Saturday, September 12, 2009

Montessori Planet Walk

Hannah's class took a Planet Walk, and I'm pretty sure Mr R got the idea from here. It's a to scale walk of our solar system where 20 inches = one million miles. The walk is 1.2 km which is about .8 miles. Parents were invited, so I jumped at the chance to see Mr R in action. I even opted for the bus ride down to the river with the kids.

"Setting the stage out by the Kuiper belt. K demonstrates that at our scale, he can easily step a million miles."

"Can you just make out our grain of salt? That's poor, forsaken, little dwarf planet, Pluto. Had we wanted to be completists, we would have had to walk more than twice the distance to include the slightly larger Eris, the troublemaking newcomer who started all of the controversy."

"The outer planets are separated by immense distances, averaging 300 meters or more."

I'm the tallest person in a ball cap in this picture, and a miserably hot and thirsty Hannah is next to me.

"A mushroom fit the bill nicely for Saturn (minus the rings)."

"With each stop, we'd group together, pull the appropriate object from the picnic basket, and share what we knew about the planet at hand."

"More walking... more measuring..."

"...and still more..."


"Almost there..."

"A kernel of allspice was just the right size for Earth. Yes, it's a stretch for a picnic supply, except in the sense that it's edible. Sort of..."

"A few more million miles, and we made it to the sun."

"A great day for a picnic... "

"...and some air conditioning for our paper plate suns."

- I borrowed the captions from the class blog