Outdoor Hour Challenge – Big Dipper Year-Long Study

This challenge is one from the archives but with a twist. Read through Winter Series – Night Sky Outdoor Hour Challenge for the background and information to do a night sky study using the Handbook of Nature Study. I know the information from this challenge is for winter but much of the reading can be applied in any season. See the idea below to make this challenge go even further. 

Big Dipper Year-Long Study
Another really interesting year-long seasonal study is to observe the Big Dipper in each season to note the change in position and direction. This may be a more advanced study but at the very least, try to view the Big Dipper with your children and talk about how it changes from season to season. Older students may like to research why this happens and make an additional entry in their nature journal. You can also use the printable notebook page below to record each season’s observations.
Additional Resources for Study
How to Find the North Star Using the Big Dipper
Explanation of the Big Dipper in Each Season
Printable Showing the Big Dipper in Each Season (for reference)
YouTube video for the Big Dipper 

Big Dipper Year-Long Study Printable Notebook Page

Getting Started Suggestion:
If you already own the Getting Started ebook, complete Outdoor Hour Challenge #2. Use the suggestions in OHC #2 to help your child think of some words to describe the night sky. Record them in their nature journal or on the accompanying notebook page.    

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  1. We went outside last night and found the Big Dipper! The night sky here is beautiful, not as much light pollution as in Ontario.
    We also found a few constellations. I will do a post soon!
    We are looking forward to this year long study.

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