Activity: Constellations of the Zodiac
NOTE: Inform students that they will have to bring to class three or four empty toilet paper or paper towel tubes in order to complete this activity!
Have students form small groups of three or four.
Introduce students to the Constellations of the Zodiac
as explained in the
Introduction section of this lesson plan.
Give each group a copy of each worksheet depicting the patterns of the zodiac
Each student will be responsible for making three to four hand-held constellation viewers in the following manner:
- Students will use scissors to separate each rectangle
containing zodiac constellation patterns from the others on
the Constellations of the Zodiac
They will also cut a matching rectangle from the construction
paper and place the constellation pattern over the
- Students will poke pin holes in the small dots and make larger holes (with pencils, pens, etc.) in the larger dots.
- Students will tape the zodiac constellation pattern, INK SIDE DOWN, onto one end of an empty paper tube. They will label each tube according to its correct zodiac name and numerical order as given on the worksheet.
- Students will cut the 3" x 5" card so that it will fit over the
open end of the paper tube.
- Students will cut a small hole in the 3" x 5" card before
they place it over the tube; in fact they will cover the small
hole with a piece of aluminum foil taped onto the 3" x 5" card.
- FOR ALL STUDENTS: As students hold the tubes up to any light source, they will see the pattern the zodiac constellations make in the night sky.
Be sure to inform students that the in the night sky, all stars appear to
have the same size because they are so far away that they show up as
pinpoints of light. For the purpose of this demonstration, we have
made larger and smaller dots so that more or less light will come through
the paper, mimicking bright and faint stars.
Your students will now be ready to study and recognize the patterns of the zodiac constellations.
Assign two astrological signs for each group to lightly
research. Indicate that you want them to list such things as
personality traits, tendencies, etc. This research will be used
in later assignments. You may want to copy this research for
Have students group themselves according to their zodiac signs.
- Ask each group to come up with a list (from their own
experience) itemizing the common qualities of their group.
Have students compare their experiential qualities with those
astrological qualities assigned to their astrological sign group
(from class research).
- Cut out astrological predictions from the previous day's
newspaper. Read these predictions and have students try to
determine which horoscope pertains to their own sign.
- Have students determine how many times, after several weeks
of following their horoscopes, a given personality trait or
event prediction actually matched reality. Repeat the experiment
using made-up predictions and personality traits, and analyze results,
which will show that in both cases the number of correct matches
is no better than random.
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