Teaching Tools for Astronomy

A collection of educational materials to help explore the ways of the sun, the moon, and the stars.

This is a collection of printable teaching aids I developed while teaching astronomy to schoolchildren. The collection consists of PDF files that you can download, most of which are printouts to be labeled, cut out, and used as the basis of some activity or other. Officially, I am making all of these works available under a Creative Commons--Attribution License, which means you may do anything you like with them, as long as you give me credit as the creator. If you find these materials valuable, I'd love it if you'd tell all your friends. I've been working on turning some of them into wooden or metal versions, which I hope to make available for sale, but those aren't ready yet. The astrolabe is a very old creation that I designed specifically for the latitude of our school. Updated versions for multiple latitudes are nearly ready.

A paper sundial.

A Simple Horizontal Sundial

A two-piece paper sundial for students to print, cut, and assemble.

A Simple Equatorial Sundial

A two-piece equatorial sundial for students to cut out and assemble.

A Cube Sundial

A paper polyhedral sundial for students to make. All five faces tell time whenever they are in sunshine.

A Lunar Phase Dial

A paper "phase clock" to label, cut out, assemble, and use to predict phases and rise times.

A Paper Celestial Sphere

A spherical "map of outer space" to print, draw on, cut out, and tape together.

Printable Planispheres

A flat double-sided celestial sphere, with a sleeve representing the horizon, that students can make, draw on, and use as a constellation calendar.

Polygonal Planispheres

A dodecagonal version of the printable planispheres, intended as a simpler, easier to assemble, "starter" planisphere.

Slideshow: The Circles of the Sun

A visual aid for illustrating how the sun crosses the sky in different parts of the world.

2019 Planet Calendars

Charts showing where to look for the planets in the sky.

A paper dodecahedron with an image of the earth, making it resemble a globe.

Polyhedral Globes

Printable paper polyhedra, to cut and fold into various globes.

A small globe of the earth, showing physical geography features and cloud cover.

Homemade Globes

How to make your own globes representing various celestial objects, with paper, glue, and wooden or styrofoam craft spheres.