The six Chapters of this electronic book are organized into several Topics. These Topics are broken down into many activities which include, in addition to step-by-step instructions, the following:

This book and its activities may be used as a portion of a year's curriculum or as a supplement to one. Educators may find that this book is most effective for grades 2-6. When any of the activities seem more appropriate for older or for younger students, however, we have indicated as such. The activities range from those which take only minutes to those which are observation excercises spanning the entire year, allowing educators the flexibility of time.

Teachers may find they wish to print out the activities to give to their students. We suggest teachers read the background information before doing so in the event that they should choose to present the topics in accordance with a lesson plan or other project.

As a product of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), these materials are copyrighted. However, feel free to use them as you wish as long as SAO is cited as the source.

Observing the World Around Us is an inquiry-based investigation of the process of the seasons, and is in a flexible, ready-to-use curriculum format for Kindergarten through sixth grade. It is another facet of the Everyday Classroom Tools project, and is available for free online.

Lastly, to use this book is to have fun! We hope many will learn how to enjoy doing science. We also would like to make sure that anyone participating in these activities has the opportunity to correspond with us with questions, comments, and suggestions.

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