Lesson 3 of 5
Objective: SWBAT explain where moonlight comes from.
National Science Teaching Standards -Earth Science
- Changes in Earth and Sky
- Objects in the Sky
The Moon, Sun, and Earth are objects in the sky. At the start of the Moon's orbit, it sits between the Earth and Sun. The Sun shines on the Moon to provide moonlight. The sun shines directly on the Moon. The part that faces us is dark which makes it a New Moon. It is important for students to learn that objects in the sky have patterns of movement. It is important that the students learn about the Moon and how students are able to see the Moon at night. They also learn that the moonlight comes from the sun. This lesson is a part of the Tennessee curriculum.
Science and Engineering Practices:
SP 8 addresses obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in K–2 which builds on prior knowledge, using text, and analyzing text. Students communicate what they learn to others about the information that they obtained from the lesson and additional research. This lesson allows students to communicate with their peers about the moon. They discuss how the moon does not provide sunlight and that it needs support from the sun.
Students recognize objects in the sky such as: Sun, Moon, birds, clouds, and airplanes. They know that the Sun provides light and heat so Earth can maintain its temperature. Also, they learn about shadows and how they are formed.
- Lab sheet
- 4-5 Foam balls (1 for each group)
- 4-5 Flashlights (1 for each group)
- 4-5 Pencils (1 for each group)
- 4-5 different color foam balls
"I Can" Statement"
I call on a student to read the "I Can" statement- " I can observe the Moon and its phases as it orbits the Earth." Then I invite all the students to read the "I Can" statement together.
While students are sitting at their desks, I provide them with a small paper plate. Students are instructed to take out a black and gray crayon. Then I tell them to decorate the plate to make it appear as a moon. Then I invite them to turn and talk to their buddy about their drawing. Then I ask volunteers to share their pictures, encouraging them to compare the different moon shapes. I display the plates for the whole class to see. In looking at the pictures, I can see what students already know about the Moon and the phases that they know from their drawings.
By permitting the students to draw, they are allowed to express themselves through art. This permits students to work on the "A" in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics). Turn and Talk allows the students to work on communication skills as they are encouraged to speak in complete sentences. Here are the students' moon pictures.
I discuss the following vocabulary terms: moonlight, moon, carter. I show the students hand signals. This is done to help students remember the terms. The words are then posted on the wall for future reference.
At the students' desks, they are informed that they will conduct an investigation to answer the question: How do we see the Moon at night?
Students are placed in 4 groups of five to begin the Moon experiment, which is important for collaboration. I assign the leader, an advanced student, but the group decides who will record, manage, report, and measure.
Groups are at the table with a white foam ball, flashlight, group labels, and lab sheet. I ask them: What questions do you have about the items? I tell them that the foam ball represents the Moon and the flashlight represents the sun. I tell them to formulate questions that focus on what they observe. For example, How can the Sun help the Moon? I remind them to look at the question stem poster. The chart is displayed to help students develop questions. They record their responses on their lab sheets.
Then I inform the groups to formulate the hypothesis: "How do we see the Moon at night?" Volunteers are called on to share their hypothesis with the class.
Groups are instructed to make a model of the Moon. To do this, they shine a flashlight on the Moon. The flashlight serves as the Sun. Here is a moonlight video of the group's investigation.
Teacher note: As an extension, moonlight video, the form ball is covered with black construction paper.
I walk around to facilitate groups' investigation. I want the groups to have ownership of their learning, but I assist as needed. As I walk around, I posed the following questions: Is the Moon easier to see now? Why? Where does the Moonlight come from? Where is the Moon not lit? What part of the Moon is lit by the Sun? I ask the students questions to check for understanding and misconceptions. I can adjust my teaching as needed.
While students are at their group tables, I permit the groups to share their conclusions and I take up the lab sheet. I allow students to share their conclusions, so they can work on their oral communication skills. Students are encouraged to speak clearly and in complete sentences. These skills are needed as they continue to develop into scientists.
In looking at the lab sheets, I am checking to make sure that the groups understand how the Sun provides Moonlight to the Moon.
Students work- Moon Investigation Lab Sheet