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Star stories

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In this lesson learners read about two stories about dark constellations told by indigenous peoples.

This lesson can be used to celebrate the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples on 9 August or at any time of the year. August 9 is the day we celebrate the people of the world who live in traditional ways and who speak their own languages. Two indigenous peoples are the Australian Aborigines and the Quechua people of the Andes region of South America. The Quechua people are related to the Incas, an important civilisation of the past.

The stories in the text show two cultures where the starless spaces in the sky, called dark constellations, were used to identify objects. The stories relate to the emu and the snake. Learners first learn the key vocabulary and then complete the text with the missing words. Afterwards, learners look for other patterns in the night sky and invent explanations or stories to accompany them.


  • To raise awareness of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples on 9 August
  • To talk about how people have always found animals in the patterns in the night sky
  • To discuss two stories learned by indigenous children on different continents about dark constellations
  • To develop learners' speaking, observation and collaboration skills
  • To provide learners with an opportunity to explore the knowledge of indigenous cultures
  • To practise the present and past simple when completing a text
  • To practise the present simple when describing the patterns learners can see in the night sky


Older primary (9–12 years)


CEFR level A2 and above


60 minutes approximately


The lesson plan, worksheet and answers can be downloaded in PDF format below. In addition, you will need:

  • an image of the Milky Way
  • images of local star constellations (optional)
  • images of the emu and the snake dark constellations (optional)
Language level
Language Level: 
Primary level 2