Using the online simulator really helped us see what is going on at nighttime at different times of the year. We're certain that we see other stars besides the sun at night, and now we're really certain that we see specific groups of stars at the same times of the year.
Students got to work researching the constellations we see on a yearly basis, and discovered that some of the stars that make up these constellations are actually MUCH bigger than our Sun. This got them thinking about scale (yet again), and they figured out that some of these stars have to be REALLY far, like LOTS and LOTS of light years away. With a little research, we realized the model we set up below wasn't the best (not all these stars are equidistant from the Sun), and that these stars that appear tiny in our constellations can be much bigger!