My six-year-old daughter is fascinated by all things space-oriented, when I asked her a year ago what she’d most like to learn about her answer was the stars, the planets, the moon, you get the idea. I’ve found the Rock ‘N Learn’s Solar System CD and booklet set to be an invaluable supplement to our formal study of astronomy.
Revised in 2006, Solar System takes young learners on a 30-minute, up-to-date musical tour of the solar system. Using a variety of musical moods, and information packed rhyming lyrics, this audio journey teaches painlessly as it entertains and empowers children to commit a number of interplanetary facts to memory through song.
Starting with an overview of the heavenly bodies of the solar system, “Journey Through Our Solar System” introduces the planets and the concept of the sun as the central point around which the eight planets orbit. The sun and each of the eight planets are introduced in order with an individual song for each. A variety of topics are touched upon in each song including: planet composition, size, moons, distances, position from the sun, major discoveries, and other interesting facts. My daughter loves learning facts about the planets through music. She often exclaims, “Mommy did you know…?” after a session of CD listening.
The tunes are catchy and interesting enough that my daughter actually asks to listen to the CD, and we’ve both found ourselves humming and signing snatches of the lyrics throughout the day. Of course, the music does sound pretty synthesized, but the vocals are solid and the production quality is high. Some Rock ‘N Learn CDs rely heavily on rap-like chants to memorize facts, but Solar System includes topically appropriate musical moods related to each area of study and authentically sing-able melodies.
The accompanying 25 page, full colour booklet includes the full lyrics of every song along with additional educational tidbits, and photographs of the object of each song. My daughter loves having real photographs of the planets to look at as she listens to each song. This resource is recommended for children ages 8 and over – perhaps due to reading readiness – but if your child is interested in the planets, dig in! You can always read those fact boxes to your child. Educators are permitted to make copies of the lyrics for use with their students and some recommended teaching activities are also included.
I really appreciate Rock N’ Learns efforts to keep this title grounded in reality. They are clear to point out in the lyrics that Earth is the only planet on which life has been found, and state that no one really knows how old the earth is. Other areas are carefully left open to future discoveries such as statements that there may be additional moons that we’ve yet to find orbiting certain planets. This wonderful approach is truly scientific and embraces only what can be known based on current research.
Lately my daughter has been listening to Solar System as she dresses and grooms in the morning, dances to the music in the kitchen while I make lunch, and other times of day. This is truly an easy to use supplementary resource that turns what are normally educational down-times into fun and painless learning sessions.
1. Journey Through Our Solar System
2. A Yellow Star (The Sun)
4. The Way It Is on Venus
5. Planet Earth
6. Mars Is the Place
7. King Jupiter
8. Ring Around the Planet Saturn
9. Planet Number Seven, Uranus
10. Neptune Tune
An audio sample as well as sample pages from the booklet can be found at the Rock ‘N Learn website.