Reply To: Module 3 – Stars, Space and Aliens

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Rory Healy

Learning Objectives:
1) Read stories of the constellations and associate the stories with the seasons by viewing the constellations through a constellation viewer.
2) Learn about the stories behind constellations and their connections to seasons.
• Constellations
• Cards
• Constellations viewer
• Seasons
• Stories
• Constellation stories (Appendix – Universe in a Box)
• Constellation viewer (Box)
• Constellation cards (Box)

Background Science:
The images we see in groups of stars have arisen from human imagination for thousands of years. The same is true for the names that we have assigned to individual stars. They reflect the history of past cultures.

Full description
Even during the day, you can practise recognising the constellations. The constellation viewer (see Universe in a Box resource section) is very useful for this purpose. A set of constellation cards can simply be put into the viewer. These cards have holes at the positions of the stars, with the diameter of the holes corresponding to the respective star’s brightness.
• First, let the children familiarise with the stories about the constellations (see Appendix). They can either read them themselves, or you can read the stories to them.
• Ask the children to assign the constellation cards to the corresponding stories: the Andromeda saga, the story about the Greater Bear, the hunter Orion, etc.
• Every story contains constellations typical of a season: by partitioning the cards into stories, the children also partition them into the corresponding seasons!
Tip: A child puts a card into the constellation viewer. Another child is asked, without having seen the motive of the card, to identify the constellation. Thus, the children jointly practice recognising a constellation in the darkness.

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