Lunar and Planetary Institute


Activity: Star Gazing

Children and their families explore the night sky to find the Big Dipper, Polaris, and other star groups and constellations.

The Activity

Invite children and their families to go outside and view the sky on a clear night.

  • Can the children find the Ursa Major? The Big Dipper? Ursa Minor? The Little Dipper? Polaris? What about other constellations?

Recommend that they obtain a sky chart for their local area; this will display a view, as observed with the naked eye, of the night sky. Sky and Telescope offers an interactive Sky Chart that can be generated and printed easily using a local zip code.

More Activities

Last updated
June 11, 2007


Ages 5 and up (and their families)

How Long?
30 minutes or longer

What's Needed?

Sky chart
Clear, dark viewing sky
Mosquito repellent

Connections to the National Science Standard(s)

Standards D (grades K–4): Understand that objects in the sky have patterns of movement.

Standard A (grades 5–8): Understand that the objects in our solar system are in regular and predictable motion, as in the apparent movement of the circumpolar stars around Polaris.