HR Diagram Lesson Plan- Kesler Science

At the end of this comprehensive H-R diagram lesson plan, students will be able to describe how the H-R diagram classifies stars.  They will also be able to interpret the H-R diagram.  Each lesson is designed using the 5E method of instruction to ensure maximum comprehension by the students.

The following post will walk you through each of the steps and activities from the H-R diagram lesson plan.


At the beginning of the lesson, the class will discuss the objectives and some of the relevant vocabulary using the included objective statements and word wall cards.

HR Diagram 5E Lesson

HR Diagram 5E Lesson

The engagement continues with a with a Think-Pair-Share brainstorm activity. Students will write down a name of a celebrity, or YouTube star. Students will then use the board at the front of the room and place the name on the board based on “hotness” and “star-power.” This is a great intro to teach students that this is how stars are classified as well. The teacher will help to clear any misconceptions like the brightest of stars are the biggest, and how temperature increases along the right side of the X-axis.

Estimated Class Time for the Engagement: 20-30 minutes


This student-centered station lab is set up so students can begin to explore the  H-R diagram. Four of the stations are considered input stations where students are learning new information about the H-R diagram, and four of the stations are output stations where students will be demonstrating their mastery of the input stations.  Each of the stations is differentiated to challenge students using a different learning style.  You can read more about how I set up the station labs here.


Students will be working in pairs to create a model of the H-R diagram using current celebrities. Students will place celebrities like Drake, Oprah, Fluffy, on a card based on “hotness” and “star-power” of each celebrity. Students will discover that the scale is a representation of how stars are actually classified. Students will then have a follow-up question to answer.

HR Diagram Lesson Plan- Kesler Science


At this station, students will be watching a four-minute video about interpreting the H-R diagram. The short video explains how to read the different axes of the H-R diagram. There are 3 questions related to the H-R diagram which students will answer on their lab sheet.


The research station will allow students to go online and interact by categorizing stars on an H-R diagram according to brightness and temperature. Students will be allowed to check for understanding while online. Students will then be asked to answer 2 questions based on what they learned during the activities.

HR Diagram 5E Lesson


This station will provide students with a one page reading about the H-R diagram.  Students are asked four questions about the reading, including what factors determine placement on the H-R diagram, where most stars can be found, and what would a characteristic of a star have on a certain spot on the H-R diagram.


The assess it station is where students will go to prove mastery over the concepts they learned in the lab.  The questions are set up in a standardized format with multiple choice answers.  Questions include asking about the direction of temperature along the x-axis, description of our sun compared to other stars on the H-R diagram, and which star in the brightest and hottest.

HR Diagram 5E Lesson


Students who can answer open-ended questions about the lab truly understand the concepts that are being taught.  At this station, the students will be answering three questions like explaining the H-R diagram, explain how to read the H-R diagram to a younger student, and how the temperature is recorded on the diagram.


Your visual students will love this station.  Students will be completing an H-R diagram by labeling both axes, the location of star groups, and certain temperature/brightness combinations.

HR Diagram 5E Lesson


The organize it station allows your students to use a manipulative to ensure their understanding of the H-R diagram. Students will use cards to place labels in the correct locations within and on the diagram.

 Estimated Class Time for the Exploration: 1-2, 45 minute class periods


The explanation activities will become much more engaging for the class once they have completed the exploration station lab.  During the explanation piece, the teacher will be clearing up any misconceptions about the H-R diagram with an interactive PowerPoint, anchor charts, and interactive notebook activities. The H-R diagram lesson includes a PowerPoint with activities scattered throughout to keep the students engaged.

HR Diagram 5E Lesson

HR Diagram 5E Lesson

The students will also be interacting with their journals using INB templates for the H-R diagram.  Each INB activity is designed to help students compartmentalize information for a greater understanding of the concept.  The H-R diagram INB templates will challenge the students to understand and visualize the H-R diagram.

HR Diagram 5E Lesson

Estimated Class Time for the Exploration: 2-3, 45 minute class periods


The elaboration section of the 5E method of instruction is intended to give students choice on how they can prove mastery of the concept.  When students are given choice the ‘buy-in’ is much greater than when the teacher tells them the project they will have to create.  Each of the H-R diagram projects will allow students to explain how each star got its placement on the H-R diagram.HR Diagram 5E LessonEstimated Class Time for the Elaboration: 2-3, 45 minute class periods (can also be used as an at-home project)


The final piece of the 5E model is to evaluate student comprehension.  Included in every 5E lesson is a homework assignment, assessment, and modified assessment.  Research has shown that homework needs to be meaningful and applicable to real-world activities in order to be effective.  When possible, I like to give open-ended assessments to truly gauge the student’s comprehension.

Estimated Class Time for the Elaboration: 1, 45 minute class period


The full lesson is available for download from my TpT store.  Save yourself a ton of time and grab it now.