Outdoor Hour Challenge – Orion Star Study

winter+night+sky+study+@handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.com.jpgInside Preparation Work:

  • Read pages 823-826 in the Handbook of Nature Study (Lesson #226). You may wish to review Lesson #224 outlining how to find the Dipper constellations and the Pole Star (North Star).
  • Here is a simple explanation of Orion the Hunter and some images that may help you in your study of the constellation: Orion—The Star Hunter.
  • Make sure to look at the chart on page 824 in the Handbook of Nature Study. This will help you see where to look for Orion’s Belt in the sky in relation to the Pole Star.
  • Step by step instructions to help you find the winter stars: One Minute Astronomer.
  • Advanced Study: Click the month of the year on this NASA page to print out a star finder and follow the directions on the page for some constellation fun.

Outdoor Hour Time:

  • Use your outdoor time to look for Orion (and Orion’s Belt). If you studied Cassiopeia in the autumn, remind your children how to find this constellation.
  • Advanced Study: Click this link and scroll down to Winter Night Sky Tour to print out a list of all the constellations you can see in the winter sky (January, February, and March).  Use the list to find several winter sky constellations.

Follow Up:

  • Spend a few minutes after your outdoor time discussing the stars of the winter sky.  Create a winter night sky nature journal entry.For fun, create a winter night sky poem for your nature journal.

One word to describe something you heard.

Two words for something you saw.

Three words for something you felt.

  • Advanced Study: Study and then sketch for your nature journal the primary stars of the winter sky, including Orion. Here is a link with a simple diagram for you to use: Winter Constellations from Space.com.


Handbook of Nature Study Ultimate Naturalist Library


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Outdoor Hour Challenge Winter Nature Study Continues ebook

If you want to purchase the Winter 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 Winter Nature Study Continues Ebook Announcement page for more details.


  1. Orion has been my favorite constellation for a few years running. During a weekend stay at a local state park (Brazos Bend, TX) we went up to the observatory and an amateur astronomer let me look through his telescope. He pointed out the star-forming nebula at the tip of Orion’s sword! It was a beautiful dark pinkish shade with small white stars! What a thrill!! Since that time I have also learned that the star Betelgeuse (in the upper left quadrant) is nearly 600 times the size of our sun! Such a fascinating constellation!

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