Connect the Stars

Connect the Stars lesson plan

Research the stories behind the constellations in the night sky and then connect the stars to see them for yourself!

  • 1.

    Constellations are groups of stars in the sky that form pictures. Many of these pictures are based on mythology of ancient cultures. Ask students what constellations they know. Can they find any constellations in the night sky?

  • 2.

    There are 88 officially recognized constellations. Research these with your class to find examples. What stories are associated with the constellations you find? What stars form each constellation? Share your results with the class.

  • 3.

    Now see if students can recognize the stars that form each constellation. Project a large image of the night sky onto the class whiteboard. Using Crayola Dry-Erase Markers or Dry-Erase Crayons, connect the stars to form a constellation! Ask students if they can find the North Star and the Little Dipper.

  • 4.

    Students take turns finding constellations. Can they find all 88 constellations?

Standards

  • LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • MATH: Represent and interpret data.
  • MATH: Classify two-dimensional figures into categories based on their properties.
  • SCI: Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky.
  • SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.
  • VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.
  • VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

Adaptations

  • Possible classroom resources include: A Child's Introduction to the Night Sky: The Story of the Stars, Planets, and Constellations--and How You Can Find Them in the Sky by Michael Driscoll; The Everything Kids' Astronomy Book: Blast into outer space with stellar facts, intergalactic trivia, and out-of-this-world puzzles (Everything Kids Series) by Kathi Wagner & Sheryl Racine
  • Students investigate a well-known myth What constellation is referenced in the story? How does the constellation connect with the story? Encourage students to write an original story about a constellation. What does your myth explain about the world? Are there any gods referenced in your story? If so, who? What is his or her position in mythology?
  • Encourage students to create their own constellation. Identify a group of stars that form a picture or symbol. Use Crayola Gel Markers and a sheet of black construction paper to illustrate your constellation in the night sky. Write a short story to accompany your constellation and explain its significance.