To show the difference between Astronomy (science) and Astrology (a belief system that the stars and planets are connected to our daily lives), here is a great demonstration that gets the students involved to see the difference firsthand.
1. Tell students to take out a scrap piece of paper and write down the following:
Date of Birth
Their Zodiac Sign (if known)
Their Favorite Color
Their Lucky Number
And if they are Left/Right Handed.
None of these things actually matter, but you will need them to make this experiment work flawlessly.
(Note: You might want to have a zodiac chart listing to fill in the correct zodiac sign for the student to make this more realistic.)
2. Tell them that you have a website that gives a Free Personality Profile/Horoscope for the current month, and that you will input their personal attributes and print out a copy for each student by tomorrow. Also, they will be shocked by the results.
3. Input their information into this Word document that has four combinations of the EXACT same profile/horoscope.
All of the profiles have the same combination of 14 statements, but in different order. Statements such as the following: "You have a strong need for other people to like you and for them to admire you. You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. You have a great deal of unused capacity, which you have not turned to your advantage. Some of your goals tend to be somewhat unrealistic."
4. Pass back the "profiles" to each of the students and tell them not to share with each other, because you would like to take a poll.
5. After everyone has read their own, ask the question and ask for a show of hands. "How well has this described you? Excellent?" Then count. "Good?" Then count. "Fair?" Then count. "Not at all?" Then count again. You will find that 85% of the students will say Excellent or Good.
6. Ask if anyone would like to share their profile to the rest of the class.
7. Everyone has a good laugh.
The moral of the story is that horoscopes and other "readings" are ambiguous and very unscientific. These are Astrology beliefs and have nothing to do with Astronomy.
This is very popular in my class, and I'm sure you will enjoy it as well.