unique physical properties of each planet and the effect of the sun's gravitational pull. Remember to reflect on the reclassification of Pluto as a dwarf planet.

Students are explore the universe to understand that it is composed of planets and stars that move together.

A10210-Sizzix Bigz Die - Circle 3" A10212-Sizzix Bigz Die - Circles 1" & 1 1/2" A10338-Sizzix Bigz Die - Moon & Star A10693-Sizzix Bigz Die - Spiral

Supplies Used: Construction Paper, Glue, Hand Punches (1/8" & 1/4"), Scissors, Ribbon, Thread, Tape, Stickers

The teacher will die-cut the materials for student use prior to the lesson.

Spiral

  1. Die-cut XL Spiral using black poster or tag board.
  2. Using a 1/8" hole punch, punch a hole in the center of the Spiral (Figure A).
  3. Cut a 7" length of 1/4" ribbon. Fold it in half and put a knot holding the two ends together (Figure B).
  4. Starting under the top of the Spiral, thread the folded end of the ribbon from bottom to top through the punched hole to form a hanger (see Main Photo).
  5. Punch 8 holes along the Spiral using a 1/16" hole punch, spacing as desired.
  6. Cut eight 14" lengths of black thread. Set aside.

Moon

  1. Die-cut two light blue and two dark blue Moons from construction paper using the AllStar Moon & Star Die. Lay one light blue Moon face down and tape an end of one piece of black thread to the Moon with the length of the thread going upwards (Figure C).
  2. Using glue or double-sided tape adhere the two light blue Moons together sandwiching the tape between them.
  3. Cut a sliver about half the size of the Moon from the two remaining dark blue Moons (Figure D). Discard the inner piece.
  4. Hole punch along the dark blue Moons using the 1/16" and 1/8" circles. Adhere the darker Moons to the light blue Moons on both sides. Set the completed Moon piece aside.

Stars

  1. Die-cut eight Stars from shades of yellow and light orange paper using the AllStar Moon & Stars Die. Cut two Stars of each color for four matching pairs.
  2. Lay one Star of each color face down and tape an end of a piece of thread to the Star with the length of the thread going up (refer to Figure C).
  3. Using glue or double-sided tape adhere the matching Stars together sandwiching the tape between them. Put the four completed Stars aside.

Planets

  1. Die-cut four each of the 1", 1 1/2" and 3" Circles. Use two coordinating colors for each size and cut two of each color. An example would be two light green and two dark green 2" Circles.
  2. Lay one color of each Circle face down and tape the remaining three black threads to them. Adhere the matching Circle to each, sandwiching the threads between. These will be the planets.
  3. The three planets may be decorated differently. For example, punch 1/4" holes in one of them allowing the bottom color to show through, cut away half of another in a creative way leaving a shadow effect, and cut stripes from another (Figure E).

Assembly

  1. Hang or hold the Spiral up by the ribbon. Take the Moon and hold it toward the top center of the Spiral. Insert the thread through the Spiral pulling it up until the Moon is located correctly. Secure it in place with a small piece of tape. Fold the thread back over the tape and secure with a second piece of tape.
  2. Take the remaining pieces (Stars and planets) one at a time and locate them along the Spiral, working down from the top, and secure them with tape. When satisfied with the arrangement, clip off the excess thread. Tiny pieces of black paper or stickers can be adhered over the tape for a finished look (Figure F).

  • Figure A

  • Figure B

  • Figure C

  • Figure D

  • Figure E

  • Figure F

Science: Earth and Space Science

  • As a result of activities in grades K-4, all students should develop an understanding of objects in the sky.

Source: National Science Education Standards

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