According to the Stars



We can tell what month it is by looking at the stars.
(See Useful Constellation Lists and more)
However, you would really have to know your constellations! There are 88 of them (See Useful Constellation Lists and more for a poem) and many are seen not just in one month but for a few, at times several months, so one would have to recognise lots of constellations and remember which ones are seen more clearly in which month. Not to forget where in the sky! North, south, in which hemisphere the viewer is in, and, well lots of factors. You also need to be consistent in the time of night that you are looking up: exactly 9 pm is best though you can make adjustments if you are earlier or later. So, can we tell the month in another simpler way? The seasons help as long as you remember the northern hemisphere is the opposite of the southern one, and the nearer you are to the equator seasons take on other aspects. Not all continents have a 4-season year, for example some continents label their year according to wet or monsoon season, dry season, hurricane season, and so on.


For experts (and non) – How many constellations can you name? (See The 88 Constellations listed alphabetically for all all 88) If you study Greek, you will have an advantage! Ask your students to find out who were the people and animals now in the stars and why the gods decided to transform them into stars? For example, Orion, one of the most recognisable constellations, was honoured by being placed in the sky as stars along with his two favourite hunting dogs; Canis Major and Canis Minor. Seeing that Orion had been killed by a scorpion, the Gods decided his constellation would never be seen in the sky at the same time as Scorpio.

Can you list 12 constellations used to tell what type of person you are? (star signs – See Useful Constellation Lists and more)

Do your students know the origins of the months’ names? (See Useful Constellation Lists and more)

Write a haiku about a constellation. (A Haiku is a short poem often written in blank verse. It is a traditional Japanese poem format. The format is 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables on three separate lines. )

Rising in the south.
Mensa is not a bright star.
I’m like Mensa, too.


Download printable version


© ELI s.r.l.

Scritto da Tracey Sinclair

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