SDSS Constellations Teacher Notes

This project introduces students to constellations, shapes people have seen in the stars. The constellations are like a game of “connect the dots” – ancient people looked at stars in the sky and connected them to form the shapes of things they were familiar with, like lions or bears. The constellations are not real groupings of stars, but they provide a rich source of stories and myths that we still use today. This lesson teaches students what constellations are, and lets them make their own constellations from SkyServer data.

This project provides a good place to integrate the science curriculum with math, language arts, and social studies. Click one of the links below to learn more about the project.

  • Overview gives a description of the project, its target audience, and the concepts it teaches
  • Background gives scientific and cultural background about the project, including references, to help you answer student questions
  • Lesson Plan gives all the information you will need to teach this project in your classroom
  • Teaching Tips gives specific advice on how to use each stage of the project
  • Assessment gives ideas for evaluating student work
  • Standards links this project to national science, math, technology, language arts, and social studies standards.