Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales
painting by Katie Bergenholtz

Gallileo and the Moons of Jupiter

We stepped back about 400 years and imagined we were with Galileo as he made discoveries through his telescope. We looked at pictures of Jupiter on nine consecutive nights and noticed four star-like points of light on either side of the planet. We were able to see, as Galileo did, that these points of light change their positions in respect to Jupiter. These are not stars, but moons! I gave them the names of these four moons.We looked at their patterns of movement and James told us the order of the moons from closest to farthest from Jupiter. Using Sweethearts, which was the closest things at hand at the moment, we demonstrated these positions from above. We would move the Sweethearts so that if you looked at them at table level would look the same as the charts, but then you could also see them from above. By doing this, we could see that they were indeed revolving around the middle or Jupiter. Then, looking at a photograph of Jupiter, we could see its Great Red Spot. We talked about how it is like a hurricane or tornado that has raged for 100's of years or more. With that in mind, we got out James' tornado tube and had lots of fun.
Then we took a grand tour of the four largest of Jupiter's moons. While I read to them about them, they watercolored pictures of them. You could make them just by drawing circles and coloring them from pictures of the moons of Jupiter. 
We also bought a Gallileoscope, which is a replica of the same telescope Gallileo used.
It was a kit, so Steven had to put it together.

In the process, the boys learned about how the lenses work in a telescope.

We set it up to see what we can find.

We also experimented with our Galileo's thermometer, which works on the principals of density, which weaved well with our density studies in our Ocean Currents study.


  1. I've always thought astronomy was rather cool. I remember learning in high school you could see Venus with the naked eye and thinking it was the coolest thing in the world. And then learning you could see the moons with a normal binoculars. Way too cool.

  2. Is Household Ways your blog? I almost freaked out thinking they were scraping all of your good recipes - I was showing hubby the horror of them stealing your cherry heart pies . . . . Then I saw on your side bar that it was your blog. I will calm down. Hubby will hand me chocolate. . . .Maybe dip chocolate in my coffee. . . . .

  3. Yes, Angie, that is my blog, too. Thank you for being so concern, tho. Any excuse for chocolate is okay by me, however! :)


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It means so much.