Worlds to Discover

The book has been written following the outline dictated by the government of Ontario (listed in the Resource section) for the grade 6 curriculum, but teachers in other provinces and territories will also find the contents helpful. There are six sections of the book which, although we hold the copyright, may be reproduced in part for classroom use and student handouts. In order to facilitate the copying of the materials you feel you would like to distribute to students, the entire book has been produced in a loose-leaf format for a three-ring binder.

Section one contains texts written for teachers which give you more information than that which has been provided in the companion student texts. There is also a separate text that talks about how to deal with students’ misconceptions.

The second section is a special addition to the book written specifically for parents as well as teachers of elementary school children. The best part of astronomy is observing the night sky, but you cannot do that during school hours. We have included information about how to plan for a safe and enjoyable observing session so that students and their families, as well as you, the teacher, can get the most out of the experience. Kingston Centre holds regular public observing sessions which you can inform your students about and which you can attend yourself. The dates and times are posted on the centre website Our regular meetings are also open to the public and details can be found on the same site. Other centres across Canada may also offer similar opportunities if Kingston is too far from where you live. Check for their websites by visiting the national headquarters at

The texts written specifically for your students appear in section three. Here you will find simple explanations of phenomena such as tides, seasons, celestial motion, as well as information about the sun, the moon and all the other members of the solar system. Each text has a series of questions for thought or for assignments based on the reading. There are also activities in section five to reinforce the text. We recommend that the students be asked to read the text before they do the activity so that they will have a better understanding of the activity itself.

Section four contains some sample quiz sheets. Four of them are based on the student texts and can be used to test students’ understanding of the concepts presented. They are in a fill-in-the-blanks format and the answer guide follows each one. The fifth item is a crossword puzzle based on the entire unit. You can use it for review or for a test if you wish.

The most important section of the book is the fifth section where you will find over twenty activities which have been designed to make astronomy fun. Please be aware of safety hazards when attempting to view the sun, or to make the comet. These activities bear warnings on them and should only be performed with teacher supervision. The comet activity should be done as a teacher demonstration at the elementary school level.

Finally, we have included 12 star charts (one for each month) and a resource section at the end of the book for you. We have listed books, websites and organizations where teachers can find extra information, activities and educational material related to astronomy. They have all been tested by members of the Kingston Centre for their accuracy and content, but neither the Kingston Centre nor the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada endorses any but their own publications. You will also find the answers to the questions that appear in the student texts in this section of the book.

This book was the product of many hours of work by members of the Kingston Centre who are dedicated to promoting astronomy to the public. It has been shaped by elementary school teachers who have advised me about their needs and who have criticized the first draft. It is my hope that you will find the book useful and that you and your students will gain a greater appreciation for the universe in which we live. If you feel that you need more help, or if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us through our website. We are there for you.

Year Published
RASC Kingston Centre
Gagné, Laura
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