This activity asks students to use models of Earth, the Sun, and the Moon system to discover why moon phases occur. Students use a Styrofoam ball to represent the Moon, which will be lit by a single light source in the classroom, to observe how different portions of the ball are illuminated as they hold it in various positions. They create a complete series of phases matching the appearance of the Moon. And they relate moon phases to the positions of Earth and the Sun.
3.3, 4.3, 5.2, 5.8, 5.9, 7.2
|Lesson Components||Time||Inquiry Skills||Tech. Used||Engage Level||Brief Description|
|Engage||5 min||none||none||2||Students are engaged in a discussion on the Moon|
|Explore||30 min||3.3, 4.3, 5.8||none||3||Students create a model of the moon phases and go through each phase.|
|Explain||25 min||5.2||none||3||Students go through the lunar phases describing the illumination and identifying the name of the phases|
|Expand||10 min||5.2, 7.2||Internet/TV hook-up||3||Students view a video of the lunar phases and identify which phase is shown|
|Evaluate||5 min||3.3, 5.9||none||3||Students organize moon phase cards in the correct order.|
|Level of Student Engagement|
|1||Low||Listen to lecture, observe the teacher, individual reading, teacher demonstration, teacher-centered instruction|
|2||Medium||Raise questions, lecture with discussion, record data, make predictions, technology interaction with assistance|
|3||High||Hands-on activity or inquiry; critique others, draw conclusions, make connections, problem-solve, student-centered|
Please share your comments (e.g., strengths, areas for improvement, your implementation results if you taught the lesson in your class, and any modifications you made). Thanks!