Sun, Moon & Planets
The Sun, Moon and planets are the brightest and most noticeable objects in the sky. Every child has seen the Sun rise and set, and noticed the Moon going through its phases countless times.
The place to begin astronomy is to organize this information that the student already has.
Falling Apple's basic astronomy course begins by introducing a simple system for understanding where and when the Sun, Moon and planets can be seen. The tools we use are:
Teaching basic astronomy topics such as the Moon cycle, and how to observe planets and stars can get complicated. The Sun, Moon, stars, and planets all move on their own schedules. There is little opportunity to actually observe the sky in a classroom setting, particularly the night sky.
Sun, Moon & Planets streamlines the sky, so that if the student can follow the Sun’s path across the sky, then they can understand how the Moon and planets act. Moon phases are presented in a way that will simplify instruction for the teachers and give students a solid understanding. A great introduction to learning about the sky. Sun, Moon & Planets is the first book of a series on observational astronomy.Click here to order from Amazon
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Astronomy Book 1: Sun, Moon & Planets - $11.95
The best way to teach the motion of the Sun, Moon, stars and planets is to show it. There is no substitute for seeing how the moon travels with the sun each day, yet falls behind on a monthly cycle.
The simplified image of celestical objects moving with and relative to the Sun that the Sun Puppet provides will stick with students forever. Every time a student sees the sun, moon, stars, or planets, he will imagine the simplified motion of the Sun Puppet, and he will know with certainty what is happening.
The Sun Puppet is recommended for everyone, including homeschoolers, classroom teachers, and anyone who just wants to enjoy the sky. Use with Astronomy Book 1: Sun, Moon & Planets.
Made in the USA out of rigid, lightweight plastic. It includes magnetically interchangeable Sun, new, full, quarter, crescent, and gibbous moons, star, and the five visible planets. The movable arms sweep out a diameter of 32 inches. The Sun Puppet folds up to a size of 26 x 19-1/4 x 3 inches for easy storage.
Finding the bright planets, Venus, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn, is not much harder than finding the moon. These objects are very bright, usually much brighter than any star. If you know where to look, you will be sure to find them.
But where should you look? Before Falling Apple's Astronomy, this was not an easy question to answer. The planets are in constant motion and regularly disappear from view altogether. Traditionally, you needed to know the stars before you could find the planets.
Using the Sun Puppet method of tracking celestial objects makes finding the planets easy and fun; no star charts are required Here's how it works: Planets follow the same path as the Sun and Moon. The Planet Finder shows you how far ahead or behind the Sun the planets are on any given day. Turn the Sun dial to the correct time of day, and the planets automatically position themselves just as they are in the sky.
You'll want to hang the Planet Finder in a prominent place, like on the refrigerator, so you are reminded where to look for the planets every evening and early morning.
The Planet Finder is a calendar that needs to be renewed every year. Each finder lasts for a year. The 2012-2013 version lasts from July 2012 through June 2013.
Planet Finder Jul 2012 - Jun 2013 - $15 free shipping