Lesson Plan

Understanding Moon Phases

Students will have a chance to investigate why the moon appears to change shape.
Objectives

The Earth, the moon and the sun are apart of a system. The moon appears to change shape and cycle through illuminated phases. The amount of visible sunlight on the moon makes the moon appear to change shape. Eclipses occur when the moon blocks sunlight from reaching the earth or the earth blocks sunlight from reaching the moon.

This lesson allows students to review what they have observed about the moon so far. Students will also have a chance to investigate why the moon appears to change shape when it constantly remains spherical. Students will also be given a chance to learn what a model is and use one in order to explain the Moon’s monthly cycle of phases. 

 

Learning Targets for this lesson:

Content Learning Target:

The phases of the moon are caused by the moon’s orbit around the earth and our changing view of sunlight shining on the moon.

Content Learning Target Assessment: 

Students will write a claim for why the moon phases occur and justify their claim using evidence from their investigations.

NGSS Standard from DISCIPLINARY CORE IDEAS

5-ESS1.B The orbits of Earth around the sun and the moon around Earth cause observable patterns.

Science Practice Learning Targets

Scientists use models to study phenomena they cannot observe directly.

Science Practice Learning Target Assessment

Students will identify the correct model of the earth-moon-sun system on a concept cartoon and explain on the worksheet why using a model is the best way to understand how/why the moon changes phase.

NGSS Language from Appendix F

Grade 5: Practice 2: Developing and Using Models

Develop and/or use models to describe and/or predict phenomena. 

Subjects
Science
Grades 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Explore phases of the moon

Name: Halle Mahlik 

5-ESS1.B The orbits of Earth around the sun and the moon around Earth cause observable patterns. 

2 Model it!

Name: Halle Mahlik 

5-ESS1.B The orbits of Earth around the sun and the moon around Earth cause observable patterns.

Science Practice Learning Targets

Scientists use models to study phenomena they cannot observe directly.

3 Promoting Space Exploration

Name: Halle Mahlik 

5-ESS1.B The orbits of Earth around the sun and the moon around Earth cause observable patterns. 

Although not fully related to the moon phase lesson plan, this app gives students a chance to find a topic about space they are equally as interested about and have an opportunity to explore!