Astronomy is taught in sixth and seventh grade in Waldorf schools. In sixth grade astronomy is taught mostly by direct observation – by watching the waxing and the waning of the moon, observing the movement of the sun through the day and through the seasons and observing the way the stars move across the sky. We combine these observations with some simple explanations and stories. In seventh grade astronomy focuses more on the scientific aspect of the movement of the planets and delves deeper into the mysteries and history of astronomy. Let’s get started on this sixth grade lesson and have fun with it this year so we will be ready for our seventh grade astronomy. I have added extra connections in these lessons to other blocks we are studying this year to make this block extra special! For example, I usually teach my classes about the waxing and waning of the moon by teaching them about the Islamic Lunar Year (we study Islam in sixth grade as part of the Roman & Medieval Block). I find that students have a chance to become really engaged in this process and learn the concept much more quickly when it is introduced in this way AND they integrate it with their other study blocks as well! Note that some of the drawings in Hannah’s 6th grade astronomy Main Lesson Book are a bit advanced for 6th grade and that is why I am waiting until 7th grade to cover them. For some reason her class worked through the lessons on a more scientific level without doing the observation first. They could have done some observations during fifth grade, it could be the teacher’s preference to do it this way or it could have been pressure from the school board to accelerate some blocks (this happens frequently in Waldorf schools).