This little constellation has been associated with the shape of a bear since classical times, with the first recorded such references go back long before its association with the Northern Celestial Pole. Ursa Minor is surrounded to the east, west and south by the winding shape of Draco the Dragon, but it is more naturally associated with its fellow star-bear, Ursa Major, that lies beyond Draco to the southwest. Like the Plough within Ursa Major, Ursa Minor has a distinctive 'dipper' shape, and the two constellations are commonly referred to as the Big Dipper (the Plough) and the Little Dipper (Ursa Minor).
Ursa Major provides a simple method of locating Ursa Minor in the sky. The two western stars of the Plough are together known as the Pointers, because a line northwards through those stars points towards Polaris, the North Star that lies at the tip of the Little Bear's tail.
At present, the North Star falls extremely close to the Northern Celestial Pole, a fact that makes it remarkably useful in navgation (since Polaris always lies directly north from the perspective of any observer on Earth). It also means that the North Star remains almost motionless in the sky as Earth rotates on its axis, and the Lesser Bear rotates around the static tip of its own tail once in every twenty-four-hour period.