required: paper, markers or colored pencils or crayons, maybe watercolor
paints, pictures of northern lights (can be obtained off the internet very
nicely!), and a magnet and something it will attract.
time is about 10 minutes.
activity is appropriate for all ages, although the younger kids may not
get the magnetic field conneciton.
least a half hour is needed for this activity, and it can take an entire
To begin, discuss the earth's magnetic field, in simple terms, and show
the magnet and how it attracts say a paper clip. Then discuss how the air
is made of gas, and that gas makes colors near the poles because of the
magnetic attraction. (You can find really great info. on auroras including
the specific colors that different gases make by doing a quick search in
yahoo!.) Then, show some pictures.
Next, tell the kids they are going to make their own northern lights! Pass
out paper and coloring things and help them be creative!