Sunday, January 5, 2014

Astronomy for Kids - Week 1 - Star Map

Week 1: We made star wheels to help us locate constellations.

Did you know that the light from some of the stars we see is millions of years old and the stars don't even exist any more? At the beginning of our astronomy study we learned about brightness ratings of stars, right ascension and declination - the latitude and longitude of the sky, speed of light, and how to use our star wheels.

A star wheel is a map of the sky which can be rotated to match the season and time of night. You can print and assemble Uncle Al's Sky Wheels using paper, file folders, glue and a push pin.

First they glued the circle onto a file folder and cut it out.

Next they glued the second paper to the outside of another file folder as shown in the photo below.
The paper was placed high on the outside of the file folder such that the fold was below the paper. (The fold ran along the bottom of the picture.) The inside circle was cut from the pasted paper. Then the outside of the paper/file folder was cut leaving the fold of the file folder in tact.

Then the wheel was attached with a brad to the inside of the back of the file folder. The wheel was placed such that the two circles had the same center point which was the North Star or Polaris on the map.

These sky wheels are awesome. With a sky wheel and a red light the kids located over fifteen constellations in two weeks. I highly recommend this activity.


Little Bear, You're a Star!: A Greek Myth About the Constellations is a cute picture book for young children to go along with this lesson. It tells the story of how Ursa Major and Ursa Minor became constellations.

Flight of the Last Dragon tells the story of how a dragon who lived underground found his way into the sky. After reading this story the kids love to find the Draco constellation each starry night.



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8 comments:

  1. Thank you for linking up this week at Classroom Freebie's Manic Monday'! I always look forward to reading your blog.
    ~Fern
    Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas!
    Fern Smith's Pinterest Boards!

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  2. This is just fascinating! I'm going to get GG to read it herself - that first fact is astonishing!

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  3. How interesting, might have a go at this! #CountryKids
    www.myfamilyfever.co.uk

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  4. What fascinating facts and I'm sure the children found it both fun and educational. Thanks for linking up and sharing your activity and information with Country Kids.

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  5. This is so interesting, my boys would love it! #CountryKids

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  6. that looks like a really neat way to teach about the stars

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  7. Wow! How great! Thanks for sharing at After School!

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  8. This is brilliant! Thank you for sharing. Sam

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