The Solar System Mat by Waseca Biomes is a comprehensive curriculum on astronomy for age 6 to 12. It contains factual cards, manipulatives, and command cards, which engage children during presentations, and ignite inquisitive minds for further research. The materials comes with 6 detailed scripted step-by-step presentations. Each presentation provides elicitation to keep the children’s mind active. You will absolutely love the flow of the presentation, and certainly learn along the way! I provide a simplistic overview of the 6 presentations below. Please check out Waseca Biomes Guide to Presentation online to access the full version.
The following link will provide you a $15 discount referral coupon code by providing your email address. 🙂
- 1 large 48″ round vinyl Solar system mat
- 20 wooden pogs of objects in space + control chart
- 66 fact cards packed with knowledge
- 4 charts to help with understanding the distance of planets to the Sun, a planet size comparison, Sun facts chart, and planets facts chart.
- 76 command cards (Level 1, 2, 3)
- A large wooden tray with 2 compartmentalized boxes for the Facts Cards, and the Command Cards.
How it works
- First Presentation: This presentation requires a few materials: fact cards and pogs on the mat. Children will understand our place in the universe by looking at the Universe, the Milky Way, and our Solar system.
- Second Presentation: This presentation requires a few more materials: fact cards of objects in the solar system, and related pogs. Children will gain a detailed understanding of our planetary system, the Solar system. They will learn about the movements and phenomena within a planetary system.
- Third Presentation: For this presentation, you’ll need a globe and a flash light, in addition to the fact cards. This presentation aims to reinforce the reason for the days/nights and the seasons.
Fourth Presentation: This presentation is longer. It requires much more materials out, plan lots of time ahead. It requires the 4 charts laid out on a mat, the solar system mat and pogs, and 16 fact cards. The presentation aims to demonstrate the immensity of the universe, provide a size comparison of the planets, and show a realistic distance between planets. Now would be an appropriate time to make some Command Cards available on the shelf. The Guide to Presentation booklet will let know which cards specifically.
- Fifth Presentation: This is another lesson that is dense in knowledge. You will briefly review the former fact cards and split this presentation into mini sessions to introduce all the materials. This time, children will learn detailed information on the large objects in the Solar system, and features such as moons and rings.
- Sixth Presentation: The presentation requires less materials; therefore, it should be a short presentation. The aim of this last presentation is for the children to understand how discoveries are made, which technologies we use, and what the future holds for us in terms of exploration. There’s a lot of essential questions that can be derived from this lesson, leading to further research.
- Command Cards: You may now make all the cards available to the children. Command cards are for the children to experience concretely their learning, and to demonstrate their understanding. It may be used by the adults as a means for informal assessment. Repeatition of these presentation can be done for better comprehension and integration of astronomy concepts.
We had this material for over a year and are still going back to it. With time, we understand concepts better. We also make our own discoveries about on-going asteroids, different orbital paths taken by objects around the solar system, or theories on which we are making progress. The Solar System Mat helps children develop a deeper appreciation for astronomy. I hope you enjoyed the post.
Ready for a lesson? Please subscribe for the next posts on the Coral Reef Mat, the Continent Mat, and the Tree of Life Mat from Waseca Biomes.