Lunar and Planetary Institute

Activity: Share the Story


Children retell the Native American story of “Coyote Makes the Sun”, along with the science story, to reinforce their understanding of how our Sun formed.

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

  • About what was Coyote always complaining?
  • Did the other animals agree with Coyote?
  • What did Coyote propose to do?
  • Who offered to help?
  • What happened next?
  • What was in the cave?
  • What did Coyote do in the cave?
  • What happened next?

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 create songs or dance the stories.



Last updated
January 22, 2007

Ages 5 and up

How Long?
30 minutes or longer

What's Needed?

Poster paper

Connections to the National Science Standard(s)

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 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.