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In this activity, students learn the basics of the horizon, direction and the rising and settings of the Sun and stars by making a schoolyard "medicine wheel" with sidewalk chalk on playground asphalt. Medicine wheels are stone rings constructed by the Plains people of North America which may have been used as a calendar system based on observations of objects in the sky. This activity requires a flat area at least 6 meters across – preferably asphalt or concrete – that has a good view of the sky. It can be done as a whole class activity. Part 1 of this activity involves constructing the medicine wheel (about 10-15 minutes). Part 2 of this activity involves making ongoing observations throughout the year at noon (about 10-15 minutes for each observation). Part 3 involves making observations from the wheel during after-school hours to observe the rising or setting points of stars, the Sun and Moon. Discussion questions, background information and a math extension activity are included. This activity is the second lesson in the Ancient Eyes Look to the Skies curriculum guide.
This resource is located on page 15 of the PDF document.