University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Planetarium Letterhead

Teachers - Grades K-2

Follow these steps to make the most of your Planetarium visit. Click below for easy navigation:


Before Your VisitDuring Your VisitAfter Your Visit

Visit the Teacher's Toolkit for classroom activities, websites and videos to add to your lesson plans.

Before Your Planetarium Visit

  • Pre-Visit Questionnaire (.doc) or (.pdf)
  • Answers to Questionnaires (Pre- and Post-) (.doc) or (.pdf)

Discuss these questions with your students prior to your visit, to stimulate their curiosity:

Grades K-2:

  • How does the Sun affect us?
  • What do you see in the sky?
  • How do objects in the sky move and change?

Grades 1-2:

  • What is a star?
  • What is a planet?
  • How do the Earth and Moon move and change?

During Your Planetarium Visit

Please arrive 10-15 minutes before your scheduled visit. Locate the restrooms in the Physics Building lobby and give students the opportunity to use them. The theater doors lock after the show starts and it will be disturbing to allow visitors back into the Planetarium.

Please remind your students to be quiet in the hallways. UWM classes may be in session.

Theater Presentation

The students will have the opportunity to:

  • Look at the sky on the evening of the Planetarium visit
  • Point to stars, planets and the Moon if visible from Milwaukee
  • Enjoy a beautiful dark sky away from city lights (for this age group, the dark sky portion is kept shortened)
  • Recognize geometric shapes in the constellations
  • Realize that the constellations are the basis for many cultural stories
  • Tour the solar system and look at images of main objects in the solar system
  • See how the sky changes during the course of the night
  • Ask an astronomer questions

Supplementary Activities for an Additional Fee (Optional Hands-On Activities)

At your option (Additional $30-$60 depending on group size), the following activities offered during your visit:

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After Your Planetarium Visit

  • Post-Visit Questionnaire (.doc) or (.pdf)
  • Answers to Questionnaires (Pre- and Post-) (.doc) or (.pdf)

Discuss with your students the following:

  • How their thoughts have changed
  • The reasoning behind their thoughts
  • What they have learned

Use the Post-Visit Questionnaire as a model for additional discussion. Use their responses to correct misconceptions that students may have developed - through further questioning, class participation, and other textbook activities.


To gauge students' comprehension, you may invite them to:

  • Share their planetarium experiences verbally
  • Draw what they saw or experienced at the planetarium
  • Present their drawings to the class and explain them

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Teacher Feedback

“It was a good introduction for the kids who haven’t learned too much yet. I think it peaked their interest for future learning.” –Prostek, Grades K-5, Hayes

“Wonderful experience for the children. Nice that they were able to participate through the whole program.” –Ms. Wendy, Grade 1, Highland Community School

“Wonderful…reviewed concepts and introduced extra so it met different levels of students. Instructor did a great job keeping them engaged.” –Lisa Lathe, Grade 2, General Mitchell

“Students were very engaged and it tied in well with what we covered in class. Dr. Jean did a nice job with our kids.” –Northern Ozaukee, Grade 2

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We would like to thank the National Science Foundation for its support of the Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The teachers who contributed resources for the UWM Planetarium webpage—Ms. Jeanine Gelhaus (Medford Middle School), Ms. Karen Green (Milwaukee Public Schools High School Science Teaching Specialist), and Mr. McDonald (Alexander Mitchell School)—were all recipients of a RET grant at UWM (2011, 2007, 2008). For more information on this grant opportunity and how to apply see

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