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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.
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