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Main Curriculum Tie:
Background For Teachers:
The moon shines by reflecting sunlight. Like Earth, half of the moon is always lighted by the sun's direct rays, and the other half is always in shadow. The moon has phases because, as the moon travels around Earth, different parts of its bright side are seen from Earth. Without the sun, there would be no moonlight.
Intended Learning Outcomes:
Pre-Assessment/Invitation to Learn
While your students are out of the classroom, set up a mirror so that it catches the sun and reflects a bright spot of light onto a conspicuous classroom location. When the students return and notice that reflection, ask them what could be causing the bright spot of light. After a short discussion, direct their attention to the mirror. Find out how many students think the mirror is the source of the light. Next, move the mirror out of the sun's path and turn off the lights in the room. After the students have noted that the mirror makes no light, shine the flashlight onto the mirror. Guide students to conclude that the mirror makes no light of its own; however, light can bounce off (or reflect from) the mirror, causing it to shine.
Language Arts -
Conduct the experiment at home, explaining how the moon appears to have light.
Read books about Earth and moon.
Send home a list of websites and encourage students to look up with their families.
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