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Patterns of the Earth, Sun and Moon

MS-ESS1-1 Earth's Place in the Universe


Objective Two (Physics 205)

By

Ann Preidis
Grand Valley State University
Allendale, Michigan

MS-ESS1-1

Patterns of the Earth, Sun and


Moon

Patterns of the Earth, Sun and Moon

Grade 6-8

Benchmarks
MS-ESS1-1 Develop and use a model of the Earth-sun-moon system to describe the cyclic
patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons. These models may be
physical, graphical, or conceptual.
SEP: Developing and Using Models. Students will build on experiences developed during K-5.
Students will develop and revise models in order to describe, test, and predict more abstract
phenomena and design systems.
DCI: ESS1.A: The Universe and Its Stars

Patterns of the apparent motion of the sun, moon, and stars in the sky can be observed,
described, predicted, and explained with models.
ESS1.B: Earth and the Solar System

This model of the solar system can explain eclipses of the sun and the moon. Earth's spin
axis is fixed in direction over the short-term, but tilted relative to its orbit around the sun.
The seasons are a result of that tilt and are caused by the differential intensity of sunlight
on different areas of Earth across the year.

CCC: Patterns. Patterns can be used to identify cause-and-effect relationships.

Objectives
At the completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

Observe and understand data gathered about the moon's appearance and motion.
Explain why the moon has phases.
Understand how the moon moves relative to the earth and sun.
Understand the relationship between the phases of the moon and tides.
Understand why solar and lunar eclipses occur and why they are rare.
Observe and understand the sun's daily and annual motion.
Understand why seasons occur.
Describe the location of the sun and its location relative to our solar system.
Construct a model of the planets.
Classify solar system objects based on its properties.
Explain how distant stars can be used to identify planetary systems outside the solar
system.

MS-ESS1-1

Patterns of the Earth, Sun and


Moon

Materials and Setup

PowerPoint Supplemental Documents


Computer Lab
See individual activities for specific materials

Safety
There are no safety hazards for this lesson plan.

Requisite Knowledge/Skills for Students


Students should already have basic knowledge on how to plan and conduct an investigation to
provide evidence in a simple experiment. Students should have basic application knowledge of
the forces of motion, electric or magnetic relationships between two objects and simple ideas
about magnets. Students should have a basic understanding of gravity and gravitational force in
relation to Earth and objects in space as well as understanding the differences between the
brightness of the sun and stars compared to their distances from the earth. Lastly, students should
be able to use data to discover patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day
and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky.
Procedure
Day One-Moon Phases
Engage 1: (5 minutes)
The students will begin this lesson by viewing a YouTube video of the moon and making
observations. Inform the students that the video is in real time. Instruct the students to make
independently make observations about the moon in the video and record them in their science
journals.
The Moon In Motion (3:08)- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YFquslqrmU
Once the students have completed recording their observations, instruct them to discus their
observations with the person next to them for the next 30 seconds. When the 30 seconds is up,
select two or three students to share their observations with the class. Some expected
observations may include:

The moon is moving from the bottom to the top of the screen.
There are craters or markings on the moon.
The moon appears to have light and dark areas.
The moon moves faster than I expected.

Explore 1: (10 minutes)

MS-ESS1-1

Patterns of the Earth, Sun and


Moon

Students will use this activity to understand moon phases and what parts of the moon are visible
during it's rotation around the earth.
For the first part of the activity, have the whole class participate together. Begin by taping the
laminated sun to a wall and placing the laminated earth on the center of the floor. The students
themselves will be the moon and will 'orbit' the earth that is in the center of the floor.
The class should face out toward the sun and observe when they can see the sun and when they
can see the earth. They will complete one rotation around the earth together. As the class is
finishing their first rotation, as them:
1. How many days does the moon take to orbit the earth completely?
a. 28 days, exactly the amount of time it takes the moon to orbit the earth one time.
2. Why is one month 28 days long?
a. Same as question 1.
For the second part of the activity, students can break up into groups of four or five. Have
students count off 1-5 since they are already in a line around the room. Once they break up into
groups, have them each face inward, toward the earth and orbit the earth. Students should once
again take note of when they can see the earth and sun.
An extension of this activity would be to have the students figure out the orbit of the earth to the
sun.
While students are in their groups, walk around and observe students. Ask the students questions
that challenge their learning or demonstrate understanding.
Explain 1: (15 Minutes)
The students will use computers and go to https://www.calendar12.com/moon_calendar/2016/december to view the moon phase for the current month. Using the
information given on the website, they will individually work on filling out a moon phase chart.
They will need to correctly label each phase of the moon, approximately the percentage of the
moon that is viewable, and the approximate age of each phase.
Elaborate and Evaluate 1: (5 Minutes for Instructions; Take Home Project)
The students will demonstrate their understanding by observing the moon phases in real time.
Using the Moon Tracker Worksheet, they will observe the moon for seven days and record their
observations. The students will also need to label the phases they observe. At the end of the
seven days, the students will turn in their assignment.

Day Two-Moon Phases (Solar/Lunar Eclipse and Tides)


Engage 2: (5 Minutes)
Students will start the lesson by observing a photo of a solar and lunar eclipse and will be asked
to compare and contrast the two photos and record their observations in their science journals.

MS-ESS1-1

Patterns of the Earth, Sun and


Moon

Once students have had an opportunity to write some ideas down, ask for volunteers to share
with the class. Discuss the answers.
Explore 2: (10 Minutes)
Students will create model eclipses in the classroom. Resources and instructions for this activity
can be found at http://www.scienceinschool.org/2012/issue23/eclipses.
Explain 2: Students will use the models they created to demonstrate how a solar and lunar eclipse
work.
Elaborate 2: Students will watch a short video to recap what they already know. YouTube Video:
"What's the Difference Between a Solar and Lunar Eclipse?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVE8PFYlwSM.

Evaluate 2: (10 Minutes)


Students will answer the following questions in their science journals:
1. What is the difference between and Solar and Lunar Eclipse?
a. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and Sun,
completely blocking the sun.
b. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes between the moon and the sun,
causing the Earth's shadow to cover the moon.
2. What phases are the moon in during a Solar and Lunar Eclipse?
a. An eclipse can only occur during a new moon.
3. How often do Solar and Lunar Eclipses occur?
a. Eclipses can occur roughly twice a year, although they are not visible everywhere
in the world, only from locations within it's path. Dependent on the size of the
shadow too.
4. What causes a tide?
a. The gravitational forces between the sun, earth and moon cause ocean tides to rise
and fall.
5. How often do tides occur?
a. Tides occur twice a day.
Day Three and Four-The Sun and Seasons
Engage 3A (10 Minutes): Students will answer the following question in their science journals:
Where is the sun located in our solar system? Does the sun orbit the Earth, or the Earth orbit the
sun?
The students will answer the following question: How does the sun effect the seasons? How do
you know?
There will probably be a variety of answers, depending on what the students know already. Some
students may not have any ideas, but should be encouraged to try an answer. Answers should be
recorded in their science journals.
MS-ESS1-1

Patterns of the Earth, Sun and


Moon

Explore 3A(15 Minutes): Begin the lesson with this YouTube clip: "Following the Sun: Crash
Course Kids #8.2"- https://youtu.be/1SN1BOpLZAs
The lesson on the sun and seasons will be inquiry based. For the first activity, students will use
an activity to discover the relationship between light and shadows. The room needs to dark for
the activity to work.
Students will break up into pairs. Each pair of students will get a flashlight, and a flathead nail.
Students will then answer a series of questions on a supplemental worksheet. (See Supplemental
Documents).
Explore 3B (20 Minutes): Students will use the internet to find patterns in the length of shadows
cast by the sun, as well as temperature, during various parts of the year.
In pairs, students will find shadow length and temperature for the months they are given. As a
class collectively, the data will be charted and used to identify when the shadows are shortest and
longest.
Explore 3B and 3C are interchangeable. Choose one depending on the amount of time available for the lesson.

Explore and Explain 3C (30 Minutes): Students will go to http://www.suncalc.org/#/42.9403,85.2759,6/2016.12.06/16:42/1 and use the SunCalc.
Students will input their location in "Computation Path of the Sun" box. Under the "Solar Data"
panel, they will find the sunrise, sun peak level, and sunset times. They will use the top sun by
dragging it to the sunrise, sun peak, and sunset times in order to find the length of the shadow.
The students will also record the sunrise, sun peak, and sunset shadow lengths for the 5 th day of
every month, January through December for where they live. Next, they will record the average
temperature for the 5th day of every month, January through December, to create a graph
showing the shadow length and temperature. Then the students will be able to use the graph to
understand the relationship between the amount of sunlight available in a given month
throughout the year and see how the sunlight affects the temperature.
Student should be able understand the correlation between sunlight, shadow length and
temperature.
Elaborate and Evaluate 3 (10 Minutes): Students will watch a video to summarize what they
have learned about the seasons. This video snapshot will help students connect the dots between
the research they have done.
"Seasons and the Sun: Crash Course Kids 11.1"- Shttps://youtu.be/b25g4nZTHvM (4 minutes)

Students will read this phrase and explain why it is incorrect, in their science journals: "Earth's
distance from the sun is the reason why it is hotter in the summer and cooler in the winter."
Answers may vary but should be something along the lines of 'It is not the Earth's distance from
the sun, but the tilt of the Earth's orbit around the sun, creating different sunlight and shadow
angles. This is why we have a different number of daylight hours and season changes.
Day Five-Objects of the Solar System
MS-ESS1-1

Patterns of the Earth, Sun and


Moon

Engage 4: Students will answer the question: Draw a diagram of the solar system, describe each
planet.
After students have had time to write a response, ask for a couple volunteers to come up and
draw their diagram on the white board.
Discuss the drawings as a class and draw the correct diagram on the white board. Have the
students also write the correct model in their science journals.
Explore 4: Students must research the solar system, design and create a 3-D model.
Explain 4: Students will present their models to the class.
Elaborate 4: Students will be assigned a particular star to research and must present, in detail, to
the class.
Evaluate 4: See grading rubric for presentation in Supplemental Documents file.

References Cited

NASA. Ed. Robert M. Candey. NASA, n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2016.


Rosenberg, Marissa. "Creating Eclipses in the Classroom." Science in School Aug. 2012: 20-24.
Print.
"Solar System Model Project." Lesson Planet Community Forums. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Dec.
2016.
The StarChild Team. "Stars." NASA. NASA, n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2016.

MS-ESS1-1

Patterns of the Earth, Sun and


Moon

MS-ESS1-1

Patterns of the Earth, Sun and


Moon