Star Story Book
- The stars are more than just pretty points of light
that make dot-to-dot pictures. The night sky
works like a machine that can be used for for keeping time and
for navigation. For millenia people have used the night sky as
clock, calendar and compass.
Using the stars in this way meant learning the names of many stars
and constellations. Star stories were not just entertainment
they were an important aid to learning the sky.
This Star Story Book contains high interest stories that
will stimulate and assist your students' in learning the stars too.
Story Book Contents
- The Star Story Book concentrates on the constellation Orion.
(Other constellations will be added as material is developed.)
It comprises two complementary resources: Orion Story Book and
Orion Picture Book.
- Orion Story Book contains three stories from
three different cultures about the same group of stars.
These stories are not story outlines, but complete stories suitable
for reading aloud. Each story is about 500 words long.
Reading the stories aloud to your class
is an excellent way to increase motivation and interest. The pictures
that accompany these stories are in the Orion
- The full text of
the stories is available for
The story outlines of the three stories are:
- Orion the Hunter (Greek)
Orion makes a drunken promise to kill all of the animals. In response
the Earth sends a scorpion to attack him. He flees into the sky. This
version was written by storyteller Eryn Makinson based on one of the
Greek versions of the story of Orion.
Take no Fushi (Japanese)
The title of this story means bamboo pole. Two sisters are returning home
through a bamboo grove. The younger sister is carrying two heavy buckets
of water on a bamboo pole over her shoulder. When the sisters are attacked
by an ogre they escape by climbing a rope into the sky. The ogre manages to
grab hold of the younger sister's foot and bites it off. This version was
written by astronomy educator Chris Hilder based on a story outline in
Boshi; Stars that Pass in the Night.
Tautoru the Bird Hunter (NZ Māori)
Tautoru was a renowned bird hunter who was having a love affair with a
spirit of the air. She visited him only at night, and he was not permitted
to see look at her. When he managed to sneak a look she was lost to him
forever. In his grief he suffered an accident and fell to his death.
To honour his great achievements as a bird hunter he was placed in the sky
as a constellation. The constellation is in the shape of one of the
snare perches that he used. This version is written by author A W Reed
and is reproduced with the permission of
It includes a glossary of Māori words used in the text.
Picture Book is an Internet slideshow of pictures that
accompany and extend
the three stories.
View on line here,
or download the whole slideshow
for off line viewing.
Follow Up and Extension
- Having told the story Orion the Hunter,
get your students to use their star wheels to see
that Scorpius rises when Orion sets. This demonstrates
that the story is not just entertainment, but it also
contains information about where the stars are. The story
is an aid to learning where to find Orion and Scorpius,
and learning how they move.
Publication date 30 Nov 2002
Copyright © C J Hilder, 2002. All rights reserved.