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“My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles”- What does this expression have to do with 4th grade Science?

  • 4th Grade Science:

    Mnemonic Device

“My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles?” What does this expression have to do with 4th grade Science? It’s a mnemonic device the 4th graders used to remember the order of the planets as they journeyed through their Space and Space Exploration unit.  Each initial letter of the mnemonic device corresponds to the order of the planets, starting from the inner planets, which are closer to the Sun, and continuing to the outer planets.

Throughout their Space unit, students experienced in-depth learning and hands on-activities. They explored the eight planets, the phases of the moon, the Earth’s rotation and revolution, eclipses, constellations, space exploration, and everything that exists in the “outside world”.

As a culminating activity to the first part of our study of Space, and as a segue into our field trip to Kennedy Space Center, the students worked on four different projects in a station rotation model. Each of the four stations focused on a different topic they covered in their Space and Space Exploration unit. Students recreated the phases of the moon using Oreo cookies, they designed and named the constellations using marshmallows and toothpicks, they made a constellation keychain using cardboard discs, and they created a 3-D model of the Solar System by painting styrofoam balls to represent the planets.

Traveling to all the stations was a meaningful way of reinforcing what the students learned. They were able to visualize and work with hands-on materials to recreate specific content they read about. Learning about Space opens doors to wonder, imagination, and curiosity. The hope is to transmit to them the importance of following their dreams and reaching beyond the stars. The world thought we would never make it to the moon, and we did. American Astronaut, Neil Armstrong once said, “That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”  There is so much more to learn about “that outside world”. We know that for our students this sparks their curiosity and begins their exploration.


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