Pan-Canadian Curriculum Outcomes

Pan-Canadian Sixth Grade Learning Objectives

Earth and Space Science

* The following has been copied verbatim from the Pan-Canadian Protocol for Collaboration on School Curriculum.

Science, Technology, Society and Environment (STSE)

It is expected that students will...

Nature of science and technology

Demonstrate and explain the importance of selecting appropriate processes for investigating scientific questions and solving technological problems (e.g., explain why astrology is not a part of science)
Demonstrate the importance of using the languages of science and technology to compare and communicate ideas, processes, and results (e.g., use appropriate terminology such as "constellations," "planets," "moons," "comets," "asteroids," and "meteors" to describe objects in space)
Describe how evidence must be continually questioned in order to validate scientific knowledge (e.g., provide examples of ideas, such as the flat Earth, the Earth as the centre of the solar system, and life on Mars, which were or are being challenged to develop new understandings of the natural world)

Relationships between science and technology

Describe examples of improvements to the tools and techniques of scientific investigation that have led to new discoveries (e.g., describe examples, such as the lunar buggy, the Canadarm, the Hubble telescope, and space probes, which have extended scientific knowledge)
Describe instances where scientific ideas and discoveries have led to new inventions and applications (e.g., describe examples for producing electrical energy, such as how a better understanding of tides has led to their harnessing)

Social and environmental contexts of science and technology

Compare tools, techniques, and scientific ideas used by different people around the world to interpret natural phenomena and meet their needs (e.g., compare how different cultures over time, such as the Celts, the Aztecs, and the Egyptians, have traced the positions of stars to determine the appropriate time to plant and harvest crops)
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)
Describe scientific and technological achievements that are the result of contributions by people from around the world (e.g., describe international contributors related to the construction of the space station)


It is expected that students will...

Initiating and planning

Identify and control major variables in their investigations (e.g., predict what variables might affect the size of craters on the moon, using a flour and marble simulation)
Identify various methods for finding answers to given questions and solutions to given problems, and select one that is appropriate (e.g., use local papers or science periodicals for listings of planets that are visible at a particular time)
Plan a set of steps to solve a practical problem and to carry out a fair test of a science-related idea (e.g., plan a procedure to test a hypothesis in a simulated moon crater activity)

Performing and recording

Select and use tools in manipulating materials and in building models (e.g., select appropriate materials to build model constellations)
Record observations using a single word, notes in point form, sentences, and simple diagrams and charts (e.g., use a data table to record night sky observations)
Identify and use a variety of sources and technologies to gather pertinent information (e.g., use electronic and print resources or visit a planetarium to gather information on the visual characteristics of planets)

Analysing and interpreting

Compile and display data, by hand or by computer, in a variety of formats including frequency tallies, tables, and bar graphs (e.g., prepare a diagram showing the orbits of the planets)
Evaluate the usefulness of different information sources in answering a given question (e.g., compare information received from science fiction stories about space with that from scientific sources)
Draw a conclusion, based on evidence gathered through research and observation, that answers an initial question (e.g., conclude that simulated flour craters are deeper and wider when the marble is heavier or is dropped from greater heights)

Communication and teamwork

Communicate procedures and results, using lists, notes in point form, sentences, charts, graphs, drawings, and oral language (e.g., write a postcard describing your holiday on a planet other than Earth and include in the description the key characteristics of that planet)


It is expected that students will...

Describe the physical characteristics of components of the solar system – specifically, the sun, planets, moons, comets, asteroids, and meteors
Demonstrate how Earth's rotation causes the day and night cycle and how Earth's revolution causes the yearly cycle of seasons
Observe and explain how the relative positions of Earth, the moon, and the sun are responsible for the moon phases, eclipses, and tides
Describe how astronauts are able to meet their basic needs in space
Identify constellations in the night sky

Illustrative Example

Space science involves learning about objects in the sky to discover their form, their movements, and their interactions. For students, developing a concept of Earth and space presents a new challenge. It requires extensive experience with models to explore relationships of size, position, and motion of different bodies. In learning about space, students come to appreciate that human ability to observe and study objects in space is now greatly enhanced by technology. Students learn that manned and unmanned probes and Earth-based devices are contributing to our knowledge of space, and that new capabilities are being developed for monitoring the Earth, for communications, and for the further exploration of space. This illustrative example emphasizes the relationships between science and technology.


Students explore the night sky and examine images of space and space technologies.

  • Use print, media, and electronic resources to identify and explore images of space and space technologies.
  • Observe the night sky and identify patterns and differences from night to night.

The above exploration may lead to the following question:

What technologies have been developed to find objects in space?


Students investigate the form and features of different bodies and space, and develop awareness of different ideas and technologies that have been developed.

  • Use models to explore and illustrate the relative position and motion of objects in space, such as rotation and revolution, and to explain daily and seasonal cycles.
  • Investigate the understandings of different peoples at different times of the nature of space, time, and the seasons.


Students create a product or presentation to illustrate and explain an aspect of space or space technology.

  • Develop a presentation to illustrate the development of a space technology, including an illustration, explanation, and description of problems overcome.
  • Investigate challenges and new opportunities created by space science.

This illustrative example suggests ways students can be led to attain the following learning outcomes:

  • STSE: 106-3, 107-3, 107-15
  • Skills: 204-6, 205-8, 206-4, 207-2
  • Knowledge: 300-23, 301-21
  • Attitudes: 409, 411, 417