Did you know that the light from some of the stars we see is millions of years old and the stars don't even exist any more? At the beginning of our astronomy study we learned about brightness ratings of stars, right ascension and declination - the latitude and longitude of the sky, speed of light, and how to use our star wheels.
A star wheel is a map of the sky which can be rotated to match the season and time of night. You can print and assemble Uncle Al's Sky Wheels using paper, file folders, glue and a push pin.
Then the wheel was attached with a brad to the inside of the back of the file folder. The wheel was placed such that the two circles had the same center point which was the North Star or Polaris on the map.
These sky wheels are awesome. With a sky wheel and a red light the kids located over fifteen constellations in two weeks. I highly recommend this activity.
Little Bear, You're a Star!: A Greek Myth About the Constellations is a cute picture book for young children to go along with this lesson. It tells the story of how Ursa Major and Ursa Minor became constellations.
Flight of the Last Dragon tells the story of how a dragon who lived underground found his way into the sky. After reading this story the kids love to find the Draco constellation each starry night.
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