Lunar and Planetary Institute


Share the Story


Children retell the story of “Coyote and the Dancing Stars”, and the science story, to reinforce their understanding of what meteorites are, what they are not, and where they come from.

The Activity

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

  • What did Coyote want to do with the stars?
  • Why did the stars not want him to dance?
  • What did Little Star agree to do with Coyote?
  • What happened after Coyote danced for a long time?
  • Why could Little Star not let Coyote go back to Earth?
  • What did Coyote do?
  • What happened to Coyote?
  • According to the story, what makes the streaking light of meteors?
  • What are the coyotes asking for today when they howl?

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 wish to have the children reenact the story as a play, taking turns as the narrator. They can also create songs or dance to the stories.

More Activities


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 Education Standard(s)

Standards A & D (grades K–4): Communicate understanding, through writing or illustration, that objects in the sky have movements that can be observed and described.

Standards A & D (grades 5–8): Communicate an understanding, through writing or illustration, that the solar system includes objects such as asteroids and comets.