Saturday, May 16, 2009

Astronomy and constellation resources for kids.

I made up this post for a friend who had kids getting interested in constellations and somehow it got saved instead of published. I'm so sorry, girl! Here it is.

Hannah got interested in constellations by pulling an intriguing looking book off of the kids' book shelf. It was a thin black book that I'd picked up at a thrift store because it looked like an interesting book to have laying around. The previous owner had copied the pictures of constellations throughout the book and cut them down into small squares, so when Hannah picked up the book the constellation pictures fell out. When she went to pick them up, there were lions and heroes and swans and bulls and princesses laying there - a whole lot of pictures that just *had* to have stories behind them. She asked for the stories and the rest is history.

We learned about all the constellations and a bit about planets, the moon, and the sun. For example, this little fact about the moon blew my mind - "Before life began on Earth, the Moon was as close as 14,000 miles away and filled a whopping one-quarter of the night sky. ... The Moon is slowly escaping from its orbit around Earth. In fact, it moves away from us about 1 inch (2.54 cm) every year." (From Marc McCutcheon's book listed below.)

Here are the resources we've used and loved. Some the kid loved, some the mother loved. I didn't list anything that we didn't find useful or intriguing.

I hope these help! And I can't wait until it's warm enough to hold our star party...

Books -
Star Gazing, Comet Tracking and Sky Mapping by Melvin Berger
40 Nights to Knowing the Sky by Fred Schaaf
The Stars by H.A. Rey (author of Curious George books)
Zoo in the Sky and Once Upon a Starry Night by Jacqueline Mitton
Stargazer by Ben Morgan
The Space Book
by Marc McCutcheon
I'm looking for two other books that were recommended:
The Kids Book of the Night Sky by Ann Love
A Child's Introduction to the Night Sky by Michael Driscoll

Web resources -
Sky View Cafe
Kids Astronomy
Star Child (NASA's website)
The stories behind the constellations
Ian Ridpath's Star Tales

Podcasts -
Slacker Astronomy
Astronomy Cast
365 Days of Astronomy


opit said...

Do you mind if I index that - or would you prefer more privacy ?

Sarah said...

Opit, I don't mind at all. Thank you!

KMDuff said...

We LOVE the H.A. Rey Book. Goes camping with us always. :)