Bari Coslow teaches astronomy to children in grades K-6 in a New York City public elementary school. I am posting this list on the Web with Bari's permission.- Chris Dolan
There are several books available for the elementary student and teacher on the myths behind the constellations. I have been able to find several on the Greek and Indian and only two on African American Myths.
Here is a list of books that I have been using in my classes, grades K - 6:
1) Keepers of The Night (Native American Stories and Nocturnal Activities for Children) By Michael J. Caduto and Joseph Bruchac $14.95 (paperback) This is a nice book it comes with activities for a teacher to use with ages 5 -12. I had to have this special ordered at Barnes and Nobles Book Store - this was not a stock item on the shelf.
2) Keepers of the Earth (Native American Stories and Environmental Activities for Children) - this is a nice book it comes with activities for teachers to use with ages 5 -12. By Michael J. Caduto and Joseph Bruchac $22.95 (hardcover) I had to special order this one at Barnes and Noble, it was not a stock item on the shelf.
3) They Dance in The Sky (Native American Star Myths) By Jean Guard Monroe and Ray A. Williamson $14.95 (hardcover) Should be able to find in a book store or teacher store if not ask them to order it.
4) How the Stars Fell into the Sky (A Navajo Legend) By Jerrie Oughton $14.95(hardcover) This I found on the shelf at Barnes and Nobles Book Store.
5) The Earth Under Sky Bears Feet (Native American Poems of the Land) $15.95 (hardcover) This I found on the shelf at Barnes and Nobles Book Store.
Not Sure What Culture This One is From
When Bear Came Down From The Sky Told By Tree de Gerez (It is a tale from Finno-Ugric Folklore $14.99 (hardcover) if you know what culture Finno-Ugric is please let me know - this is a very cute story. I found this one on the shelf at Barnes and Nobles Book Store.
2) A star Gazers Guide To The Galaxy By Q L Pearce $4.99 (paperback) Can be found on the shelf of a book store (Barnes and Nobles)
1) Why the Sun and Moon live in the sky Retold and Illustrated by Niki Daly $15.00 (hardcover) African Myth - This book was also found on the shelf of Barnes and Nobles
2) Follow the Drinking Gourd (the big dipper) - tells how the slaves following the big dipper as they were escaping form slavery in the South. $6.99 (paperback) - Found this on the shelf of Zainy Brainy - should be easily found or easily ordered
3) The Orphan Boy By Tololwa M. Mollel and Paul Morin - $5.95 (paperback) Tells how at dawn the planet Venus appears in the east as the morning star and at nightfall it is the evening star in the West. The Maasai call this star Kileken, the orphan boy. This traditional story from Africa explains the reason Kileken appears in the sky both morning and night. Should be able to easily find this or it can easily be ordered.
All these books are great for a teacher of elementary school, you should not have a problem finding any one of these.
I still have not found any other stories about the constellation and their myths for the African American culture except the ones I mentioned above. As for Chinese I haven't found any, but I know they have myths behind them. I will keep my eyes open and let you know if I come across any others.