The Big Dipper

 The Big Dipper
Let's Read and Find Out
Science series

lesson ideas
& activities

Lesson Idea: Pasta Dippers

A fun and educational art/science project is to make a night sky picture using the same technique as in the book, but then add dried pasta or cereal to the sky in the shape of the Little & Big Dippers.
activity for The Big Dipper
You will need:
1 white paper 4 Elmers glue
2 black paper 5 crayons/colored pencils
3 scissors 6 star shaped pasta

(Star shaped pasta is pretty easy to find, but if you can't located it, try star shaped cereal or candy.)

1 Read The Big Dipper to the class and maybe even show the picture below. This first step is vital because otherwise students won't have the context and will just think they are gluing pasta to paper because it's fun. :)
2 Cut regular white paper in thirds lengthwise
(creating 3 thin, 11" wide strips) . Make enough for one per student
3 Give students the strips and tell them to draw a grassy ground and their house. Leave the sky empty, as the next step is to...
4 Have students cut the sky away, leaving just a colored strip with grass and a house.
5 Glue the strip to the bottom of a piece of black construction paper. (see middle image at right)
6 Draw the stars of the Little and Big Dipper on the board (see pg 23 of book for help)
7 Give each student some star pasta or cereal.
8 Have students glue pasta/cereal in the shape of both dippers onto the night sky of their paper.

Extension Idea: Ask for help from Mom and Dad

If you have a classroom newsletter or a blog, why not ask your students' caregiver to go outside at night with your student and look for both dippers. However, most adults don't know where it is so you should point them in the direction of these links for help locating them:

Steps to Finding the Big Dipper
Picture of the Big Dipper (also included below because...Wow! That's an amazing picture.)

NASA picture
Taken by Jerry Lodriguss; posted on the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day website.
You can find a much bigger version of this picture at the link above.

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