Rocket Art (Finished Pieces)

Ms. Chen has posted our finished Rocket Art pieces in the classroom and on the bulletin boards which surround our classroom. Displayed all together, they look amazing! If you haven’t seen our work in process, read more about how these pieces were created here.


This week students were able to complete fold out panels about looking back to Earth. Ms. Chen used Steve Jenkins’ book Looking Down to illustrate zooming in to a specific object – from looking at Earth and then zooming in possibly to a specific street, then maybe a particular house and then finally to a single window within the house.

This is such a fantastic book to illustrate zooming in on a particular object – first from far away and then getting closer and closer.

A very interesting journey in looking at the world from a different perspective.

Closer and closer and close

Read about how this book was conceived on Steve Jenkins’ site.

What is amazing about this book is that it is “told” strictly through visual images – as a wordless picture book.

P1020882This is Jena‘s art. Now in addition to her rocket ship, planets and drifting astronaut, she has attached her mini fold out book which depicts looking back to the Earth.

First she drew a portion of the Earth – oceans and land covered by forest. In the subsequent drawings she zooms closer and closer into the forest scene.

P1020883Here is Alyson’s completed work. We loved how she used the cellophane to represent the emissions coming from her rocket as it zoomed through space.

Her mini booklet zooms in to a single room in her building.

Such a colourful piece!

P1020886Hailey isn’t quite finished her mini zoom in booklet but her art so far, is wonderful.

Her astronaut’s suit is extremely detailed and she was able to create a very efective planet by layering her cellophane pieces.


Such a fun and successful project. Thank-you Ms. Chen!

Off on a rocket ship!

Our class has been working with Ms. Linda Chen, a student teacher from UBC on a multi-step art project and we are almost finished!

By the end of the week, we hope to have our finished pieces hanging up in our classroom and on outside bulletin boards. But for now, a sneak peek!

Students made collage rockets, drew astronauts and today worked on the composition of their pieces – placing rocket and astronaut in a space scene along with planets. Such fun!

Inspired by some images from this book: Joey and Jet in Space by James Yang.


Check out our room today!

P1020843Bird’s Eye view of a table busy creating!

Students are placing rocket ships in specific places on their page, thinking about where to put the astronaut and how they want to organize the planets in their space scene.

Everyone was on task and engaged!

If you look closely at the bottom left hand corner of the picture below, you can see that Eddy has placed his astronaut astride his rocket.

Talk about riding a rocket to the moon!


Students are using colourful planets cut from cellophane. Very effective!

Ms. Chen cut scraps of cellophane for students to use to decorate. She did a mini lesson on colour theory and had the students think about how the colours placed together might mix.

Some students used the pieces to decorate a planet. Others used the pieces to create a feeling of movement in space or as gasses or dust floating around the planets.


We were pleasantly surprised at how unique each piece was!

Students loved working with such bright colours.

Here is a piece where you can see the details of the rocket made using a collage of magazine images. The rockets are all absolutely gorgeous!

In this image the lone astronaut floats next to a planet as the rocket zooms by. An alien seems to be peeking at us from the blue swirly planet.


Keep checking for our finished pieces!

Questions and new learning about the Moon

We continue to study the moon and have been keen to learn new information. However we realize that the more we learn, the more questions we seem to generate. Our wondering seems endless  – kind of like space!

This week we read Moon by Steve Tomecek and illustrated by Liisa Chancy Guida. This is a Jump into Science National Geographic book.

First, we filled out an anticipation guide Ms. Gelson had written based on the book. Did we think a list of statements were true or false. For example: 1. Earth is about four times bigger than the moon. 2. The air surrounding Earth helps protect us from falling meteors because it makes them burn up 3. The sun and the moon are about the same size.

Then we listened to the story to verify which statements were in fact true and which were false. (In case you aren’t sure – with the previous statements 1 and 2 are true and 3 is false 🙂 )

After this, we returned to our desks to work on sheets that summarized some of our learning. What new things were learned from this book? What questions still exist?

P1020522Jena talked about Galileo and his telescope. Students were fascinated that this was the first time people had a sense of what the moon actually looked like. She also noted that the moon is not a star like the sun is. Many people didn’t know the sun is a star.

Her questions centred on space travel. What were the names of the twelve astronauts that visited the moon? Did any animals go to the moon? And a very interesting thing to find out: Were any of the astronauts there when meteors came?



Jenny thought it was very interesting that the only way a crater can be filled up on the moon is when dust from a new crater forming (from a falling meteor) fills it up. Many students thought that this was pretty cool.

Jenny had questions about space generally

  • Why is the sun so warm?
  • Why can’t there be air in space?

She also wondered about how the footprints from visiting astronauts could remain on the moon forever. It is pretty hard to fathom a place with no wind and no rain.


P1020525Eddy had some great questions about the moon’s shape and how it formed in the first place.

Many students wondered if the Earth and the moon formed at the same time or different times and why we are so connected. Many thought it was strange to talk about ages of planets, moons and stars and wondered if they had birthdays!

Some other interesting questions students had:

  • If there is no gravity, wouldn’t the planets float away? (Annie)
  • When did the moon appear in space? (Kevin)
  • Is rock the only thing on the moon? (Ricky)
  • Why is the sun so hot when it looks so small? (Edwin)
  • What would happen if you started to dig on the moon? (Gary)
  • Will the moon have volcanoes again? (Manny)
  • Why is the moon grey? (Jenifer)

On a quick visit to the library this evening, I found this book: Really, Really BIG Questions about Space and Time by Mark Brake. Illustrated by Nishant Choski.

I plan to read it carefully this weekend to become a space expert! I will also bring it in for students to explore during independent reading. It addresses questions like:

  • When did the universe start?
  • Do stars live forever?
  • Why is the night sky so dark?
  • What’s the difference between me, a planet and a star?
  • Do black holes turn you into spaghetti?

Willoughby & the Moon

Greg Foley‘s Willoughby & the Moon takes us on many adventures – a trip to the moon with Willoughby and a giant snail, a space adventure on a moon buggy and a space pod and an amazing visual journey in deep black, white and silver – glowing pages full of shimmery snails, shadowy images of the craters on the moon and detailed moon maps that make us all the more curious . . .

Willoughby cannot sleep. In his dark, dark room, he assures his mother that he is not afraid of the dark – he is just wondering where the moon has gone. Later he spies a light under his closet door and discovers that inside his closet a giant snail is standing upon the moon. So begins an adventure with his new, tentative friend the snail who is in search of his lost ball. Willoughby helps in the search, as snail is afraid of many things. They search rocks, craters and mountaintops. Eventually, it is Willoughby who must face his own fear (psst it actually is the dark that scares him!) in order to help his friend. A wonderful moon experience with absolutely stunning images. We had to break out the silver crayons to illustrate our responses!

Some responses in need of  sharing:

Hailey: The snail was scared of heights, rocks and craters. The boy was scared of the dark cave.

Jenny: I liked the part when Willoughby did a brave thing for his friend.

Alyson: The boy should encourage the snail that everything is not so scary. The snail encouraged the boy to go in the dark.

Ricky: I’m curious about the moon. I want to go there and when I get back, I’m going to tell all about my adventure. But, I’m not old enough to go. I’ll just visualize it. I wish I could see how big the moon and craters are.

On Earth . . .

On Earth by G. Brian Karas is a wonderful book to introduce how the Earth moves through space, why we have night and day and what causes the seasons.

I was curious about what the students already knew. We examined the front cover which folds open to reveal the image above as well as part of the earth in darkness, surrounded by space.

What do we know? Let’s access our background knowledge! And pose some questions. . .

  • In one place it is day and another it is night (Edwin)
  • The Earth spins around once in 24 hours (Ricky)
  • What happens if the sun and moon come together? Would the moon melt? (Jeremiah)
  • That’s an eclipse! (Josiah)
  • The sun can only shine on half at once (Edwin)
  • At different places on Earth, there can be different times (Jena)
  • Why can’t we feel the spinning? (Scott)
  • Space never ends! (Ricky)
  • Why when you face the sun, you can’t see the planets? (Alyson)

As we read, more thinking and questions happened.

  • How does the Earth spin? (Ricky)
  • If planets were more away from the sun, are years longer? (Alyson)
  • Does the Earth also go around the sun? (Jenny)
  • What happens if the sun got sick? (Scott)
  • If there was no gravity on Earth, we would float out into space (Josiah)

Lots of great learning happened with this book and students were able to use new vocabulary in their writing: axis, orbit, gravity, seasons, equator.

If you Decide to Go to the Moon

We have been reading If you Decide to Go to the Moon, written by Faith McNulty and illustrated by Steven Kellogg. It begins: If you decide to go to the moon in your own rocket ship, read this book before you start.


We are taken on a journey (on a rocket ship 🙂 ) to the moon and back and learn all kinds of cool things about travelling in space and important facts about the moon along the way.

We represented our learning with large space pictures including stars, rockets and the sun.


Facts and questions about the moon were included as fact craters or question craters and glued onto our pictures (inside the moons).

Some key facts we learned today?

  • there is no water on the moon
  • there is no sound on the moon because there is no air to carry sound waves
  • the moon is scorching from the sun’s heat or freezing when out of the sun’s heat
  • the moon has no light
  • the moon is covered in dust
  • craters on the moon are holes made by meteors that have landed on the moon throughout time

art 2

We also learned some pretty neat things about what it is like for astronauts to travel to the moon. Did you know it takes two and a half days to get there (by rocket)? Many people think it would be fun to try and walk on the moon where there is such little gravity. We found it fascinating that astronauts’ footprints stay on the moon forever because there is no wind or rain to wear them away. Most of all though, everyone wanted to look back to Earth from the moon and see what it would look like. Maybe some of us are future astronauts and will get that opportunity . . . .?

A fantastic book as an introduction to the moon and space travel.