Thursday, August 17, 2006

Studying Astronomy? Get out the Lite Brite!

God gave me another fantastic idea yesterday morning!  While I was trying to convince myself to get out of bed, I was thinking about our upcoming yard sale.  I'm trying to get through all of our storage spaces, closets, and shelves to purge what we don't use.  As I was laying in bed, I thought about getting upstairs to the book room and going through the games.  We love games, but there are a few that we don't play anymore.  My mind rested on our Lite Brite.  Friends of ours gave this to the boys several years ago.  Although we haven't played with it in over a year, I truly didn't want to get rid of it.  And that's when I got this brilliant idea...use the Lite Brite for our astronomy studies.


For those of you that aren't familiar with it, a Lite Brite is a toy that you plug into the wall.  A small bulb shines behind a black panel that has many holes in it.  You place a sheet of paper (usually black) over the holes and then you press colored pages through which the light shines to make an illuminated picture.  Here is a link to a picture of a newer version of this toy:


Now, on to my idea:  we could recreate constellations on our Lite Brite!  A few nights ago, we got home after dark and took a few minutes to look at the stars.  While looking we each picked out our own constellation.  We each saw a picture in the sky that was original.  Yesterday we got out the Light Bright, put a piece of black construction paper into the machine and pressed the pegs in the shape of our constellations.  It was beautiful to see our constellations brightly lit on this little contraption sitting on the kitchen table.


After each of us made our constellation on our own sheet of paper, we took the paper, with the holes pressed into it, and drew our constellation around the holes.  This way the casual viewer could see the image we see when viewing our constellation.  We labelled our pictures and placed them into our slowly growing astronomy notebooks.


As we study actual constellations, I have visions of re-creating them on the Lite Brite, adding many pages to our notebooks.  This is a great hands on way to solidify what the boys are learning!  I'm so grateful God gave me this idea.


So what are you waiting for?  Go get out your Lite Brite and make a constellation!


And don't forget to use the gadgets on your ride.

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