Outdoor Hour Challenge – Night Sky Cassiopeia

Night Sky Star cassiopeia and cepheus @handbookofnaturestudy

Inside Preparation Work:

  • Read the Handbook of Nature Study pages 821-822 (Lesson 225).  Try to share the story of these three constellations with your children either before you go out to view the night sky or if you have a really good memory, while you are looking for the constellations.
  • Here is a link to simple explanations and diagrams for the three constellations in this challenge: Well Known Stars and Constellations.
  • Autumn Constellations—scroll down to the “facing NE” chart and you will see what Cassiopeia and Cepheus will look like in your autumn sky.
  • Advanced Study: Print this chart out and see how many of the constellations you can see in the autumn sky: Autumn Star Chart.

Outdoor Hour Time:

  • Take your outdoor challenge time this week during the evening hours. The aim is to get outside and view the night sky, hoping to see the stars if weather permits.
  • Use the information, charts, and links both in the Handbook of Nature Study and in the links in the section above to find the Polestar, Cassiopeia’s Chair, Cepheus, and the Dragon. Even if you have trouble finding the exact constellations, this activity can be enjoyable for the whole family. Remember to dress warmly or you won’t last too long outdoors!

Follow-Up Activities:

  • The Handbook of Nature Study suggests in the lesson to draw Cassiopeia’s Chair (#1), Cepheus (#5), and the Dragon (#7). These can be done using the chart on page 821 of the Handbook of Nature Study if needed. There is a notebook page included in the ebook for you to use for your sketches if you would like. There is also a checklist on this notebook page you can use as part of the follow-up.
  • Advanced Study: Challenge yourself to learn the story of these three constellations as related in the Handbook of Nature Study.
  • Advanced Study: Sketch these stars from memory: Polestar, Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Cassiopeia’s Chair, Cepheus, and the Dragon. There is a notebook page in the ebook you might like to use as part of this activity.

Handbook of Nature Study Ultimate Naturalist Library

Join us for this series of challenges every week here on the Handbook of Nature Study. If you want to purchase the Autumn Nature Study Continues ebook so you can follow along with all the notebooking pages, coloring pages, and subject images, you can join the Ultimate or Journey Membership Levels. See the Join Us page for complete information. Also, you can view the Autumn Nature Study Continues content list on the announcement page.

OHC Autumn Nature Study Continues Cover Button

You can also submit any Outdoor Hour Challenge blog entry from October to the next edition of the Outdoor Hour Challenge Blog Carnival by sending the link directly to me by 11/29/14. Harmonyfinearts@yahoo.com

New Printables for Members – November 2014

November Members Printables @handbookofnaturestudyNew Printables in the Library for Members!

There are new printables for you to use with your family if you are a member of the Ultimate Naturalist or Journey level memberships. You need to log into your account and then check the “Other Releases” section for brand new printables to enjoy along with the Outdoor Hour Challenges in December 2014.

Our Attempt at a Fungi Study


Honestly, we have had very little opportunity to view any kind of fungus lately. The weather has just not created conditions needed to allow for much fungal growth. This means our bracket fungus nature study and our stinkhorn nature study will just have to be postponed.


I have looked in all the normal places and still no bracket fungi or stinkhorns to observe for this Outdoor Hour Challenge.


Does that mean we couldn’t learn anything? Not at all. Reading the pages in the Handbook of Nature Study help prepare us for future opportunities to see these amazing structures up close. I am confident that we will find some bracket fungi and some kind of stinkhorn to see in person in the near future.


In the meantime, we enjoyed a great afternoon of hiking on a beautiful autumn day. I am thankful today for being able to see the wonderful and amazing creation around us with open and appreciative eyes.

Have you found any fungi to study yet?