How to Make a Model of Jupiter for the Third Grade

Encourage children to study pictures of Jupiter before painting their model.
••• Jupiterimages/ Images

Children are naturally fascinated with outer space. Teach third graders about Jupiter, our solar system’s largest planet, by making a three-dimensional model from papier mache. After teaching the students about the gaseous composition of Jupiter, encourage them to study pictures of the planet for assistance in painting its smoky bands and swirls. Do not forget to wear old clothing and put down a protective cover on the table before beginning to work with papier mache.

    Blow up a large balloon. Do not inflate the balloon to maximum capacity as it may pop in the process of applying the papier mache if stretched too much. Place the balloon in a bowl with the tied end down. This will help keep the balloon still while applying the papier mache.

    Tear newspaper up into small strips about one inch in width and eight inches long.

    Combine about 1/4 cup of white school glue and enough water to make the mixture slightly runny.

    Dip one strip of newspaper into the glue and water mixture. Run the strip between your fingers to remove excess glue. Lay the strip onto the balloon. Cover the entire balloon with strips of newspaper dipped in the glue mixture. Do not worry too much about smoothing out the strips of newspaper once they are on the balloon. This adds texture to the model of Jupiter.

    Let the balloon dry overnight. The papier mache may take longer to dry in humid environments. The balloon will eventually deflate on its own, leaving a hard shell.

    Apply a white base coat of tempera paint to the planet.

    Mix a variety of shades of brown, red and orange paint. Apply the shades in large bands around the planet with a few swirls added. Let some of the white base coat show through to add depth. Paint Jupiter’s large red storm toward the bottom half of the planet with a few swirls of your paint brush.

    Things You'll Need

    • School glue
    • Water
    • Balloons
    • Newspaper
    • Tempera paint
    • Paint brushes
    • Medium bowl

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