Fun Space Unit Study for Elementary Science

space unit study

This fun Space Unit Study is perfect for elementary school kids of all ages!

It seems that no matter how old kids are, they often seem to have an interest in outer space. Hopefully, they’ll be interested in this Space Unit Study for homeschool too!

It’s designed for homeschool students in grades 1-5 and can easily be adapted for Kindergarten and middle school if needed. 

What topics does the Space Unit Study cover?

This Space homeschool unit study covers the following topics:

  • Stars – different types, life cycles, etc.
  • Nebulas and other things in space
  • Black holes
  • Constellations
  • Galaxies

It’s designed to go along with our Solar System Unit Study, which you can do either before or after the Space Unit Study. 

Related article: Solar System Unit Study – 4 Weeks of Fun Science Learning

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How to schedule the Space Homeschool Unit Study

This unit study is designed to take up to eight 1-hour science sessions. 

In our homeschool, we do science two days a week for an hour each time (on Tuesdays and Thursdays), so this unit study took us four weeks to complete. 

If you do science every day, you can definitely adjust as needed. You may want to consider spending eight to ten days, each about 60-minutes in length. 

Here’s an in-depth look at what we did during our eight sessions within the Reluctant Homeschool Mama’s Space Unit Study:

  1. Introduction to space
  2. Types of stars
  3. The life cycle of stars
  4. Black holes
  5. Constellations
  6. Constellations
  7. Types of galaxies
  8. Review day

Now we’ll get into more detail about what you could do for each day of the unit study! 

Introduction to the Space Unit Study

It’s a great idea to start your unit study by printing out the Space Unit Study worksheets from The Reluctant Homeschool Mama’s Free Resource Library!

To get access, you can click right here or on the image below.

Give your kids the Unit Study title page, have them write their names, and color in the letters if they’d like.

space unit study worksheets

Next, give them the Space Word Search so they can prime their brains with the vocabulary words they’ll be learning during this unit study.

space unit study pages

Best space books for kids

Spend some time on this introductory day looking through one or two great books about space.

It’s a great idea to have several great space books on hand throughout your entire Space Unit Study.

Check your local library to see what resources they have. Call numbers around 520 will be the best place to look!

Here are a few great space books for kids that are available on Amazon that you might consider:

See Inside the Universe

We’ve owned this fantastic Usborne book for years, and it’s so great that we’ll keep it forever! With over 70 flaps to lift, it keeps younger learners engaged. But the details keep big kids coming back to it again and again, too.

The Mysteries of the Universe: Discover the Best-Kept Secrets of Space

This beautiful hardcover book would be a fantastic addition to your homeschool library! It’s perfect for grades 2-4.

Space Dictionary for Kids: The Everything Guide for Kids Who Love Space

This awesome reference book has hundreds of awesome full-color illustrations. If you have upper elementary kids, this is a great choice!

Great videos about space for kids

If you have visual learners, watching a great documentary about space would be an awesome way to pique their interest in this unit study.

There have been several good space documentaries produced in the past ten years or so.

Journey Through the Stars and The Milky Way are both one-hour documentaries available on Prime Video.

Types of stars

On the second day of your Space Unit Study, introduce your discussion about stars with this cute Storybots video available on YouTube called “I’m a Star.”

Next, discuss the different types of stars.

Your kids may be surprised to learn that stars have vastly different sizes, temperatures, and colors.

In fact, stars are given a letter classification based on their size. From largest to smallest, there are O, B, A, F, G, K, and M stars.

Relative sizes of stars demonstration

To give your kids a good visual of the huge difference between types of stars, get out some sidewalk chalk and do the following demonstration!

You’ll need:

  • a ruler
  • broom or stick
  • yarn
  • sidewalk chalk in red, orange, dark yellow, light yellow, white, light blue, and dark blue
  • scissors
Instructions

Start with the red chalk and draw a small circle that is 0.75 inches in diameter. This is the M star, the smallest type of star.

Next, use the orange chalk to draw a concentric circle 1.25 inches in diameter and color it orange around the red M star. This is the K star.

Third, use the dark yellow chalk to draw another circle that is 3 inches in diameter around the orange and yellow circles. Color it in with dark yellow to represent the G star.

Fourth, use the light yellow chalk to draw a circle that is 5 inches in diameter around the darker yellow circle. Color it lightly with yellow for the F star.

For the next three types of stars, you’ll need a stick or a broom, the yarn, a ruler, and a pair of scissors.

Measure a length of yarn that is 10 inches long, plus 4-5 inches extra, and tie it to the broomstick. Then tie the other end to a piece of white chalk. Position the broomstick in the center of the red circle and pull the yarn taught. Then draw a big white circle around the last yellow circle and color it in. This is the A star.

Next, follow the same procedure with the broomstick for the light blue chalk. This time, your yarn should be 18 inches long. Keep the yarn pulled taught as you draw a bigger circle around the white circle. Color it in to represent the B star.

Finally, cut a length of yarn that is 30 inches long and tie it to the broomstick on one end and the dark blue chalk on the other. Then make a huge circle around the light blue circle. This represents the largest type of star, the O star.

(This circle is so big, that you may need multiple pieces of blue chalk or you can mix and match blues as we did!)

The life cycle of stars

Stars have a fascinating life cycle!

Almost any book about stars will describe their life cycle, which can follow a different path, depending on the original size of the star.

Use our Life Cycle of a Star worksheet from our free Space Unit Study worksheets to help your kids create a diagram of the two main life cycle patterns of stars.

life cycle of stars space unit study page

Additionally, this great Life Cycle of a Star poster from Amazon would be perfect to display during this entire unit study!

Nebula art project

This nebula art project is super easy and enjoyable!

You’ll need:

  • black construction paper
  • blue, purple, red, or pink glitter paint
  • silver star stickers, if you wish
  • white crayons or colored pencils
Instructions

Begin by folding the black construction paper in half and then open it up flat.

Next, squirt a half-dollar amount of glitter paint on one side of the paper. Feel free to mix colors if you’d like!

Then fold the paper on the crease you’ve already made, squishing the paint in between.

Open your paper and see your nebula!

Add silver star stickers or draw more stars surrounding your nebula with the white crayons.

Black holes

My kids were both fascinated and confused by the idea of black holes, so we decided to spend a little extra time on this topic. (The beauty of homeschooling, right?!)

We used the book A Black Hole is Not a Hole to learn everything we could about black holes.

Black hole formation demonstration

To depict how a black hole forms, try this easy demonstration!

You’ll need a balloon, tin foil, and a straight pin.

Instructions

Blow up the balloon and tie it off.

Then cover the entire balloon in two layers of tin foil. This represents a B or A star before they explode.

Next, use a straight pin to pop the balloon within the tin foil.

Have your kids quickly push the tin foil inward to represent the amount of mass increasing in density as the “star” explodes.

Constellations

We spent two different science sessions on constellations because there are so many fun demonstrations, stories, and things to learn! 

Our primary sourcebook was Find the Constellations by H.A. Rey (yes, the author of Curious George!).

While some of the wording is a little dated, it has so much great detail and charm, it’s a great addition to our homeschool bookshelf.

Constellation projects

We did two different constellation projects, both of which were super fun and very easy.

Marshmallow constellations

For this great project, you’ll need:

  • toothpicks
  • miniature marshmallows
  • constellation cards
constellation project
Instructions

Have your kids choose a few of their favorite constellations, using the constellation cards as an easy reference.

Next, have them create their chosen constellations with marshmallows to represent the stars and toothpicks to create the imaginary lines in the sky.

Here’s how ours turned out:

constellation project
constellation project 2
constellation project space unit

Flashlight constellations

To make flashlight constellations, you’ll need:

  • a flashlight
  • black cardstock, cut into two-inch squares
  • a small hole punch
  • white colored pencils
Instructions

Give your kids a small square of black cardstock.

Using colored pencils, have your kids draw their favorite constellation on their cardstock square. Represent stars with a white dot.

Next, use the small hole punch (1/16 inch size is perfect), punch out each of the dots on their cardstock squares where the stars had been.

Then, go into a closet or a dark room and shine the flashlight through the cardstock to cast the constellation onto the wall or ceiling.

Here are two more great resources we used to enhance our constellation section of this Space Unit Study:

Constellations Scratch and Sketch Activity Book

These Scratch and Sketch books are delightful no matter the topic, but this one is extra magical! It’s a fantastic way to help kids learn about 20 different constellations.

Constellation Knowledge Cards

These awesome cards are super high-quality and contain tons of extra information about each constellation. We were glad to have them and used them a ton during this unit!

Night school session for stargazing

Another super-memorable solar system activity would be to have a stargazing night.

The free app StarChart is an easy way to learn about the planets and stars that are in the night sky where you live.

We’ve owned the Celestron 70mm PowerSeeker Refractor Telescope since 2015 and we love it! It’s a fairly easy telescope to set up, and it’s easy enough for kids to look through.

Types of galaxies

Discussing different types of galaxies is a great way to finish up this Space Unit Study!

Use one of the main reference books to find this information and the Galaxies worksheet from the Reluctant Homeschool Mama’s Free Resource Library to help your kids draw the different types of galaxies.

galaxies worksheet

Additionally, in the charming book Ada and the Galaxies, kids can appreciate the beauty and immensity of different galaxies while being immersed in a great story at the same time!

Review/ Catch-up day

The last day of any unit study is a perfect time to go back and review what your kids have learned!

Take a look back through the Space Unit Study printable worksheets and have your kids finish any worksheets they haven’t completed yet.

Be sure to have them complete the last page of the printable pack too! It’s a chance for your kids to give their own unit study evaluation. Kids love the chance to give some feedback about what they’ve been learning!

unit study review page

Field trip ideas for the space unit study

Going on a field trip is a great way to make your unit study more memorable!

Take a moment to see if any of these could possibly be an option for you:

Virtual Field Trip Ideas

If you need to stay closer to home, here are some awesome virtual field trip ideas to round out your homeschool space unit study:

Final thoughts about this space homeschool unit study

We really enjoyed this Space Unit Study and hope that you will too!

If you haven’t snagged the Space Unit Study printables from our Free Resource Library, you can do that right here.

And if you want to customize this unit study, you can do that super easily as well.

Free Homeschool Unit Study Planner printable pack

Maybe you like a lot of our ideas here, but you want to personalize this unit study for your homeschool. No problem!

Just grab the Unit Study Planner printable pack from our Free Resource Library!

Click right here or on the image below to get access!

free unit study planner

You’ll get 8 different pages to help you customize your homeschool unit study so it’s well organized and perfect for your kids and their interests.

And as always, let me know if you have any questions or comments about this Space Unit Study in the comments below!

Related articles about homeschool unit studies:

Oceans Unit Study – 9 Awesome Ideas to Make it Fun

Geology Homeschool Unit Study – 5 Weeks of Science Fun

Dinosaur Unit Study – 15 Fun Activities for Your Homeschool Students

Olympics Homeschool Unit Study – 11 Ideas Your Kids Will Love 

Earth Science Homeschool Unit Study – 6 Weeks of Science Fun

5 Easy Steps to Creating a Homeschool Unit Study

Homeschool Unit Studies – What Are They? And Why Do People Love Them? 

Pin the image below to return to this article easily in the future!

Have you considered putting together a space unit study for your homeschool?

Fun Space Unit Study for Elementary ScienceFun Space Unit Study for Elementary ScienceFun Space Unit Study for Elementary ScienceFun Space Unit Study for Elementary Science

Hi there! I’m so glad you’re here! I’m Jen, a former reluctant homeschool mom who is ready to help you actually enjoy homeschooling too. Read more here…

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