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Spinning Sky Unit
Why do the stars come out at night?
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Stars in the country vs city

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Why`do`you`think
stars`come`out`at
night?`Why`can’t
you`see`them`during
the`day?

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Search for Big Dipper

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Big Dipper revealed

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You've completed the Exploration & Activity!

If you have more time, view the assessment, reading, and extension activity in the extensions.

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Extensions

Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the activity and exploration you just completed.
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Readings

These reading are free with registration on ReadWorks or Newsela:

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Videos

  • This video from National Geographic shows how the night sky looks from places with different levels of light pollution.

  • What gets hidden by light pollution? In this video, a professional astronomy photographer takes you out of the city to see the stars.

  • This news report from The Today Show shows how a small mountain town redesigned its lights to cut down on light pollution.

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Activity

Create your own star clock with these instructionsso you can tell the time at night and predict when different constellations will be visible!

Note: This star clock was designed for use in the Northern Hemisphere. It uses Standard Time, so you should subtract 1 hour if you are on Daylight Savings Time. If you live in a country farther north or south than the United States, you may need to adjust the star clock based on your location.

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Overview
Grade 1st
Topic Sun, Moon, & Stars
Focus Stars & Daily Patterns
Print Prep
Activity Prep

In this Mystery, students use a model to investigate why the stars are visible at night but disappear when the sun comes out during the day. In the activity, Star Projector, students use paper cups to project stars onto a sky picture, and observe what happens to these stars when a flashlight acts as a model of the sun.

Preview activity

Number of students:
Big Dipper Star Pictures worksheet Print 3 copies
Sky Sheet worksheet Print 15 copies
Scissors
30 pairs
Dot Stickers
We prefer stickers because they are easier to distribute in a classroom. Tape will also work.
Details
30 stickers
Paper Cups (8 oz)
30 cups
Push Pins
30 pins
LED Flashlights
30 flashlights
Prep Instructions

You will need to do part of this activity in the dark with the lights off and curtains drawn.

We recommend students work in pairs. Homeschool students working alone will need a helper for some steps of the activity. Homeschool students working alone will need two flashlights.

Prepare Big Dipper Star Pictures

Each printout has 12 Big Dipper pictures. Cut up enough Big Dipper sheets to provide each student with one star picture.

Set Up Activity Stations

Set up activity stations by posting Sky Sheets on walls that will be dark or dimly lit when you pull the shades and turn out the lights. We recommend that each pair of students works at an activity station. If classroom space is limited, we’ve found that one station can comfortably accommodate up to 8 students taking turns.

Overview
Grade 1st
Topic Sun, Moon, & Stars
Focus Stars & Daily Patterns
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