We read stories, share picture books, and tell oral stories just about every day. One topic that seems to frequently pop in our story repertoire is that of the constellations. We particularly love to share the stories from Greek Mythology that describe the origins of different constellations and stars.
Just for fun, we added a little iPad research (that's right, it's science time) to these story times. Usually, the stories require some thinking. They follow a pattern or there might be a moral to be learned. We often use the stories to get the kindergarteners predicting such things as what happens when characters start boasting (it never ends well)...Other stories illustrate that it is often preferable to use your thinking cap rather than your charms...
How do the iPads fit in? StarWalk!
Here's what we do in our class:
*Share stories both verbally and from picture books - (check out these books: Dot to Dot in the Sky - Stories in the stars by Joan Marie Galat, Kingdom of the Sun by Jacqueline Mitton, The Planet Gods by Jacqueline Mitton, Zoo in the Sky by Jacqueline Mitton)
*Draw the stars on your white board and as you share the story connect the dots to outline the picture in the constellation.
*Ask the students to make predictions, to find similarities/connections between stories, to share why they think the story turned out as it did (this is the flexible thinking part)
*Hand a pair of students an iPad and let them explore the sky - it helps to write the names of some of the constellations that are not so speller-friendly (Cygnus? Cetus? Bootes?).
*Listen to the exclamations as they find the constellations and personally connect to the stories...
We love this app! (Check it out at night - point it at the sky and it will tell you what's up there!)