Twinkle twinkle little star, ask my first graders what stars are! (They’ll be able to tell you!) 🙂
We’ve been spending this science unit learning all about stars. Specifically, constellations. I posted earlier about a fun constellation game you can play to find them in the sky. The kids loved playing it in class!
We also made constellation flash cards. On one side were the stars and on the other side was the picture of the constellation (Or at least it should have been that way…. upon the kids cutting them out, I realized I’d copied them wrong and different pictures were with different constellations. Oops. Problem was quickly solved when the students had to “find” it’s match on a different card- always think on your toes!) 😉
After, I passed out white boards and the students practiced drawing the constellations from the cards.
I was seriously so impressed with how they did. The kids are SO INTO constellations, and it just goes to show- when kids are interested, they are engaged!
(P.S. They’ve been drawing constellations all the time now. Everywhere. All the time. Like on their math papers, in art class,
on their desks, in their journals. It’s really cool to see them like something so much!)
Mostly I took the time to do this practice so the kids would be prepared for the next day’s activity.
So the next day, I told the students we would be using what we already knew about constellations and creating/drawing our very own! The kids were so excited!
I passed out blank drawing paper and told them they could only use 10 stars in their constellations. I did this for two reasons: 1. I didn’t want the kids to just “draw” and then put tons of dots all over it and say it was a constellation. and 2. I only had enough star stickers for each kids to use 10. 🙂
They got to work drawing, erasing, and re-drawing their very own, original constellations.
They also got to pick a name for their constellation. This was good practice to talk about how titles get capital letters- always sneaking in some extra learning 😉
This was such great practice on higher level thinking. The kids really had to understand what a constellation is and how it isn’t an exact picture. Then, they had to plan out a new shape/person/animal/object of their own using what they already knew about constellations. Applying their knowledge in new ways like this promotes creativity, originality, problem-solving skills, and is just plain fun!
The following day, the kids got their sketches back (I’d helped some of them with their spelling in the titles), and I modeled how to use their drawing to draw it larger on a black sheet of paper.
Then, I showed the kids how to put a silver star sticker on each “point” they had drawn. Finally, I told them to connect the stars using a white crayon. As soon as I was done talking, they were off!
The projects were almost complete! The last day of the project, the students had to write about what they created. This fits in with the Common Core writing standard 1.W.2 (I can write explanatory texts). Meaning, the students could write about what they had made, what it looked like, what shape it was, etc.
After stapling those to the bottoms, the projects were done! Here’s a look at them hanging up in the hall…
One student made a penguin. Take a look at her writing, cracks me up!
Other constellations included….
And all together…
I loved this unit and I know my kids did too! They are so into constellations and finding out more about them. There are some good videos on YouTube and BrainPop for teachers looking for more to show their students.
Have a great day!