Connecting The Dots: Understanding The Constellations

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Connecting the Dots: Understanding the ConstellationsLesson OverviewOverview:Students will be shown constellations and asked what they see. Next they will view pictures of theconstellations from the 1800s. The students will also listen to a myth about the constellation.Finally they will create a constellation of their own.Grade Range:6-8Objective:At the conclusion of this project, students will be able to: Predict constellation shapes. View and observe pictures of constellations from the 1800s. Create their own myth about constellations and create their own constellation.Time Required:One class period of 45 minutesDiscipline/Subject:Science (Earth Science)Topic/Subject:Culture/ FolklifeEra:National Expansion and Reform, 1818-1960StandardsIllinois Learning Standards:Science:12-Understand the fundamental concepts, principles, and interconnections of the life,physical, and earth/space sciences.12.F-Know and apply concepts that explain the composition and structure of theuniverse and Earth’s place in it.MaterialsHandouts:Constellation Creation Handout/ Dot to Dot drawing and Constellation MythRubrics:Constellation Creation RubricPowerPoint Slides:A constellation is stars that appear to be ingroups when viewed from Earth. There are 88 named constellations in the sky. During ancient times people would use themto navigate and to tell stories. Connecting the Dots: Understanding the Constellations1

nstell.htmlTitle: Perseus and Caput Medusæ / Sidy. Hall, sculpt.Creator(s): Hall, Sidney, etcherDate Created/Published: [1825]URL: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2002695399/The best known stories about Perseus are related to the GorgonMedusa and the princess Andromeda. Medusa was one of thethree hideous sisters whose gaze would turn those who looked atthem into stone. Among the three Gorgons, Medusa was the onlyone that could be killed. It was Danaë’s suitor, king Polydectes,who sent Perseus to get the Gorgon’s head, hoping he would notreturn from the expedition. Perseus obliged and left to accomplish the task given to him. TheGorgon Medusa had snakes for hair, brass hands, tusks and goldenwings. Perseus found her and waited for her to fall asleep. Onceshe did, he chopped her head off. When Perseus returned with Medusa's head, Polydectes was takenaback, not having expected to see him again, and he was hostile toPerseus. In a fit of anger, Perseus took out Medusa’s head andturned the king into stone. stell.htmlThe constellation of Taurus is on the ecliptic and isthe second sign of the zodiac. Taurus is of course notany bull, but the god Zeus. Zeus fell in love withEuropa, the daughter of a Phoenician king, as a resultof one of Cupid’s arrows. Zeus' wife Hera was out oftown at the time, but just to be on the safe side, Zeuschanged himself into a bull before his first encounterwith Europa. When Europa saw Zeus, she urged herfriends who were gathering flowers to climb up on hisback with her.Zeus flew her up to Mount Olympus, where theywere married.Title: Taurus / Sidy. Hall, sculpt.Creator(s): Hall, Sidney, etcherDate Created/Published: constell.htmlTitle: Draco and Ursa Minor / Sidy. Hall, sculpt.Creator(s): Hall, Sidney, etcherDate Created/Published: [1825]URL: ting the Dots: Understanding the Constellations2

A Greek legend tells the story of Draco as ahorrible dragon that guarded a sacred springand slew the soldiers of Cadmus (first king ofThebes) who had been sent to gather water.Cadmus then fought the dragon and won,.After the dragon died, Athena appeared andtold Cadmus to sow the ground with thecreature's teeth. The teeth immediatelysprang up as a group of armed soldiers whohelped Cadmus found amajor/constell.html Title: Ursa Major / Sidy. Hall, sculpt.Creator(s): Hall, Sidney, etcherDate Created/Published: [1825]URL: htmlFor obvious reasons, the Greeks decided that Geminirepresented twin brothers. The two brightest stars ofthe constellation are named for each of the brothers.Alpha Geminorum is Castor, while beta Geminorum iscalled Pollux. According to Homer, Castor was anexcellent horseman and his brother Pollux a soldier.When Castor was killed in some dispute, Pollux wasso upset that he too wished to die so that he couldremain with his brother. Zeus, being a fair god,worked out an acceptable compromise. They wouldspend half their time in heaven and half on Earth.The twins were often regarded as protectors ofsailors and represented by two stars over a ship.According to the Greeks, the Great Bear wasoriginally Callisto, the King of Arcadia'sdaughter. After the god Zeus fell in love withCallisto, his jealous wife Hera turned her intoa bear. Just before Callisto was about to bekilled by her own son Arcas, who did notrealize that this particular bear was family,Zeus snatched Callisto away and placed her inthe heavens as Ursa Major.Title: Gemini / Sidy. Hall, sculpt.Creator(s): Hall, Sidney, etcherDate Created/Published: [1825]URL: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2002695511/Now it’s your turn! Create a new constellationusing the star pattern given to you. You must create a dot-to-dot pattern of yourconstellation. Then draw a color picture of your constellation. Finally, create a myth or story that goes with yournew constellation! You will present this to the class and have themguess your constellation from the dot-to-dotdrawing. Then you can share the colored versionalong with your myth. Connecting the Dots: Understanding the Constellations3

Library of Congress Items:Title of Source:Perseus and Caput MedusaeCreator of Source:Hall, SidneyDate of Creation:1825URL of /Title of Source:Creator of Source:Date of Creation:URL of Source:TaurusHall, 510/Title of Source:Creator of Source:Date of Creation:URL of Source:Draco and Ursa MinorHall, 394/Title of Source:Creator of Source:Date of Creation:URL of Source:Ursa em/2002695502/Title of Source:Creator of Source:Date of Creation:URL of Source:GeminiHall, 511/Online Resources:Title:URL:Description:The Deep Photographic Guide to the ons/gemini/constell.htmlGives names of constellations in Latin and gives a description and background.ProceduresProcedure Step #1. Begin introducing the PowerPoint.2. Ask the question “what are constellations?”3. Show the first constellation and ask what they see.4. Ask for suggestions of what they saw.5. Show the following slides of the LOC constellation picture.6. Discuss their reactions.7. Show the following slides and read the corresponding myth.8. Continue this procedure for the next four constellations.9. The last slide presents the assessment to the students.10. Handout the “Constellation Creation” packet and discuss the rubric.11. Allow time for questions and independent work.Resource or ntHandouts/dot to dotdrawing (2)Constellation MythStudentswill be evaluated by participation in the simulation and group discussion.EvaluationThe grading rubric will evaluate the constellations the students created.Author Credits:M. WalkCumberland Middle SchoolConnecting the Dots: Understanding the Constellations4

Constellation Creation Rubric531ConstellationCreatedA newconstellation wascreated.A familiarconstellation wascreated.A constellationwas copied.Dot-to-Dot PatternA dot-to-dotpattern was madeand easily seen.A dot-to-dotpattern was madebut hard to see.Only a partial dotto-dot was made.A neat, coloredpicture is done.A colored pictureis done, butsloppy.A picture is done,but not colored oronly partiallydone.Colored PictureA new myth wascreated and was atConstellation Mythleast fivesentences.A new myth wascreated and was3-5 sentences.Presenterdisplayed his newconstellation andspoke in a clear,loud voice.Presenterdisplayed his newconstellation butwas difficult tohear orunderstand.PresentationA myth wascreated, but notnew or was only1-2 sentences.Presenter did notdisplay hisconstellation welland was difficult tohear orunderstand.Total: / 25 pts.Connecting the Dots: Understanding the Constellations5

NameDot-to-Dot DrawingImage from: map/Connecting the Dots: Understanding the Constellations6

NameDot-to-Dot DrawingImage from: map/Connecting the Dots: Understanding the Constellations7

Name:Constellation Myth (must be at least 5 sentences)Connecting the Dots: Understanding the Constellations8

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Connecting the Dots: Understanding the Constellations 5 Constellation Creation Rubric 5 3 1 Constellation Created A new constellation was created. A familiar constellation was created. A constellation was copied. Dot-to-Dot Pattern A dot-to-dot pattern was made and easily seen. A dot-to-dot pattern was made but hard to see. Only a partial dot-