A lesson about constellation will capture your students natural curiosity about space. Your students may already be familiar with some of the constellations in the night sky, like the Big Dipper, but may not be familiar with the history of constellations and their connection to mythology, all of which is covered during the lesson. If possible, a visit to a planetarium would be helpful for the students. In addition, an evening class outdoors under the stars would also allow students the opportunity to identify the constellations in the night sky. Interactive links included with the lesson could be distributed to students so they could use the websites at home to identify constellations as part of a homework assignment. The lesson could be used in conjunction with other astronomy-related lessons, or a lesson related to mythology.
Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction:
- Ask: How many stars do you think there are in the night sky?
- Allow for responses. Ask: What is the difference between a star and a constellation?
- Allow for responses and discussion. Ask students if they can name some constellations and their history.
- Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce Constellations.
- Distribute Constellations content pages. Read and review the information with the students. Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
- Distribute Activity pages. Read and review the instructions. Assign two constellations to each student. Allow students access to the Internet or other resources for research. Circulate through the room responding to questions the students may have related to the assignment.
- Once students have completed their research, each student presents the information about each constellation to the class.
- Distribute Practice page. Review the instructions. Check and review the students’ responses.
- Distribute the Homework page. Review the instructions. The next day, check and review the students’ responses, and allow students to share their new, modern constellations, along with its new “myth”.
- In closing, ask: Which of the constellations is your favorite and why?
Common Core State Standards:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.4, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.7, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.3, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.4, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6.4, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6.7
Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions
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