After finding a resource for constellations in your area (a book or website?), make a book out of these maps. ∑hat an awesome way to spend a summer's night...finding constellations in the sky!
You can save a step and use dark paper, or you can paint a beautiful nighttime sky on a piece of heavy paper. We chose to paint!
While the paint was drying, the children looked through our constellations book to find one they knew, or one they were interested in learning about. We read the story, and set to work.
First they decided which stars should be represented by larger stars, and which by smaller. (Easier to map them that way, you know!) They drew small and larger circles for the stars with chalk. Chalk works well, because it's easy to erase on the paint if you make a mistake. And since we were going to be looking for constellations with these pictures, we wanted them to be accurate.
After the stars were drawn we drew lines between them, showing the constellation shape. Sometimes, during this processs, they needed help to get the direction and dimensions right. Map-making is a very precise craft!