Lunar and Planetary Institute

Activity: Drawing Conclusions: How the Stars Came to Be


Children illustrate how we got stars as told through the Native American story of “How We Got Stars.” Illustration detail will depend on the age of the children.

The Activity
Ask the children to think about the story they just heard.

  • What happened in the story?
  • What does it explain about things we may see in our night sky?

Invite the children to illustrate the story of how we got stars in the night sky — or one aspect of the story.

Have older children work individually or in groups to illustrate the science story.


Invite the children to create and illustrate their "own" story of where the stars came from.

Expand the types of materials available to include paint, tissue paper, glue, scissors, etc., so the children can make mosaics, mobiles, or sculptures to illustrate the stories.



Last updated
January 22, 2007

Ages 5 and up

How Long?
30 minutes or longer

What's Needed?

• Crayons, colored pencils, or markers
• Paper or poster board

Standard D (grades K–4): The sun and stars have properties, locations, and movements that can be observed and described.   The sun provides the light and heat necessary to maintain the temperature of the earth.

Standard B (grades 5–8): The Sun is a major source of energy and that it transfers energy through light emission.

Standard E (grades 5–8):Communicate ideas with illustrations..

Standard D (grades 9-12) The sun, the earth, and the rest of the solar system formed from a nebular cloud of dust and gas.

Early in the history of the universe, matter, primarily the light atoms hydrogen and helium, clumped together by gravitational attraction to form countless trillions of stars. Billions of galaxies, each of which is a gravitationally bound cluster of billions of stars, now form most of the visible mass in the universe.

Stars produce energy from nuclear reactions, primarily the fusion of hydrogen to form helium. These and other processes in stars have led to the formation of all the other elements.