Cycles in the Cards

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In this "game," learners explore and relate the evolution of stars to a Navajo creation story. The story is written on a series of cards, which are laid on a table as the story is told. It starts with NASA images on Star Cards, then moves to the Navajo Cards and the multiple other sets of cards that build up the full creation story. To complete the story, the Star Cards are related to the Navajo (and related) Cards, with the circular, cyclical nature of both stories brought out. A scientific background section is included. This is part of a collaboration between NASA and the Navajo that also included videos that can be watched online. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Game


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Stellar Evolution Poster
  • Star Cycle Cards (4 cards)
  • Ni' hodihil / Color Wheel Card Set (2 cards)
  • Directions Cards (4 cards)
  • Gems Cards (4 cards)
  • Winds Cards (4 cards)
  • Sacred Mountains Cards (4 cards)
  • Houses Cards (4 cards)
  • Seasons Cards (4 cards)
  • Spiritual Ones Cards (4 cards)
  • Mother Earth / Father Sky Card Set (2 cards)


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Astronomy
      • Origins of Universe
      • Stars and Galaxies
    • Solar System
      • The Planets
      • Origin of Solar System
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Nuclear Chemistry
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Elementary Particles and Nuclear Physics

Informal Categories

  • Games


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Culture, ethnicity, and gender

  • Native American

    • Explicity developed for this group


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access