Lesson 3: Exploring the Constellations


This activity requires approximately two 30-minute classes:

  • 1 Class for the WebQuest
  • 1 Class for the students to write their story


Identify and use a variety of sources and technologies to gather pertinent information (e.g., use electronic and print resources or visit a planetarium to gather information on the visual characteristics of planets)
It is expected that students will identify constellations in the night sky

General Objectives

This lesson serves as a precursor to objective number 302-13 of the Pan-Canadian Elementary Science Curriculum. Through this activity, students will become more familiar with the constellation names, star patterns, history and mythology, better preparing them for observations of the constellations themselves.

Curricular Connections

  • Information and Communication Technologies
    • Internet Searching
    • Word processing

Lesson Overview

This activity is involves a WebQuest, or Internet research component, and a creative writing word-processing component. Students will use the Internet links provided to research the constellations of the Northern Hemisphere and then will choose one of those constellations to write a creative story as to how the constellation may have obtained its name.

Materials and Resources

Nota : This page contains documents for which the access may require a particular software. If the software is not installed, you can download it and follow the instructions for installation.

Seasonal star charts

Additional star charts available at:


  • Constellations
  • asterism
  • celestial sphere
  • pointer stars
  • zodiac

Developing the Lesson

  1. Comment that this is an group investigative activity
  2. Handout resources
    • Student WebQuest sheet
  3. Explain time frames
    • approx. 1 class for WebQuest
    • approx. 1 class for creative writing
  4. Explain lab protocol
    • what students can and cannot do in the computer lab.
    • no off-task surfing
    • stop when the time is up
  5. Assign students to groups
    • 2 students per group
  6. Dismiss students to their groups to begin their task
  7. After 40 min. reassemble the class
    • explain that the WebQuest activity is now over and that now they must begin writing their constellation stories
    • students must choose from one of the constellations on the WebQuest handout
    • explain that constellation stories must be word-processed


Teacher reassembles the class and reviews the WebQuest handout that students completed; stories should be collected the following day.


Possible Marks 6 4 2 0
Computer lab research and group work Excellent participation and group work Level of participation was adequate Little evidence of work Student was off-task most of the time
Completed WebQuest activity sheet Evidence of excellent research WebQuest is missing key components WebQuest is of poorer quality Evidence of very little if any research
Creative writing assignment Supreme quality story, relates well to the shape of the constellation The story is sound, but doesn't reflect the shape of the constellation The story is quite poor and doesn't reflect the shape of the constellation The story is either incomplete or was not turned in.