Lunar and Planetary Institute

Drawing Conclusions: A Star is Born!

Children illustrate our Sun's formation as told in the Native American story “Coyote Makes the Sun” and the accompanying science story.

The Activity
Invite the children to illustrate how our Sun formed — or one aspect of how it formed — as told in “Coyote Makes the Sun” and the accompanying science story.

Have older children work individually or in groups to illustrate the stages of the Sun's formation according to “Coyote Makes the Sun” and then connect it to events in the science story (for example, the spinning/forming disk of the nebular cloud could connect to Coyote and his friends running with the fire). There is lots of room for imagination and creativity in making the connections between the stories! Each stage can be done in a "panel" format so that, when complete, there are parallel representations of the solar evolutionary process. Illustration detail will depend on the age of the children.

Invite the children to create and illustrate their "own" story of the Sun's formation.

Expand the types of materials available to include paint, tissue paper, glue, scissors, etc., so that 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

Connections to the National Science Standard(s)

Standards A&D (grades K–4):
Through illustration or writing, communicate an understanding that the Sun provides light and heat to the Earth and has properties that can be observed and described.

Standards A&D (grades 5–8):
Communicate an understanding that the Sun is an average star, is the central and largest body in the solar system, and is the major source of energy for phenomena on Earth’s surface.