Lauren Hodson | February 2017
Arts Integration: Solar System Chemical Reaction Painting
Solar System Arts Integration is a perfect topic! If you feel like your model lessons are getting a little stale, then give this one a try!
Chemical reaction painting techniques using baking soda and vinegar add fizzy fun to any science classroom. Convert planet measurements and distances, while investigating mathematical tools like compasses. Utilize a science-based painting technique that creates both visual and physical texture while discussing color theory and mixing.
Arts Integration Connections
- Chemical reaction painting techniques
- Color Theory and mixing practice
- Texture: visual and physical
- Order and characteristics of the planets in the Solar System
- Chemical Reactions – Vinegar and Baking Soda
- Make planets to scale using diameter and measurement conversions
- Using Mathematical Tools – Compasses and Rulers
- Thick paper or watercolor paper
- Liquid Watercolor
- Pipettes, medicine or eye droppers
- Baking Soda
- Muffin tin or small bowls for paint
- Pens, Crayons, and Paints for finishing touches on dried paintings
- Permanent markers for names on the back of the planets
- Something to protect tables from materials, tin foil worked for me. Cheap and Easy Clean-up.
- Paper Towels for messes
Solar System Arts Integration Process
- After or during a lesson about the Solar System, begin converting measurements into workable diameters and distances.
- Use a compass, like this one, to create to scale planets on pieces of watercolor paper.
- Cut planets out and label them on the back with permanent marker.
- Students should also include their names on the back.
- Use color theory and mixing skills to create the perfect paint colors with liquid watercolors. Make sure colors are accurate to the planets being painted.
- TIP: Label the paint color with which planet, sun, or moon, it belongs to.
- Mix some vinegar in with the paint.
- Cover 1 planet at a time with baking soda.
- TIP: Remember which planet you are working with so the colors and patterns are accurate.
- Use a dropper to paint on the baking soda covered paper planets
- TIP: This can get messy, so have some paper towels on hand.
- Watch the painting fizz away and observe the chemical reaction taking place.
- Repeat process for every planet, the sun, and moon or moons.
- Place somewhere to dry.
- Once dry, look over the planets and add any details with permanent markers, paints, paint markers, or crayons.
Assembly Ideas For Solar System Arts Integration
These planets can be…
- Placed on a piece of black paper with important information added
- Made into a mobile using proper distance conversions
- Turned into a student-driven sculpture
Extensions and Modifications
- Experiment with students ahead of time. Order of the materials can lead to an investigation using the Scientific Method.
- What happens when you add the baking soda to the paint and then spray vinegar on it?
- What happens when a piece of paper is coated with vinegar and then colored baking soda is painted over it
- Hypothesize, experiment, and observe.
- This chemical reaction and other printing processes can be used for a range of lessons.