Lunar Cycle Teacher Notes  

Created by:
T. Dennehy 
Savanna School District 

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UCI Summer Science Institute WebQuests - 2001

UCI Science WebQuests from all years

Suggested Grade Level: Third

Science Content Standards:

Grade 3:
Physical Sciences (1a, 2a, b, d)
Earth Sciences (4b, c, d, e)
Investigation and Experimentation (5a, b, c, d, e)

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California Content Standards Grades K-12
California Content Standards Grades K-12 - Science - PDF Format

Phases of the Moon is at the top of the list of things that students seriously misunderstand. Most teachers run into problems in trying to explain
the Moon's phases to third graders, and my experience suggests that many have a very difficult time with the concepts. The BrainPop movie and
quiz  provides excellent background information.

Open Issues:
Why are the Maria concentrated on the near side? 
Why is the Moon's center of mass off center? 
Because of the tidal lock with the Earth? 
Now that we've found water on the Moon, what are we going do to with it? 
Only twelve men have ever on walked the surface of the Moon. Who will be the 13th? 
Who will be the first woman to visit the moon? 
Who was the first woman astronaut?

Making inferences, forming hypotheses, making predictions

Teacher observation, peer evaluation, teacher made worksheets, web quiz, writing samples,
"Moon Journal" documenting the lunar cycle during one month.

Students can create their own puzzles, visit interactive sites, and information on the web.
What is the is possibility of finding intelligent in the universe? - See the Drake equation.

"We can observe the shape of the moon and the direction of the moon during one day and over the course of a month. The shape of the moon does not
change over the course of a day, but the direction you must look to see the moon changes over the course of a day. The moon generally moves from east to
southeast to south to southwest to west. The shape of the moon changes over the course of a 30  day period. As the moon waxes, we see more of the moon (from new moon to waxing crescent to first quarter to waxing gibbous to full moon). As the moon wanes, we see less of the moon each day (from full to waning gibbous to third quarter to waning crescent to new moon). " Students record closure statement in their science learning log under Summary of learning. 

Learning log entries will be used to assess student learning. The concepts and examples from the data will be assessed for scientific accuracy.

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August 17, 2001