# Star Activities for Kids

Instructor: Josh Corbat

Josh has taught Earth Science and Physical Science at the High School level and holds a Master of Education degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Want to spruce up your space unit with some fun star activities? You've come to the right place! This lesson contains several ideas for activities that teach students about stars.

## Stars: A Nearly Universal Fascination

It seems that nearly everyone on Earth, young and old, is fascinated with the night sky. Despite everything we know about the twinkling stars we see at night, there is still a huge amount of mystery associated with these celestial objects. Stars are the key to life beyond Earth, and it seems that humans cannot help but wonder what it would be like to travel among these shimmering orbs. The activities outlined below play off of these near-universal fascinations and engage students in learning about stars in meaningful ways. Materials needed for each activity are listed for your planning convenience.

### Classroom Star Info Decorations

• Construction paper
• Internet access or reference materials for quick research
• Calculators
• Scissors

A great place to start your star unit is having students create to-scale replicas of various well-known stars. To do this, simply provide students with a chart of common stars and their sizes compared to the Sun. Students will then cut out a circle of construction paper (bonus points if the color matches the color of the star!) and write some facts about the star on one side. On the other side, they will cut out a circle that represents the Sun. The trick will be to do this last step to scale, so some math will be involved (bonus!).

For example, the star Rigel is about 100 times the diameter of the Sun. A student could cut out a circle that is 20 cm in diameter to represent Rigel and a 2 mm circle to represent the Sun to scale. This is obviously a very small circle, but it will help students understand the grand scale of some of these stars. When students are finished, these stars can be hung all around the room and referenced throughout the unit.

### Star Stories

• Internet access for star research

This activity is a great way to have students research a specific star and present their findings in a creative way. First, have students select a well-known star and perform some online research. You can either provide them with a list of information to collect, or you can let them look up whatever suits them and see what they come up with. Once students have some information collected, ask them to write a story in which an astronaut visits the star. They will need to write about what they see and encounter. Inform them that they need to incorporate as much of the information they discovered during their research as they can manage. When students are finished, have a few volunteers read their stories aloud or have students perform some peer reviews.

• Index cards
• Art supplies

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