Star Gazer

Star Gazer lesson plan

Display facts about the stars on a unique telescope replica.

  • 1.

    Students work with a small group of classmates to create a K-W-L chart about stars. Include what you Know, what you Want to Know, and (after doing research), What You Learned. Predict and research distances from Earth to each star, including the sun. Students record their estimates, ideas, and findings on poster board with Crayola® Metallic Crayons or Metallic Colored Pencils.

  • 2.

    Invite students to make a Star Gazer telescope to display their facts about stars. Students measure bands of colorful construction paper to fit around a recycled cardboard tube. Cut bands with Crayola Scissors.

  • 3.

    Use Crayola Metallic Crayons or Metallic Colored Pencils to write facts about stars on each band. Attach bands in alternating colors onto the cardboard tube with a Crayola Washable Glue Stick.

  • 4.

    Cut a thin strip of construction paper. Fold strip in half, then in half again. Open and reverse one fold to arrange strip into a three-dimensional square loop. Glue the ends together. Glue inside one end of the tube. Fold loop out to make the end of the star gazer telescope.

  • 5.

    Students share their new learning with classmates.

Standards

  • LA: Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.
  • LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
  • LA: Summarize a written text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
  • MATH: Graph points on the coordinate plane to solve real-world and mathematical problems.
  • SCI: Obtain and communicate information about the sizes of stars, including the sun, and their distances from Earth to explain their apparent brightness.
  • SCI: Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the roles of science and technology in the design process for developing and refining devices to understand the universe.
  • VA: Select media, techniques, an processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of choices.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.

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 by Kathi Wagner; Zoo in the Sky: A Book of Animal Constellations by Jacqueline Mitton
  • Organize a field trip to a local planetarium. Encourage students to bring their Star Gazer telescopes for the trip. Prior to the trip, students brainstorm what learning they are interested in focusing on during the visit. After the trip, students post learning to a class blog.
  • Students work in small groups to generate a list of facts about stars that they have learned during this lesson. Students cut star shapes, fill each with a fact about stars. These stars can fill the hallway, sharing new learning with schoolmates.
  • Students can collaborate to track the path of stars across the sky for several months. Students sketch major constellations in the night sky once a month from the same location and facing in the same direction. Students compare each month's sketches. Discuss changes they are seeing through their sketches.
  • Add a 4th column to the class K-W-L chart. Entitle the new column "What I Still Want to Know." Individually, students identify what else they would like to know about the universe, constellations, the Earth's place in the solar system, etc. Independently, students research on personal goals for desired knowledge. An electronic presentation of new knowledge can be prepared for sharing new learning with classmates.