From OER in Education
Use a software planetarium and encourage students to think about astronomy

Lesson idea. Lesson plan and suggested activity.

Teaching approach. This activity offers an opportunity for whole class(ta) discussion(ta) and questioning(ta) centred around the use of the Stellarium. It also affords good opportunities for self-directed study or homework(ta) extensions, including perhaps the use of free mobile apps(tool) (see below). There are also opportunities for some cross curricula(i) discussion of geography (navigation by stars) and history or literacy in relation to the ancient world. (edit)

Resource details
Title Stars in the sky: what's up?
Topic [[Topics/Astronomy|Astronomy]]
Teaching approach

[[Teaching Approaches/Homework|Homework]],  [[Teaching Approaches/Questioning|Questioning]],  [[Teaching Approaches/Whole class|Whole class]],  [[Teaching Approaches/Discussion|Discussion]]

Learning Objectives
  • Learning that we can see stars in the night sky but also the moon and some planets.
  • Discovering how stars, planets, and the moon differ from each other.
  • Differentiating between reflecting and emitting light.
  • Learning the definition of a constellation and the shapes and stories of some currently visible constellations.


Age of students / grade


Additional Resources/material needed

You will need a planetarium application, such as Stellarium
You may want to encourage students to explore some astronomy apps such as Google Sky (for Android), SkyMap (for Windows Phone), Astro App (for iphone/ipad). There are almost certainly others available (and this selection only offers free apps).

Files and resources to view and download