Lunar and Planetary Institute

Day and Night

Activity: Share the Story

Children retell the story of Ant and Bear dancing for day and night to reinforce their understanding of why Earth has day and night cycles.

The Activity
Invite the children to retell the Native American story. Help them begin the story and prompt them through the discussion. Help them recall incidents that are left out or are out of order.

  • What was Earth like in the beginning times?
  • What troubles did the animals have?
  • What did the Maker offer them?
  • What did the animals argue about?
  • What did Ant propose?
  • What did Bear want?
  • What did they decide to do?
  • What happened next?

You may wish to keep a list of events on poster paper as the children build the story. Follow the Native American narrative with a discussion of the science story in the same way.

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

More Activities

Ages 5 and up

How Long?

What's Needed?

• Poster paper
• Markers

Connections to the National Science Standard(s)

Standards A&D (grades K–4):Understand and communicate the explanation (this communication might be spoken or written) of the apparent daily pattern of movement of the Sun.

Standards A&D (grades 5–8): Understand and communicate the scientific explanation of how objects in the solar system have regular and predictable motion, such as the apparent daily motion of the Sun in the day/night cycle.