Reflection: Real World Applications The Moon and Its Phases - Section 5: Elaborate/Evaluate


Analyzing patterns in science leads to recognizing relationships between ideas, phenomena, and events. This is why it is important to help students not only to recognize patterns, but to analyze them so they can learn from them. To help students grapple with this, I asked them to keep track of the moon's appearance over a month’s time and then write their observations about the patterns they identified. I created this assignment to help students see predictable patterns over a period of time and to help them better understand the movement of time in relation to the Earth and moon.

Since my students have not formally had science in elementary school, this assignment was designed to notice patterns and think about why and how these moon patterns existed. To help them grapple with this way of thinking, I provided a set of questions for students to use for their analysis to support structure their thinking. I wanted more out of them than just noting that the appearance of the moon changes over a month’s time, I wanted them to see how the pattern of the moon phases relates to time and can be used to make predictions. The goal was for them to build their curiosity, be prompted to seek out reasons for its appearance, and make it a concrete learning experience.

  Helping Students Analyze Patterns In Science
  Real World Applications: Helping Students Analyze Patterns In Science
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The Moon and Its Phases

Unit 5: Out Of This World- A Journey Through Our Solar System
Lesson 8 of 11

Objective: SWBAT identify patterns in the phases of the moon. They will determine what causes the changes in the moon's appearance in the sky by tracking the moon's appearance nightly.

Big Idea: Students will graph the changes in the moon's appearance over 28 days and use the data to identify patterns among the monthly phases.

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