Project Part One
Obtain a large piece of butcher paper, or blank paper / poster large enough to cover a generous amount of wall space. Feel free to tape or staple multiple pieces of butcher paper together. The solar system mural will be created on this and hung on the blank space on the wall, so the bigger the better.
Students can work together to paint this entire background a shade of dark blue.
Take additional butcher paper and let the students paint portions of it with colors that represent different planets and the sun. For example:
Sun: Mostly bright yellow with some light orange swirls. Add sun spots.
Mercury: Red on one side, black on the other.
Venus: Perhaps a light greenish-yellow, or very light brown.
Earth: Blue and green with white poles.
Jupiter: Swirls of browns and reds.
Saturn: Pinks and light blues or beiges. Remember she has rings.
Uranus: Light blue.
Neptune: The same or very slightly darker than Uranus.
Project Part Two
Sponges make great home-made stamps. Either the teacher or the students (depending upon the students' ages) cut the sponges so that there is a star shape on one side. An alternative to this is for the teacher to purchase star stamps of various sizes.
Choose either gold, silver, or white paint.
At least a day after being painted, the blue mural should be dry. When the blue mural is dry,pour a little of the paint onto paper plates. The students can stamp a star scene onto the blue mural. Let the stars dry before completing the project.
Project Part Three
Now take the papers painted with sun and planet colors. The sun and each planet need to be cut out of this paper. Care must be taken to represent the different sizes, for example, the sun is the largest orb of the ten. Pluto is the smallest. Jupiter is the biggest planet, but is not as large as the sun. And don’t forget Saturn’s rings!
The sun and each planet are now glued onto the mural, representing the placement and order of the planets around our sun. Students may also label the sun and each planet.
This mural makes an incredibly beautiful wall decoration during a solar system classroom theme, is educational, and is something that students can be proud of completing. This project also rolls science and art into one.
This post is part of the series: Solar System Lessons in Elementary Education
Hands on, artistic techniques to teach students all about the solar system.