Sky Patterns Family Activity

Explore the patterns made by stars in the sky with your children, family, and friends. Have fun connecting the dots and coloring with the Space RacersTM “Connect-the-Constellations Coloring Sheets."
 
Learning Goals:
This activity is designed to help children learn the following:
  • There are many stars in the sky at night.
  • When looking at stars, you can see different patterns.
  • A constellation is a group of stars that seem to make a picture in the sky.
  • People, a long time ago, named the constellations to help explorers find their way.
 
Materials:
 
Directions:
  1. At night, look at the stars with your child and discuss what you see. Try looking at different groups of stars to see what shapes they form. See if any of the groups look like any common objects, animals, or other things.
  2. Print out the “Connect-the-Constellations Posters” and discuss the constellations featured: Ursa Minor (small bear) and Ursa Major (big bear); Cygnus (swan); Columba (dove) and Pegasus (winged horse).
    Fun facts to share:
    • Constellations are groups of stars that appear to make pictures in the sky.
    • A long time ago, people noticed that groups of stars seemed to make different patterns in the sky. They called these groups of stars “constellations” and gave them names to help people find their way when traveling.
  3. Look at one of the constellation posters with your child. Work together to try to find each of the stars in the constellation, pointing to each one with your fingers. Try doing this with the other constellation pictures.
  4. Print out the “Connect-the-Constellations Coloring Sheets.” Give your child one of the sheets. Have him/her point to the dots and then, using a finger, trace the dots from one number (or letter) to the next. Then, have your child use a pencil to connect the dots.
  5. After your child has connected the dots, have him/her color in the picture. Repeat with the other connect-the-dots coloring sheets.

For more information about constellations, watch the Space RacersTM Star Signs episode, the Star Signs music video, and the Create a Constellation segment.
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