In this activity, students learn about star constellations and that various cultures have their own names and legends about them. They will appreciate that identifying constellations and remembering where they are in relation to each other are important for wayfinding.
By the end of this activity, students should be able to:
- explain what a constellation is
- explain what the Pleiades (Matariki) constellation is
- retell at least two of the legends attached to the Pleiades constellation
- explain why various cultures might have given names to stars and told legends about them
- describe the celestial sphere and why this knowledge is still useful (extra for experts).
Download the Word file (see link below) for:
- introduction/background notes
- what you need
- what to do.
This activity uses online and/or paper-based resources to identify and label the nine whetū in Matariki and learn about their associations with wellbeing and the environment.
Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. Just set your coordinates and you can see a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you'd see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope.