CURRICULUM REVIEW | ASTRONOMY UNIT

For the first time in a loooong time we actually finished a unit is the time I scheduled for it with minimal trailing into the next main lesson block. This review covers the materials we used for the first of a two part Astronomy Main Lesson block in which we covered material from our Live Education grade 6 Astronomy book. We’ll do the second part at the start of the new school year, and it will be a longer unit with more math and science. For this part of the unit, we focused on the constellations and used a main lesson book especially designed for astronomy to draw our constellations and write narrations. We scheduled three weeks for this unit. There are minimal projects that coordinated with this unit, but there will be more during our second unit.

We used a few picture books, a book on Greek Mythology, our Live-Education Waldorf curriculum on Astronomy and my favorite: Geology and Astronomy by Charles Kovacs.

This is the review I left on Amazon for the Charles Kovacs book Geology and Astronomy:
“This book was compiled using notes Kovacs wrote in preparation for teaching his students in Edinburgh, Scotland. It’s been edited for book format, but still read like a lively lecture. You can either read the lessons straight out of the book or retell them in your own words if you wish to be more authentic with the Waldorf teaching principles. The Geology section (14 lessons) can serve as inspiration for how to teach Geology and Mineralogy as the examples in the book are relevant for students in that part of the world. We chose to read it as is and gleaned much from the content. The chapters are short, don’t contain too much new content and are written in spoken language (as if you were listening to the teacher present it in class).

The Astronomy section (27 chapters) begins by relating the sun to our heartbeat as a means to connect the child to the cosmos. The analogies continue throughout the chapters. Great connections are made between the seasons and day in relation to positions on the planet that I haven’t seen made elsewhere. Lessons are enhanced by drawing your own diagrams to complement the lesson, though the book comes with many simple drawings to explain the content. Unlike our Waldorf curriculum which begins the Astronomy block with the constellations and the stories of Ancient Greek and Roman mythology, this book jumps right into the science content, with the Zodiac being presented in chapter 26. The Astronomy section, like the one on Geology, contains short chapters that would easily complement any curriculum or be the basis for your own main lesson block on the subject.

We used the Geology section for our Mineralogy block and the Astronomy for the first of two Astronomy blocks. We homeschool using the Live-Education Waldorf curriculum and used this book to supplement the curriculum. We really enjoyed this book and have since purchased the rest in the series to accompany our other main lesson blocks.”

 

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