Education and
Public Engagement
at the Lunar and Planetary Institute
Sky Tellers - The Myths, the Magic, and the Mysteries of the Universe

Activity: "Drawing Conclusions:" How Constellations Got Their Names

Who?
Ages 5 and up

How Long?
30 minutes or longer

What's Needed?

Illustrate!

Children illustrate why we have constellation as told through the Native American story, “Why Coyote Howls: A Star Story” and the accompanying science story. Illustration detail will depend on the age of the children.

Constellation is an ancient word that comes from the Latin language.

The Activity

Ask the children to think about the stories they just heard.

Invite them to illustrate the story of why we have constellations — or one aspect of the story. Older children can work individually or in groups to illustrate the science story. Illustration detail will depend on the age of the children.

Extensions

Invite the children to create and illustrate their "own" story of why we have constellations, or draw their own constellation.

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 or make constellations.

Connections to the National Science Standard(s)

Standard B & D (grades K–4): Understand and communicate that the positions of objects in the sky, such as stars, can be described by locating them relative to another object or the background.