Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Astronomy: awakening our wonder

Last year we began working our way through the Memoria Press nature study series.  We had spent a lot of time on mammals already, so we jumped into insects last year. We chose to dive into astronomy this year, because we are studying the middle ages, and historically they correlate well.

I love the Memoria Press guides, they provide a great backbone of factual scientific knowledge to learn. But I also want to awaken a sense of wonder in the kids, so I always look for other resources to pull in to do that.  In researching resources for astronomy, I found a book from long ago called Storyland of the Stars, free for download.

We began reading it this week, and today, we read about the "music of the spheres," a theory by Pythagoras that was correct, but that he could not prove.  (Not coincidentally, we began reading "The Music of the Hemispheres" by Michael Clay Thompson to learn about sounds in words and poetry this week too!)

As we read how he thought the stars and planets actually made sounds in the universe, it reminded me of a video I had seen of Louie Giglio years ago.  So I googled it and pulled it up.  We spent twenty minutes listening to the actual sounds planets make, stars make, and Louie's mashup of stars and whales singing together! Here's the links:

Louie's mashup
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zWKm-LZWm4

The Music of the Spheres: sounds of the planets:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obgeTFvdVqI

Talk about awakening wonder!  All the kids now want to go to outer space and to listen to the stars all day.  This was a great way to start off our study: by realizing that all the stars we will learn about this year actually make noises of praise to their Creator, he set them in place, and enjoys their worship twenty-four-seven.


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