Life Cycle of a Star Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Sailus

Chris has an M.A. in history and taught university and high school history.

In this lesson plan, we help our students learn more about the stages of a star's life through integrating a text lesson with independent research. Students work in pairs to investigate one particular life stage, before presenting their information creatively to the rest of the class.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain the life cycle of a star
  • explain a few existing stars in each stage of the life cycle
  • provide in-depth knowledge on one particular star stage


1 hour


  • Poster board
  • Markers, colored pencils, or other arts & crafts supplies
  • Internet and books on stars

Key Vocabulary

  • Nebula
  • Protostar
  • Main sequence star
  • Red giant star
  • Red supergiant star
  • White dwarf star
  • Neutron star
  • Black hole

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.1

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to important distinctions the author makes and to any gaps or inconsistencies in the account.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.5

Analyze how the text structures information or ideas into categories or hierarchies, demonstrating understanding of the information or ideas.


  • Have students read the lesson Formation, Types and Life Cycles of Stars
  • Stop students when they reach the 'Life Cycle of Stars' heading.
  • Hold a short class discussion to be sure students have a rough understanding of each type of star. Some example discussion questions include:
    • In what stage of life do stars spend the most time?
    • In what stage of life is our own sun in?
    • What are the different stages a star can go through at the end of its life? Does every star go through every one of these possibilities?
  • Have students finish reading the lesson. Answer any questions and hold a short discussion.
  • Have students take the quiz to check understanding.

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