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Phases of the Moon
This activity has students work in small groups, using Moon observation data to identify a pattern in the way the Moon appears to change shape. They use their Earth-Moon-Sun (EMS) model to account for the cycle of Moon phases and answer extension questions related to this phenomenon. Students will take a quiz on Moon phase identification, complete an EMS model summary sheet, and complete a self-assessment form. Students then work in small groups to simulate the pattern of Moon phases using a light source to represent the Sun and a Styrofoam ball to represent the Moon. Students' heads should represent the Earth in this simulation. This site also includes instructional notes for the teacher, worksheets for the student activities, suggestions for assessment, and student work examples.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Classroom activity
    • Guide for instructor
Subject:
  • Space science
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright 2002 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-005-675
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Earth in the solar system
    • 9-12:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Origin and evolution of the earth system
Related resources:
This resource is part of 'Earth-Moon-Sun Dynamics'
This resource requires 'Face of the Moon'
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: Wisconsin Center for Education Research, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison