By using these
activities, K-4 students will have the concrete experiences of observing,
organizing, comparing, and describing the movement of objects that they
observe in the sky. Students will also learn how early cultures viewed
objects in the sky and created stories to explain the objects they observed.
Then, students will create their own stories to explain their own observations.
Science Education Standards
observe the position of an object
in the sky by describing its location relative to another object or the
describe an object's motion by
tracing and measuring its position over time.
describe locations and movements
that can be observed.
describe patterns of movement.
listen to myths based on early
peoples' observations of the sky.
create their own myths based
on their own observations of the sky.
Mathematics Education Standards
Observing, Communicating, Comparing and Organizing
and share their observations of the daytime sky.
and share their observations of the nighttime sky.
Relating and Communicating
contrast their observations of the daytime and nighttime skies.
Become acquainted with myths
about the sun, the moon, and the stars.
with "wandering stars": the planets and the myths about them.
observations with the myths from early cultures.
own planet myths based on their observations.
the lesson by asking what students have seen in the sky and what they know
about objects in the sky. Use the KWL
chart provided for this purpose.
2. Take the
students outside and instruct them to use the Sky
Paths Daytime Observation Chart to draw pictures or write down what
they see in the sky. Ask them to watch to see if these things move.
Have students share their observations.
discuss with students what they see in the night sky and if those things
move. Have them take the Sky
Paths Nighttime Observation Chart home to create the same type of night
the day sky observations and the night sky observations. Use the
students' observations to fill in a compare
and contrast chart for what is seen in the daylight and at night.
Use the Venn diagram for students to look for patterns
students with myths and legends of the sun, the moon, and the stars.
may want to create their own myths.
3-4 Process Skills:
the lesson by discussing with the students that people everywhere, and
in all cultures, have been observing the night sky for all of human history.
that most of the stars move across the sky at a constant pace, without
changing their positions relative to one another. However, planets
change their position relative to the background stars. Many cultures
have developed stories
about these "wandering stars" that move in an unusual fashion against the
constellations. Ancient people used their eyes to study these wandering
stars; we have the Hubble Space Telescope.
3. At this
point choose one of these stories to read to your students. Read selected
myths and legends to the students about these "wandering" stars.
4. By questioning
and discussing, help students understand that these legends helped us to
relate our early perspectives and the tools we have developed in order
to "see" the sky. Ask questions such as:
5. Use the
and Contrast Chart to find out what remained the same from one culture
to the next and what changed as we learned more through our observations
about the sky. By questioning and discussing, help students to understand
that these comparisons relate to our early perspectives and the tools we
have developed to "see" the sky.
In the legends, what objects
moved in the sky? Why?
Was there a specific direction?
Was there a specific pattern
to their movement? Seasons, months, day and night, etc.
the students write and illustrate their own legends about these "wandering"
stars based on what they have learned about the planets' movements in the
night sky. Encourage students to share their stories aloud with the class.
have students draw a simple picture of an orbit on paper . Using these
illustrations of their understanding of orbits, begin a unit long KWL
chart to start a guided discussion. Some sample questions are:
What do we KNOW/ WANT TO KNOW
the movement of objects in the
the direction those objects move?
the stories early people wrote
to explain objects that move in the sky?
how the stories changed as time
went on? Why did they change?
how scientists see objects in
how tools have helped them learn
more about how objects move in the sky?
1. Have students complete
the KWL chart from the beginning of the lesson by filling in the "What
We Learned" section (sample below).
WHAT DID WE LEARN? (Sample)
What objects move in the daytime?
In the nighttime? Both day and night?
What direction do they move?
What kind of stories did early
people write to explain objects that move in the sky?
Did the stories change as time
went on? If so, how did they change, and why do you think they changed?
Today how do scientists see objects
in the sky?
How has advancements in technology
helped scientists learn more about how objects move in the sky?
What is the difference between
a circle and an ellipse?
What were the understandings
that students had when they completed the "What We Know" section of the
How did their perspectives change?
Do they think they will change again? Why or why not?