Lesson 4: Canadian astronauts and astronomers


This lesson will require approximately three 30-minute periods:

  • one for research
  • one for presentation
  • one for team quiz game


Provide examples of Canadians who have contributed to science and technology (e.g., provide examples of Canadian astronauts such as Marc Garneau, Roberta Bondar and Chris Hadfield)

General Objectives

Through research and presentation, the students will be able to answer questions regarding Canadian astronauts.

Curricular Connections

  • Language Arts
    • argumentation and persuasion
    • research

Lesson Overview

In this lesson, the students will work in groups to research a Canadian astronaut, developing a profile of their astronaut for presentation in a learning center. They will then visit the other groups' centers to learn about more astronauts before participating in a team quiz game on the subject matter.

Materials and Resources

Research Materials (books, magazines, websites)


  • astronomy

Developing the Lesson

Divide students into small groups and assign each group one of the following Canadian astronauts (first six) or astronomers (final six) to research:


  • Chris Hadfield
  • Steve MacLean
  • Julie Payette
  • Bob Thirsk
  • Bjarni Tryggvason
  • Dave Williams


  • Jaymie Matthews
  • Paul Hickson
  • Jayanne English
  • Sun Kwok
  • David Levy
  • Terence Dickinson
  • Tyler Foster

Instruct groups to develop a profile of their astronaut, including a picture, to be read by their classmates in a later class period. Profiles should be in note form and easily read, and must be completed in one period.

Next period, students should lay out their profiles at different points in the room and begin circulating between them, taking notes about each of Canada's current astronauts, and asking questions when necessary. Students should be encouraged to study these notes for the following period.


Collect profiles from which to develop factual questions for a team quiz game the next day. The winning team may be rewarded in an appropriate manner.


Students may be evaluated according to the Cooperative Learning Rubric.