Using the Star Map
The night sky has such a beautiful display of stars; it seems such a shame not to be able to identify them. Using our star map, we will be able to see how the sky changes from hour to hour and night to night. With this we learn the names of the patterns of stars, which we call constellations. Using the map, you will be able to identify these constellations in the sky.
Why teach it:
By teaching the use of the map, you are enabling students to become familiar with the night sky, observe the changes, and better understand the relationships between Earth and the stars. Wit the use of star maps, students can find planets, comets, and galaxies.
♦ Current Star Map
♦ Create a poster of the night sky, the previous night, showing the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper, and the North Star. For the evaluation section, choose three other constellations that are close to the horizon (i.e. Orion, Taurus, and Cassiopeia.)
- The posters are to be hung around the room, with the Big Dipper to the north, the southern constellations to the west, eastern to the east, and western to the west.
Ask the students: What they see when they look in the sky. Do you see shapes or patterns? Tell them about how in the ancient times, people used the skies to navigate and called the shapes they saw in the sky for stories and fables of gods, lovers, and animals.
Using the star maps, have the students locate the Big Dipper and the North Star.
Can you guess why it is called the North Star? (The North Star is the northern most point, and is located directly over the North Pole.)
Ask them if they are facing the North Star, where is South? (Behind you.)
East? (To the right.)
West? (To the left.)
The map locates the constellations in the sky. Constellations at the center of the circle are high in the sky, near the ZENITH (part of the sky directly overhead).... [continues]
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