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Incan Astronomy Art & Writing Prompt

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

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The ancient Incans had a very unique way of looking at the night sky. They found shapes in the blackest parts of the sky and made what we call "dark constellations." In this activity, Little Explorers will create their own night sky art and then find a dark constellation and write (or dictate) a short story about it!



Tear a sheet of aluminum foil that's a little larger than your sheet of paper and place it on a flat surface. Scribble on the foil with the markers in night sky colors (I used shades of blue with little spots of black, teal, purple, and pink). Try to use fresh markers with lots of ink and cover the foil well with scribbles. Next, lightly spray the foil with water and then place the paper on the foil and press gently. Set the paper aside to dry a little while you wipe off the foil and prepare to do it again. Keep repeating this process until the paper looks inky and vibrant, making sure that you end up with some darker splotches at the end.

(Tip: Don’t let the paper get too wet or it may start falling apart!)

Once your Little Explorer is pleased with the background, they can move on to the messy part - the stars! Put a dab of white paint near the edge of a dish and use a paintbrush to gently flick the paint off of the dish and onto the paper. Set it aside and let it dry!

Invite your Little Explorers to look at their night skies and to focus on the dark splotches. What shapes do they see? Cut out the most interesting part to fit the page below and glue it on. Can they make up a little story about what they see in their sky?

To find the printable version of this activity including the writing prompt page, and more activities from the Peru Unit, click the Peru tab of the Resource Library!

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