Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by HeatherY, Apr 28, 2010.
Apr 28, 2010
Any good ideas to teach constellations? 3rd grade.
I have some small printouts of different constellations that I use with black or navy construction paper. They fold the constrction paper into a 5 sided cube. This becomes viewer when you look into the box. On the bottom of the box, using the constellation printout as a pattern, they poke holes with a pushpins where the stars are. When you hold the box toward the light and look through, you see the constellation.
They also write about the constellation andfinally, they create their own constellation and write a descrition and the meaning of their constellation.
star stickers, black construction paper, stick glue and constellation patterns. I usually instruct kids to do their birthday so it internalize Use stick glue over the stickers. The little buggers like to come off.
Here's a cool YouTube from They Might Be Giants, called See the Constellation
I did marshmallow and black construction paper. They had to either re create an already existing constellation or they had to create and name their own. Then they could eat their extra marshmallows.
This involves some prep, but if you make little stands with a dowel sticking up and get some foam balls to serve as stars, you can lay out constellations the way they really are in space. That is, by looking through a tube mounted on one dowel, to keep the eye-point fixed, you can arrange the other stands and foam balls to form a constellation, as seen from earth, but use the measurements of the stars actual distance from earth to place them in the proper relationship 3 dimensionally. For most 3rd graders it's quite a revelation to see how little relationship the stars in a constellation actually have to each other in space. Depending on their math skills, you can do some precalcualtion of distances, or you can let them figure out some conversion factor for themselves- 1" = .5 light year, for instance.