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Earth's Moon - Do You Go Where I Go?

The Sun, Earth, and moon all move in the sky. If you were to be farther out in space, you would see that their movements are related. Your purpose today is to find out how they move in relation to each other.

On a sheet of paper draw what you think the earth, sun and moon would look like from farther out in space.

Use circles to represent the paths that each moving object takes in your drawing.  Draw arrows on the circles to show which direction each object is moving. This drawing represents your hypothesis.

Compare your drawing with a friend's drawing.

  • How are the drawings alike?
  • How are the drawings different?
  • Which drawing do you think is most correct?

Now that you have made your hypothesis get two friends and act out how the sun, moon, and Earth move. To do this, you need to go out to a playground or large area.

First, set up the area by standing in locations similar to where the sun, moon, and Earth are found in relationship to each other.

  • One person acts as the sun and will stand in place during this activity.
  • The second person acts as the earth. This person is to start by standing 50 giant steps away from the person acting as the sun.
  • The third person acts as the moon. This person is to stand five giant steps away from the person acting as the moon.

Now add the motion!

  • Remember that the person acting as the sun does not move.
  • The person acting as Earth takes giant steps as they walk in a circle around the sun.
  • The person acting as the moon takes baby steps as they walk in a circle around the earth. This person needs to take one giant step for every baby step the earth person takes.
  • If you really want to have fun - try to do this at the same time!
    • The person acting as Earth needs to spin in a circle as they walk around the sun person.
    • The person acting as the moon needs to always face the sun person as they walk around the earth person. Yes this means that sometimes you will walk backwards!

Check your hypothesis now. Did your drawing look like the motion that you demonstrated in the activity? Why or why not?

utah state board of education This Sci-ber Text was developed by the Utah State Board of Education and Utah educators.