Our new school year is now underway and this year we’re so excited to study the Northern Lights. We homeschool and live off the grid in Canada’s subarctic, so my kids have grown up under the Northern Lights (aka the Aurora Borealis), which we see from the end of August through April. And when our latest Think Outside Box arrived and it was full of gear to study the night skies, it seemed like a perfect time to learn more.
I knew I wanted to include a unit on this amazing phenomenon in our homeschooling schedule, yet I had a hard time finding free resources that would work with my Grade 1 and Grade 4 students.
So I spent some time researching and put together this big list of 25 Free Online Resources for Studying the Northern Lights. It includes free colouring sheets, unit studies, art activities, science experiments and more. You’ll find a link to it down at the bottom of this post.
In the meantime, here are five ways to include the Northern Lights into your regular homeschool subjects.
One of Canada’s best-loved poets, Robert Service, wrote about the Northern Lights in his famous poem The Cremation of Sam McGee. Include it in a poetry unit with older children (ages about 10+).
A hallmark of the Aurora Borealis is how the various shades of white, green, and purple weave across the night sky, blending together and then separating. Use chalk, watercolour and even oil pastels with your kids to create their own unique artwork.
Are you planning to study astronomy in your homeschool this year? What about electricity – or even magnets? Any of these topics can include a discussion of what causes the Aurora Borealis.
A unit on the Northern Lights can fit into your elementary and middle-school lessons whether you’re studying the Vikings, the First Nations or Native peoples, or even early explorers. Learn about what early people thought of these “snakes in the sky”, and their part in Norse, Russian, Asian and North American mythology.
Studying Scandinavia, the Arctic, Canada, Alaska, Russia, or Greenland this year? The Northern Lights are important tourist attractions for many of these countries and regions.
We are so blessed to live in an area where the Northern Lights regularly light up our night skies!
Head over to An Off Grid Life to grab your copy of 25 Free Northern Lights Resources for Kids right now!