Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Summer Constellations

I've always loved viewing the constellations at night at summer camp.  It was always the best place to view them without as much light pollution as you see in towns or the city.  Through the years I've used many different charts, some harder to read than others.  I decided that I needed an easy to read one that can help me out at camp in the evenings.  This chart is set for the northern hemisphere at about 10 o'clock (daylight savings time) for the summer months of June and July (but can be used a little before and a little after).

In my printable I've also included the (short) Greek mythology stories about the different constellations seen here which include: Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Bootes, Hercules, Draco, Corona Borealis, Lyra, Cygnus, Serpens, Ophiuchus, Aquila, Scorpius, Libra, Virgo, Hydra, Corvus, Crater, Coma Berenices, Leo, Leo Minor, Canes Venatici, Cancer, Lynx, Camelopardalis, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Lacerta, Sagitta, Delphinus, Scutum, Lupus, and Centaurus.

Other night sky activities:

  • Want to find satellites in the sky too? is a great website to use to find satellites in the sky and even the International Space Station.
  • NASA has taken beautiful images through the years and you can find them here. Enjoy the view!
  • Have campers create their own star chart and legend.  Have campers draw stars (or use stickers) onto a piece of paper randomly. Have them connect the stars how they want (not all stars have to be used) and write their own legend about the new constellation they made.
  • You can find online when to watch meteor showers.
  • Create a Scouts Own to do at night about the night sky. Include songs, poems, stories, and drawings about stars and other things in the night sky.
  • Put on a play about life on a space station.
  • Find other stories about the night sky from different cultures including Asian, Native American, or Middle Eastern.
  • Read books based on Native American legends. This one or this one.
  • Learn how to use a telescope.
  • Wish upon a star.
  • Star Letters - Address an envelope to yourself or a friend including your solar system and galaxy address. Draw a stamp on your envelope in a space theme. Write a letter and include a map to your favorite planet.
  • Find stars of different colors. A stars color depends on its temperature. Blue-white is the hottest, followed by, in descending order, white, yellow (like the sun), orange, and red. You won't see a strong color difference.
  • Read a star themed book to the campers and follow up with a star themed craft.
Star crafts:
  • Salt Dough stars are easy to make, last a long time, and are cute decorations.
  • How about an astronaut paper doll?
  • Make a star stuffie with felt. Add ribbon to make a shooting star.
  • Five popsicle sticks make a star. Decorate with paint, glitter, and gems.
  • Five sticks also make a star, use wire, string, or grass to tie together for a nature craft.
  • Star shaped melted bead sun catchers are great anytime and can even be patriotic in the summer.
  • Grant wishes with your own wand complete with a star at the end.
  • See stars in the day with star sun catchers made with contact paper and tissue paper.
  • Use up scrap paper by making origami paper stars.
  • Wish bracelets are an adorable memory keepsake.

  • Make some star themed swaps. These can be made from colored paper, fun foam, glitter, glitter glue, or sequins.

Want a printable of these activity ideas? You can find them here.


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