Science and Dance
How are constellations represented?
Students view images of constellations in the sky at night, trace the connections between the stars and describe what shapes, characters or stories come to mind.
Step 1: Read the book “Glow in the Dark Constellations”. Read the introduction as a whole group and then split the class into 5-6 small groups. Assign each group a constellation found within the book. After reading, have all groups share out to the whole class.
Step 2: View the constellations from the book again, in a selected season (i.e.: The Big Dipper in the summer sky) and ask students to describe what shapes or patterns they see in this depiction of the constellation. Then, view the same constellation in a different season’s sky. Identify similarities and differences to the constellation image from earlier.
Step 3: Ask students to think about the phrases or words they would associate with the images of each constellation for each season. i.e: the cup looks like it’s pouring in summer; the cup is dipping in the winter.
Step 4: Using the Movement Vocabulary strategy, create a table chart with the columns “season”, “constellation”, “description”, and “dance element” and fill in with each of the answers. For instance, an example might be “Winter”, “The Big Dipper”, “Dipping”, “Curved Shape”
Step 5: Then, tell students that you will be playing a piece of music and they will move around the room. When the music stops, you will call out a constellation and its season and they will need to show what the descriptor looks like with their bodies in a frozen position using the dance element.
CHECKLIST: Can students…
• Recognize a series of constellations
• Recognize and use different dance elements to create a shape
• Identify the constellation in different positions
• Identify their spot for movement in choreography