Students will understand that the appearance of the moon changes in a predictable cycle as it orbits Earth and as Earth rotates on its axis.
Explain patterns of changes in the appearance of the moon as it orbits Earth.
a. Describe changes in the appearance of the moon during a month.
Observing: given a blank calendar students will track the phases of the moon for one month
Predicting: students will make predictions of what the moon will look like on various days of the month
Acquiring and processing data: students will fill out calendar by sketching the phases of the moon as they observe it
Analyzing data: students will create a complete visual representation of the phases of the moon
Observing, predicting, acquiring and processing data, and analyzing data will be a good fit with the content because they will aid the students in learning the phases of the moon. As students make predictions about the phases of the moon, students will be more accountable for their observations and how it relates to their hypothesis. As they acquire, process and analyze data they will better understand how the moon changes in appearance throughout the month.
• Kidsperation: This allows students to create concept maps, which will be useful in analyzing the phases of the moon.
• Stellarium: This allows students to look at the night sky from anywhere on the earth at any time. This will be perfect for analyzing the phases of the moon and making accurate representations of what each phase looks like.
We will be having the students use Stellarium to observe the moon each night. They will be given a blank calendar and will be assigned to sketch the appearance/observation of the moon each night for one complete month. Throughout this month they will also be creating concept maps through the use of Kidsperation on which they will make predictions concerning the phases of the moon. At the end of the month they will analyze the concept maps and compare and contrast them with their own sketches from the calendar. They will also create a complete visual representation of the phases of the moon.