Astronomy for Kids - Week 3 - Life Cycle of a Star

Week 3: We made our own telescopes.

Stars come in many shapes, sizes, types and colors. The Betelgeuse star in the constellation Orion's shoulder is a Red Giant. Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky is actually two stars. They are part of the Canis Major constellation and white dwarf stars. Nebula, Average Star, Red Giant, Red Super Giant, White Dwarf, and Black Hole describe even more types of stars. This three minute video is an excellent summary.

Nuclear fusion is the process that produces elements. Stars actually form the elements of which other space objects are made. This video explains more of nuclear fusion.

Make Your Own Telescope
After learning about stars, we made simple telescopes to view them.

card stock paper
magnifying glasses

First one magnifying glass was taped onto the end of a card stock sheet of paper and the paper was taped into a circle.

The same thing was done with the second sheet of paper and magnifying glass while making sure one tube was slightly smaller than the other.

One tube was inserted into the other leaving the magnifying glasses on the outside.

The telescope tubes are slid in and out until the object of interest comes into focus. Due to the type of lenses we used, objects viewed through the telescope were upside down. Unfortunately the kids found them difficult to use and preferred to use their eyes. In the future we may need to invest in a store-bought telescope or just try out the binoculars.

Starry Tales by Geraldine McCaughrean contains myths and legends about the stars from many nations and is a fun book to read in conjunction with an astronomy lesson. The older kids enjoyed the Greek story about Orion the Hunter, his dog Sirius and Taurus the Bull.

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  1. You could try using two lenses. That rights the image. What a great lesson!

  2. Another fantastic, inspiring lesson #CountryKids

  3. What fascinating facts and made fun with the hands on approach, we have many opportunities in Cornwall for some wonderful star gazing/spotting. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

  4. What a wonderful lesson! Even if the telescope did not turn out exactly as you wanted, it was still a fun hands-on activity.

  5. What a great idea to make your own telescope. My daughter's favourite topic is space so we might have to give this a go! #countrykids


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