Main Curriculum Tie:
Background For Teachers:
Student Prior Knowledge:
Intended Learning Outcomes:
Step 2. Pass out materials to each group. Discuss the importance of "models" and what they are. (A model helps us explain or show what happens with larger or smaller objects.) Tell them that today groups will be using the orange as a model of the moon to explain where the moon gets its light. The flashlight will be a model of the sun. Pose the question that the groups will be investigating and write it on the board:
Have students write the question in their science journals. Accept all predictions from each group that might be an answer to this question. Write them under the question. Have students choose one they think might be the answer, or create one of their own and write it in their science journal.
Tell students that each step of the investigation will allow them to make observations to find answers. They will need to write their observations in their journals.
Step 3. Each group will cover their orange or ball with foil. They can make it bumpy and with craters to look like the surface of the moon. Have them place it in the middle of a desk.
Step 4. Turn off lights. (The room must be completely dark,without any reflected light.) Have each group discuss any observations they make. Does the moon shine? Why or why not? Where is the "moonlight" everyone talks about? Why does it stay dark?
Step 5. Turn on lights and have students record their observations. What are their conclusions so far? Can we state that the moon does not make its own light? Has our investigation answered our original question yet?
Step 6. Now turn the lights off once again, and have each group turn on their flashlight and shine it on the moon. Remind them the flashlight represents a model of the sun shining. Each group should discuss what they observe together. Does their moon look bright now? Does the sun light the moon? How does this take place?
Step 7. Turn the light back on and have students record observations. Based on their findings, what conclusions can they reach to answer the original question? Were their predictions correct?
Step 8. Discuss what occurs when the sunlight hits the surface of the moon. When students describe what they see, help them understand the when sunlight bounces off the surface of something, it is called a reflection. Can they think of other times when light from something is reflected off a surface? (Headlight reflect streetsigns along a road, firelight from a campfire bouncing off someone sitting on the other side.)
Step 9. Have all students write a statement in their science journals that describes the sun as the source of light that lights the moon.
Create a Venn Diagram (intersecting circles graphic organizer) that shows how the moon and the Earth are alike, and how they are different. (Suggestions follow:)
Display Venn Diagrams after checking for accuracy.
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