Easy Parts of the Sun Craft

Over the course of our Classical Conversations journey, we’ve memorized over a thousand pieces of information. We’ve filed away verb conjugations, 300+ geographical locations, 161 timeline events, multiplication tables, Latin declensions, historical facts, and many more. Among all this information, there is one catchy song that stands above all the rest. Mary Bryant’s parts of the sun song from Cycle 2. If you are a Classical Conversations family, you know that user marykbry on CC Connected is a God sent angel of Heaven. Seriously, she has something like 250 songs/helps uploaded. I love her.

Anyway, we’ve been singing the parts of the sun song for the past three years and this year, we’ve come full circle to our very first experience with CC. This week, we get to do the parts of the sun again, but since we already have it nailed, I thought a little craft might be fun.

Parts of the Sun Craft: Classical Conversations Cycle 2 Week 8

All you need is some construction paper, glue and a few round things to trace. I looked around my classroom and used the bottom of a cup, a few lids and bottoms of containers.

3 pieces yellow construction paper
2 pieces red construction paper
1 piece orange construction paper
scrap white paper (for the solar flares)

Circles from largest to smallest with my diameter dimensions:
Red & Yellow  7 3/4 inches
Orange 6 1/2 inches
Yellow 5 1/4 inches
Red 2 1/2 inches

Then you’ll need a squiggly yellow circle(ish) that’s larger than the biggest (red/yellow) circles. This will serve as your corona. Finally, you’ll need to cut out a few small spots in orange, and some solar flares in white. Here are all the parts. I used orange and yellow layers glued together for the radiative zone since every diagram of the sun I found had this zone in multiple colors.

Parts of the Sun Craft: Classical Conversations Cycle 2 Week 8Scientists who study the Sun usually divide it up into three main regions: the Sun’s interior, the solar atmosphere, and the visible “surface” of the Sun which lies between the interior and the atmosphere. The nice thing about this craft is that the photosphere layer (with sunspots and solar flares glued to it) covers up the interior parts of the sun. As you can see, the photosphere layer and all the layered interior parts are the same size.

Parts of the Sun Craft: Classical Conversations Cycle 2 Week 8

So, when you stack all the pieces, you get the part we actually see (the “surface” of the sun) on top. The corona is the sun’s transparent atmosphere, but it’s hard to make a craft of something you can’t see, so I made it yellow. Also, remember this craft does not include every single part of the sun as it’s meant to partner with the CC memory work which is “some parts of the sun”.  For more details on the nitty-gritty breakdown of the sun’s atmosphere, check out The Center for Science Education.

Parts of the Sun Craft: Classical Conversations Cycle 2 Week 8
If you are the type of person who has felt or fabric around, this would be fun to make out of those materials too. I (of course) laminated my pieces so they can be used for years to come. Have I mentioned my love affair with my laminator? I’m sure I have. It’s true love. Enjoy making this craft!

Parts of the Sun Craft: Classical Conversations Cycle 2 Week 8

Barn Animals at the Dinner Table

Cup board. *C-U-P-B-O-A-R-D* I will never look at the wall of a kitchen without hearing my father’s voice reciting “cup — board — cup — board”. It was tradition in our home to practice spelling words at the dinner table. As a homeschooling family, once the official word list was exhausted, my dad would select whatever term he felt had the best chance of stumping us. Cupboard was one of his more successful offerings.

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Squirrels, Biomes, Clauses and Consumers

One of the most common questions I get regarding Classical Conversations is “You are just filling their head with rote memorization. They don’t  understand half of it. What good is that? All that stuff doesn’t even mean anything to them.”. While it is quite true that many of the facts we memorize mean virtually nothing to my children (what 5-year-old cares about Newton’s Laws of Motion?), there is a purpose and a path in our style of schooling that begins at the beginning. With young children who, like sponges, absorb every ounce of data around them. We all learn from infancy by rote memorization. How to speak by repeating the basic words our parents babble to us. The alphabet, the Pledge of Allegiance, The Lord’s Prayer. Kids can sing every song in their favorite movie. Recite entire books that are frequent bedtime stories. All these things are retained and recalled because of rote memorization. I’d like to share a little from Leigh Bortins book “The Core“, and then a story of my own to demonstrate these principles in action. Continue reading