Each month, I’ll spotlight a book-based educational activity teachers and homeschooling parents can use with their students. This activity was created by FIRE OF STARS illustrator Katherine Roy. It appears in our educators’ guide, which you’ll find here.
Make Your Own Stellar Scene
The James Webb Space Telescope was launched in 2021 and is the largest optical telescope in space. It is capable of producing high-resolution photographs of ancient, remote galaxies like no telescope before it. Show images that the James Webb Space Telescope has taken to the class.
- What are the different colors and shapes in these photographs?
- How do the photographs make them feel?
- How big or small do you think these scenes are?
- What marks or textures could be used to represent these scenes in a drawing?
Explain that illustrator Katherine Roy used an old toothbrush dipped in ink and watercolor to represent the star storyline in THE FIRE OF STARS: The Life and Brilliance of the Woman Who Discovered What Stars Are Made Of. To make their own stellar scenes, students will need:
- old toothbrushes or paint brushes
- watercolor, paint, or ink
- Make a swirling circle in the middle of your paper.
- Get a little more paint or ink on your brush and make bigger swirls. These are the gases orbiting your newly formed star.
- Try making some thick marks. Now try making some thin marks. What feels right to you?
- Try adding spatter marks and salt to represent dust and particles.
When the paintings are completed, display the paintings in a classroom gallery for their own view of the cosmos.