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Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Nov 20 / fr1209

A Constellation Webquest!


Welcome Scientist! Have you ever wondered where constellations come from? The answer might surprise you! Have you ever heard of the big dipper? What about Orion the Hunter? Those are the names of famous constellations. Today you’re going to learn a little about the history of constellations and have the opportunity to create your own.

Part 1: What are Constellations?

Watch the video below and complete the task below.

Task: In your science journal write a few sentences about where constellations come from. You may want to discuss who named constellations and how they help scientists. Are constellations the same to everyone across the world? If you feel like you need more information about constellations you can watch this other short video to help you. Click the link —-> 

Part 2: Identify a Constellationfd4cdffa9c6fa2cca4c3d2f89198de5b

For the second part of this webquest you will need to find a partner or get in a group of 3. Explore the following web site together. Before you click on the link read these instructions:

Take turns exploring how the planetarium web site works. If you click on the sky it will stop moving. Let your mouse hover over a star that is part of a constellation. You can then read the name of the star and constellation it belongs to. After you have explored, complete the task below the link.

If you move to the bottom of the page you will notice navigational directions. Can you predict how sailors

Task: In your pair or group choose a star and constellation. Write down the names of both in your science journal. Sketch the constellation into your science journal.

Part 3: Create Your Own Constellation

You are now going to read a story that influenced the constellation of Orion the Hunter. You might remember Orion from the first video. Please click the following link and read the story of Orion from Greek mythology.

Task: In your group create your own constellation sketch and story. You may use the planetarium site to use an existing constellation or invent your own. If use an existing constellation you must change it’s name and the object, animal or person you wish it to represent. The story should have a beginning, problem or conflict and conclusion. Please explain why that constellation was placed in the sky just as the reason Orion was placed in the sky was explained to you.