Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Constellation Creations

Mark Howell


Students create visual aids that show common constellations. The creations are then used as study guides.


The student identifies the arrangement of bodies found within and outside our galaxy.


-Black construction paper
-Black Sharpie markers (to be shared with the class)
-White construction paper
-Hole punch
-Contact paper
-Ice-pick type hole puncher
-Glue sticks
-Computers with Internet access
-Reference materials on constellations


1. Prepare a sample constellation page so the students can have an example to look at prior to starting their own.
2. Purchase/gather Sharpie markers, contact paper, black and white construction paper, string, and glue sticks.
3. Borrow or purchase some hole punchers from nearby teachers.
4. Provide students with reference materials on constellations.
5. Preview and bookmark Websites related to constellations for additional references. (See Weblinks)


1. Ask the class if they can define constellation, and record a definition on the board.

2. Ask: Can anyone name some constellations? (record)

3. Ask: How many constellations are there? (88)

4. Tell the class that there are a great number of constellations.

5. Explain that you would like them to create study guides that will be used for several days following today to help the class review the constellations and get to know them better.

6. The study guides should be made in the following manner:
-Decide upon how many constellations you will be looking up, with a minimum of 15 required.
-Take one piece of black construction paper per constellation.
-Look up each constellation.
-Take one constellation at a time and use the ice-pick type hole puncher to punch holes into the black construction paper in the shape of the constellation. Use the whole page so the constellation is big, rather than too small to see.
-Once the holes have been punched, take the Sharpie marker and a piece of white paper and write the name of the constellation on the back side of that paper.
-Next, take a glue stick and glue the back side of the black construction paper, which now has holes punched in it, to the white piece of paper, making sure to glue the black paper to the blank side of the white paper.
-Then take a piece of contact paper and place it over the piece of black construcion paper.
-Finally, take a hole puncher and punch a hole into the upper left-hand corner of each constellation page, and tie a piece of string through the hole.

7. When the sheets are completed, each student gets a chance to present their constellations to the rest of the class. If the constellations appear to be the same after a few people, then this portion of the class can be turned into a quiz. In this case, each student holds up their pages and asks the class what constellations they're looking at. (This serves as an excellent review for the class.)

8. Make sure to let each student show their constellations because they may all have different ones to show. (One student could be selected to list the names of all the constellations found on the board.)

9. Wrap up by discussing with the class that these constellations are only some of the ones found in the galaxy, and although it's a long list, this is still not all of them. Also, we have focused only on stars during this project and there are many other celestial bodies that comprise our galaxy.

10. Ask the class if they can name any other bodies within our galaxy. (planets)

11. Over the next several days at the beginning of class, give different members of the class the opportunity to quiz their fellow classmates on the constellations they have created. After a week or so of review, the whole class is responsible for recognizing some constellations on a test.


The class is given a quiz on constellations. The way the quiz works is the teacher selects 10 constellation cards from the constellations the class made. The constellations are held up for the class to look at, just as they were during the days prior to the quiz, and the class is asked to write the names of the constellations they're looking at.
Note: This assessment focuses only on stars within our galaxy.

Web Links

Web supplement for Constellation Creations
Earth Vision

Web supplement for Constellation Creations
Stars Chart

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