Starland {Free eBook}

December is a perfect month in which to look up at the stars! Starland by Sir Robert Stawell Ball makes a great guide.

Starland: Being Talks with Young People About the Wonders of the Heavens really does “talk” to the reader. Originally published in 1899, the book came out of a series of lectures Ball gave around Christmastime:

It has long been the custom at the Royal Institution of Great Britain to provide each Christmastide a course of Lectures specially addressed to a juvenile audience.

On two occasions, namely, in 1881 and in 1887, the Managers entrusted this honorable duty to me. The second course was in the main a repetition of the first; and on my notes and recollections of both the present little volume has been founded.

With that in mind, students can enjoy the “story” and learn along the way. Topics covered include:

  • The sun.
  • The moon.
  • The inner planets.
  • The giant planets.
  • Comets and shooting stars.
  • Stars.
  • How to name the stars.

Also included are tables of planetary facts and a helpful index.

You’ll find no mention of Pluto, which tends to come and go as a planet. We’ve added links below to help you navigate this odd one.

Well-illustrated, this free eBook makes a perfect wintertime science study!

Free eBook

  • There are roughly 55 lessons. If you cover two lessons each week, you will have enough material to use the book for an entire year. You can also cover the lessons one per day if you only want to use the book for a couple of months (December/January).
  • Make a “starland” notebook, creating a page for each section covered. The pages can include illustrations, copywork, and narrations.
  • You’ll find directions for drawing the solar system in Section 3. Include the drawing in your notebook.
  • Some of the illustrations can be printed or copied into the notebook.
  • There are many, many jumping-off points to go more in depth. You’ll find resources below.

Additional Resources

The Sun

Summer Fun Activity: Build a Sunspot Viewer

Summer Fun Activity: Solar Observation

Solar Cycles: A Unit Study

2017 Total Solar Eclipse

The Equinox: A Unit Study

The Moon

The First Moon Landing: A Unit Study

Rockets, Missiles, and Spacecraft {Free eBook}

The Telescope: A Unit Study

The Planets

Free Nature Studies: The Solar System

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus

Free Nature Studies: The Solar System

Comets and Shooting Stars

Halley’s Comet: A Comets Unit Study

Morse and the Telegraph {Free Unit}


Star Stories {Free eBook, Go-Alongs & Star Book Pages}

Other General Resources

10 At Home Astronomy Experiments {Free}
Covers topics very similar to those in the book.

Pluto Overview
More about the missing planet.

Keep Reading

Star Pages ~ Free

Free 32-page download of star pages that go along with the book Star Stories for Little Folks

The Telescope: A Unit Study

Astronomer Edwin Hubble was born November 20, 1889. He is best known proving the existence of galaxies besides our own.

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