Lunar and Planetary Institute


Activity: Share the Story


Children retell the Native American story “Why Coyote Howls”, along with the science story, to reinforce their understanding of how star pictures came to be.

The Activity

Invite the children to retell the Native American and science stories. Help them begin the Native American story, and prompt them through the discussion. Help them remember incidents that are left out or are out of order.

  • What was the night sky like in the beginning?
  • What did the animals ask of the Creator?
  • What did the Creator offer to the animals?
  • What did the animals do?
  • What was asked of Coyote?
  • What did Coyote do?
  • What happened to Coyote?
  • Why do coyotes howl at the night sky?

You may wish to keep a list of events as the children build the story. Follow the Native American narrative with a discussion of the science story in the same way. Have the children connect the events in the Native American story to the events in the science story where they can.


You may want to have the children reenact the story as a play, taking turns as the narrator. They can create songs or dance to the stories. Invite them to illustrate the stories using craft materials (see the "Drawing Conclusions” activity).

Last updated
January 9, 2007


Ages 5 and up

How Long?
30 minutes or longer

What's Needed?

• Poster paper
• Markers

Connections to the
National Science Standard(s)

Standards B&D (grades K–4): Understand and communicate that the positions of objects in the sky, such as stars, can be described by locating them relative to another object or the background.