Wild Constellations

Wild Constellations lesson plan

Use Crayola® Oil Pastels to make stenciled skies with stellar effects.

  • 1.

    Study the constellations and how, when, and where they can be viewed in the night sky in your area. Visit a local planetarium or have an expert visit the classroom to talk about the earth's rotation and its effect on how constellations are viewed.

  • 2.

    Start constellation stencil-making by folding a 4 1/2" X 6" (12 x 15 cm) sheet of white paper in half. Fold can be horizontal or vertical.

  • 3.

    Cut an unbroken geometric or irregular shape from the center of folded paper, beginning on the side with the crease. Leave an unbroken paper border at least 1/2" (1 cm) wide around the shape.

  • 4.

    Open paper to reveal a stencil. Keep the cutout (positive) shape as well.

  • 5.

    Place stencil over a large sheet of construction paper.

  • 6.

    Draw around perimeter of the stencil window with oil pastels.

  • 7.

    Hold the stencil firmly down on top of a drawing paper with one hand while using the other hand to rub the oil pastel off the stencil onto the paper below. This creates soft wisps of color.

  • 8.

    Develop outward-facing wisps by drawing around the edges of the cutout (or positive) shape, then rubbing the oil pastel outward from the stencil.

  • 9.

    Move the stencil around the paper and repeat process. Apply different colors around the stencils to extend design possibilities.


  • Students will use shapes, colors and stencils to create drawings that illustrate how constellations are affected by motion.


  • Display all constellation art. Children can invent choreographed movements/dances to simulate the action depicted in their constellation art. Match dances to images.
  • Use this pastel technique to create other unique designs with stencils cut in geometric shapes, block letters, or outlines of vehicles. Try using different colored background papers or painted papers.