Star constellations

Icon geometry
Icon mesurement
Icon numbers operations
Numbers & operations
Age category
6 - 8 years

Students will construct reduced star constellations.


Problem(s) to be tackled

How can we, by using a ruler and pictures, measure and construct a reduced star constellation?

Real-world motivation

The universe is expanding! We should leave future generations a picture of how it looks now.


  • Choose and use appropriate mathematical methods to perform calculations and solve routine tasks
  • Apply and follow mathematical reasoning
  • Use mathematical forms of expression to discuss, reason and give an account of questions, calculations and conclusions
  • Identify and analyse technological solutions based on their appropriateness and function.  
  • Identify problems and needs that can be solved by means of technology and work out proposals for solutions.
  • Carry out systematic studies in science.


Based on clear instructions, pupils can carry out field studies and other types of simple study dealing with stars (space).

Pupils, in addition, document their studies using different forms of expression and using their documentation from discussions and dialogues.

Pupils can solve simple problems in familiar situations by choosing and applying a strategy with some adaptation to the type of problem. Pupils describe their approaches and give simple assessments of the plausibility of results.

Pupils have basic knowledge of mathematical concepts and show this by using them in commonly recurring contexts in a basically functional way.

Pupils can describe the properties of concepts using symbols and concrete materials or diagrams. Pupils can also give examples of how some concepts are related to each other.

In addition, pupils can use basic geometric concepts and common location terms to describe properties of geometric objects, their location and relationships.

Pupils can choose and use basically functional mathematical methods with some adaptation to the context to make simple calculations with natural numbers and solve simple routine tasks with satisfactory results.

Pupils can also reproduce and, based on instructions, construct simple geometric objects. Pupils can take simple measurements, make comparisons and estimates of length, mass, volume and times and use common units of measurement to express results.

Pupils can describe and discuss their approaches in a basically functional way and then use concrete materials, diagrams, symbols and other mathematical forms of expression with some adaptation to the context.

Pupils can apply and follow mathematical reasoning to choose methods and methods of calculation, and to assess the plausibility of results, random events, geometric patterns and patterns in number sequences by posing and answering questions which are basically related to the subject.

National curriculum

  • Natural numbers and their properties and how numbers can be divided and how they can be used to specify quantities and order.
  • Parts of a whole and parts of a number.
  • Assessing plausibility when using simple calculations and estimates.
  • How simple patterns in number sequences and simple geometric forms can be constructed, described and expressed.
  • Basic geometric objects including points, lines, distances, quadrilaterals, triangles, circles, spheres, cones, cylinders, cuboids and their relationships.
  • Basic geometric properties of these objects.
  • Construction of geometric objects. Scale for simple enlargement and reduction.
  • Common terms to describe an object’s position in space.
  • Comparisons and estimates of mathematical quantities. Measurement of length, mass, volume and time in common contemporary and older measurement units.

Part 1

Teacher's introduction

The teacher introduces the context of the activity.

The teacher asks students about their prior knowledge of stars and star constellations and writes it down on the whiteboard. The teacher and students discuss their answers.

The teacher introduces the star constellations activity and explains the upcoming work.

The teacher gives the students homework to complete with their parents at home. The homework is to look up at the sky and explain or write down on a piece of paper what they observe/see.

Part 2

The teacher helps students visualise one star constellation by watching a movie and talking about it.

Part 3

The teacher tells students a story or myth behind one star constellation.

Students are divided in groups of 3, 4 or in pairs.

Each group chooses one star constellation for further study. They will conduct research into the star constellation that they chose and present it to the rest of the class by showing the picture and reading the myth.

Use the engage and investigate part of the worksheet for students

Part 4

Students start with construction of the telescope (see the create version A or version B part of the worksheet for students) and the teacher hands out the materials needed.

4a) Construction of the star constellation on thick black paper (measure, use a ruler, proportions).

4b) Construction of the telescope.

4c) Decoration of the telescope.

4d) Create a new star constellation.

Part 5

Work with the investigate part of the worksheet for students.

Part 6

Evaluation; see the part report of the worksheet for students


books and internet about stars, space, planets, paper cylinder (Pringles rolls, toilet paper rolls), ruler, tissue paper.


Students will work in different group configurations (2, 3 or 4) during work. When constructing the star constellations, they will work in pairs.

Useful questions

What did you think when you chose a star constellation?

Adaptations (abilities of age group, within the group, etc.)

Groups should be organised according to abilities, level-adjusted.


Teacher’s assessment

Assessment takes place in a formative way throughout the activity.


Student's assessment 

Student questionnaire before and after the work about space.

Tips and tricks

Each group should use a torch and shine it through their telescope and point it towards the ceiling. This will create a sky full of star constellations.


Add more star constellations to your telescope.