Monday, April 13, 2015

Sun Mobile inspired by Gail Gibbons

We're really excited to be participating in the Booking Across the USA Project. Bloggers from across the USA all chose a different state and one author from that state to read and be inspired by. Today we're all sharing our posts

We chose our home state, Vermont. Despite living here almost all my life, and teaching here for almost ten years, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Gail Gibbons is a Vermont author! I'm a huge fan of Gail Gibbons and own several of her books both at home and in my classroom. I love how she makes nonfiction books and information approachable for kids of many age levels. Since first becoming an author Gail Gibbons has written over 100 books for kids, almost all nonfiction. You can learn more about Gail Gibbons by visiting her website.

In the past we've done some fun activities based on the books From Seed to Plant and Tornadoes! A few of our favorite books at this time of year include From Seed to PlantRecycle!: A Handbook for Kids, and The Reasons for Seasons.

For this post we decided to read Sun Up, Sun Down and create a sun mobile. This book made learning about the sun very approachable to Big Brother, who is at a preschool age level, but older kids could also get a lot of information from reading this book too and have even more detailed information to add to their mobile. 
Materials: paper plate, orange and yellow card stock, orange or yellow ribbon, permanent marker or pen, and yellow paint. Tools needed: paper hole punch, scissors, paint brushes.

Prep Work: Cut the paper plate into a sun shape. (I cut the ones we made, but an older kiddo could cut their own.) 

Also cut out 6 card stock circles per each mobile being made. (I traced a paper cup to get our circles to be the right size.) 

Read the book. 

After reading: First have kiddos paint their paper plate yellow. (In our house Little Brother made one too, although I didn't think he would take it all the way to a completed mobile.) 

As the kiddos paint interview them about what they remember from the book. Write each fact they remember onto one of the circles using the marker or pen. 

For our project Big Brother's six facts were:
1) The Sun can hurt your eyes if you look right at it. 
2) The sunlight helps make rainbows. 
3) The Sun rises in the East. 
4) The Earth is 93 million miles away from the Sun.
5) The Sun helps plants grow.
6) The Earth goes around the Sun and spins to make day and night. 

I let Big Brother come up with his own information as I was curious what he would remember. In the end he easily came up with six as there was so much information in the book. 

After the paint dries, assemble the mobile. 
I used the hole punch to make six small holes around the inner circle of each sun. I also used the hole punch to make a small hole at the top of each information circle. 

Cut 9 pieces of ribbon, each about the same length. Use six of the pieces to attach to the circles and then thread the other end through the hole in the sun plate. Tie knots at both ends.

Use the remaining three pieces of ribbon to create a hanger for the mobile. Thread the three pieces through three of the holes already punched in the plate, but going the opposite direction of the ribbon pieces with the circles attached. Tie the knots at the end near the plate, and tie the three pieces together at the opposite end. 

This should create a fully hangable mobile with six information circles hanging below. 

I loved seeing what information Big Brother gained from the book, and how we could combine what he learned into a pretty display. As always, I learned something from a Gail Gibbons book too! She really is great to read across all age levels. 

Don't forget to visit the other blogs posting today. You can find lists of the posts all week At Growing Book by Book or you can find their posts on their pages. 

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  1. What a fun and bright mobile. Thank you for featuring Gail Gibbons. She is an amazing author of non-fiction. Thank you too for being part of Booking Across the USA.