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Bakersfield College

William M Thomas Planetarium at Bakersfield College

Constellations and Myths



3rd grade English Language Arts 3.2, 3.3

Students sit in a circle on floor. Each student gives a small part of the story one sentence at a time about one character (constellation) until each student has had three turns. Every round add one new character.

Tape record the process. Retell the story once it is complete.

Each day have students retell the story the best they can remember it. Each night they should tell it to their family.

By the end of the week compare the story to the original that was taped.

Note: Before you begin this activity discuss what a constellation is and show some pictures of them. Don’t tell the students the name of the constellation or what other people say it looks like.

Ask, “What does this grouping of stars look like to you?” Then tell them what some people say it looks like and share the myth that goes with it. Check in your school/public library for books on constellation myths that would be grade appropriate.

You may be able to find a constellation myth told by a Native American group that you are studying about in Social Studies. Listed at the end of this document and the link to the lesson are several constellation resources.

3rd grade Earth Science 4a; English Language Arts Reading-3.2, 3.3, Writing 1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 2.1;
5th grade English Language Arts Writing 1.1, 2.1 and Social Studies varies
After constructing a constellation on paper, students will be able to hand write or type on a word processor a descriptive narrative myth explaining the origin of their original constellation adhering to their grade level writing guidelines.
Read a constellation myth to the class or students read to themselves and discuss it using the “Think-Pair-Share” model of cooperative learning. Remind students how myths can be created and why. (See the resource section for additional information about constellations.)
  1. On Black construction paper students stick on star stickers in the form of their constellation. They may want to sketch out their constellation with a pencil on paper first to get it just right.
  2. Write a myth for their constellation following the grade level writing guidelines. Illustrate the myth with their creation.
  3. Students will share their first draft of their myth with another student for critique and then revise the draft.
  4. Students will read their myth to the class and show their constellation
  5. Create a class book with everyone’s constellations and myths.

Integrate technology by having the students use a drawing program to create their constellations. Add color to enhance the image. Type their myth and use spell check and grammar check. Share with a buddy for review and critique, revise and then present; tell your myth to the class and show the constellation using a computer projection devise.

3rd grade Earth Science Standard 4a; Project ASTRO Resource Notebook: The Universe at your Finger Tips Activity F-7. To view sample lessons and to purchase the book go to

Kern Community College District