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Moon Appearance

Moon Appearance

TEKS Objective

The student is expected to observe, describe, and record patterns of objects in the sky, including the appearance of the Moon.

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Essential Understanding

The student knows that there are recognizable patterns in the natural world and among objects in the sky.

Science Background

Earth and Moon Cycles: BioEd Online and K8Science (video) - Patterns of motion that can be observed in the sky among the Sun, Earth, and the Moon are explained and illustrated.

Earth and Moon Cycles
by Brenda Lary, BioEd Online, www.bioedonline.org

23.5 Degrees: K8Science (video) - Explains the seasonal patterns caused by the motion of Earth around the Sun.

23.5 Degrees
by Gregory Vogt, BioEd Online, www.bioedonline.org

Signature Lesson

Observing The Moon: The University of Texas at Austin (PDF) - Students observe the appearance of the moon, describe and record their observations over time, and make sketches in their notebooks.

Observing The Moon
The University of Texas McDonald Observatory, www.stardate.org

Supporting Lessons

Modeling the Night Sky: The University of Texas at Austin (PDF) - Kinesthetic activity in which students model the night sky and its patterns of change by acting as parts of the solar system.

Modeling the Night Sky
The University of Texas McDonald Observatory, www.stardate.org

Elaboration Lessons and Extensions

Motion of the Sun and Earth: Eye on the Sky, Project FIRST (website) - Students create a classroom (indoor) model and record the motion of Earth and the Sun.

Motion of the Sun and Earth
Eye on the Sky, Project FIRST, www.eyeonthesky.org

Motion of the Sun and Earth: Project FIRST (website) - Students create a playground-sized (outdoor) model to study the rotation of the Earth and the Sun, and the Earth’s revolution around the Sun.

Motion of the Sun and Earth
Eye on the Sky, Project FIRST, www.eyeonthesky.org

Assessment Ideas

Have students draw pictures of the sky, indicating where the Sun rises, where it is at noon, and where it sets. Also have students draw pictures showing the Moon’s appearance as it passes through different phases during the month.

Literature Connections

Long Night Moon. Rylant, Cynthia. (ISBN: 978-0689854262)

Phases of the Moon. Olson, Gillia. (ISBN: 978-0736896177)

Related Science TEKS

(2.3B) Make Predictions
The student is expected to make predictions based on observable patterns.

(2.6C) Changes in Position
The student is expected to trace the changes in the position of an object over time such as a cup rolling on the floor and a car rolling down a ramp.

(2.6D) Movement and Motion
The student is expected to compare patterns of movement of objects such as sliding, rolling, and spinning.

(2.8A) Weather
The student is expected to measure, record, and graph weather information, including temperature, wind conditions, precipitation, and cloud coverage, in order to identify patterns in the data.

Related Math TEKS

2.6.C  The student is expected to identify, describe, and extend repeating and additive patterns to make predictions and solve problems.

2.10.C  The student is expected to describe activities that take approximately one second, one minute, and one hour.

2.13.A The student is expected to explain and record observations using objects, words, pictures, numbers, and technology.

Additional Resources

What Makes Day and Night? Project FIRST (website) - A two-part activity that combines literature with students’ modeling of Earth’s rotation to explore what makes day and night.

What Makes Day and Night?
Eye on the Sky, Project FIRST, www.eyeonthesky.org

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