Stars may be balls of gas and dust held together by gravity, but they are also the iconic lights of the night. Learning about stars with star life cycle worksheets will add understanding to kids' astronomy and space science lessons. Stars are "born," age, and "die," and the study of their life cycle unlocks one of the mysteries of astronomy. Click on the worksheet you want to try, and use this handy guide for troubleshooting.
Types of Stars Vocabulary Worksheet
To begin your star life cycle lessons, you'll want to help kids understand the different terms used when describing stars and what helps make them. This types of stars matching worksheet asks young astronomers to draw a line from the type of star to its correct definition. This life cycle of a star worksheet comes with an answer key.
Types of Stars Lesson Ideas
You can incorporate this worksheet into several lesson plans covering astronomy. The worksheet itself is suitable for third graders and up, but can be adapted to suit different grade levels and abilities.
- Use the worksheet as a learning tool for younger kids and beginners by completing it together to learn the vocabulary terms.
- After your child has read about the life cycle of a star, use the worksheet as a quizlet or test.
- Use the worksheet list as a scavenger hunt list by asking kids to find pictures of each vocabulary word in a space book or online.
Star Life Cycle Vocabulary
This worksheet covers the basic stages of a star's life cycle. In order to explore the actual steps in the life cycle of a star, kids need to know and understand these terms.
- Black Dwarf - a white dwarf star that has cooled down to the temperature of the background and has become invisible
- Black Hole - a region of space with a gravitational field so strong that no matter or radiation can escape from it
- Nebula - a cloud of dust and gasses in space. The plural of nebula is nebulae.
- Neutron Star - a type of star sometimes created when giant stars die in supernovae, and their cores collapse
- Protostar - the earliest formation of a star
- Red Dwarf - a small, aging, and relatively cool star
- Red Giant Star - a large, dying star in the last stages of its evolution
- Red Super Giant Star - a star in the last stage of its evolution
- Stellar Nursery - an area in space where new stars are formed
- Supernova - an explosion that takes place at the end of a binary (two stars together) or a giant star's life cycle
- White Dwarf - a low or medium mass star in the last stages of its evolution
Stars are born in nebulae, or clouds of gas and dust located in space. Turbulence and gravity instigate a fusing effect, causing the center of the dust and gas area to heat up and become what is known as a protostar. This brand new beginning of a star will, in time, become a full star which will then age and die according to the dictates of the star life cycle.
Simple Star Life Cycle Diagram
This star life cycle chart demonstrates the two main life cycle pathways which stars follow, depending on their mass and size. The simple images help illustrate each stage in the life cycle of a star. Students are asked to fill in the name of each type of star. The left side of the chart follows the life cycle of a main sequence star, while the right side follows the life cycle of a massive star.
Life Cycle Diagram Lesson Ideas
This diagram could replace the vocabulary worksheet as your first introduction to star life cycles, or they can be used together.
- Use the answer key as a teaching tool or poster to hang in your school area.
- Ask kids to fill in the blanks on the worksheet as homework after you've discussed the steps in the life cycle of a star.
- Take the definitions from the Types of Stars worksheet and add them to the diagram worksheet or answer key for a comprehensive resource.
Star Life Cycle Facts
The NASA science website explains this process in great depth, but here are some basic facts you can share with this worksheet.
- The stars that follow the left-hand pathway in the diagram are approximately the same size as the Earth's sun.
- The Earth's sun is an average-sized, middle-aged star which should remain stable for billions of years.
- Some stars can be much bigger than the sun; those, according to NASA, with a mass of over eight solar masses, or eight times the mass of the Earth's sun, will follow the right-hand pathway.
- These rare giant stars will, when they die, become supernovae.
- Then, depending on the mass of their core, they will become either neutron stars or black holes.
- As with any life cycle, the debris formed from the supernovae will result in the eventual formation of new stars.
Life Cycle of a Star Coloring Page
Kids of all ages can use this life cycle of a star coloring page to illustrate what the real stages of a star's life cycle look like. Kids are asked to add an image to each empty box that illustrates the relative size, shape, and color of the labeled star.
Star Life Cycle Coloring Page Lesson Ideas
There are many ways younger kids and older kids can complete this worksheet.
- Use crayons, markers, or colored pencils to draw what each type of star looks like.
- Find real images from groups like NASA online that you can print, cut, and glue onto the worksheet.
- Ask older kids to write facts about each stage in the empty boxes rather than draw images.
Life Cycle of a Star Fill-in-the Blanks Quizlet
The first stage in the life cycle of a main sequence star involves the star actually forming and turning into that type of star. This fill-in-the-blanks star life cycle quizlet worksheet asks kids to choose words from a word bank to complete the sentences that describe this process. Older kids in grades three and up can complete this worksheet on their own.
Lesson Ideas for Main Sequence Star Life Cycles
You can use this as a worksheet or as a quizlet. Other ways to use the worksheet include:
- Ask kids to write the definition for each word in the word bank before completing the worksheet.
- Older kids can try changing a few words in each sentence to describe the life cycle of a massive star.
- Cut the word bank words out and glue them on the blank lines.
More Fun With Stars
Life cycle of a star worksheets are just the beginning of awesome astronomy lessons for kids.
- Astrosociety.org has an Astronomy at Home section with activity ideas for all ages.
- Use printable star charts to see the positions of real stars in the sky near year or learn about constellations.
- Read kids' nonfiction science books about space for more detailed information about stars.
- Show off your own stars and constellations with constellation science project ideas.
Seeing Stars From Start to Finish
Kids tend to understand and relate better to other living things. Presenting stars as living things that are born and die can help kids better understand how these beautiful things are formed. Once kids learn about the life cycle of a star, the sky will never look the same again.