Lesson Plan Template: Learning Cycle (5E Model)
Learning Objectives: What will students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
Students will represent the appearance of the Moon throughout a month using cookies for a visual aid. As the Moon revolves around the Earth, the relative position of the Sun, Earth, and Moon makes the Moon appear change. From Earth's view we see the position of the illuminated surface of the Moon change. Students will show eight Moon phases along with the relative position of the Earth, Moon, and the Sun for each.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
Students should understand that the Earth, Moon, and Sun are components of our Solar System, that they change position over time, and that the Moon orbits the Earth while the Earth orbits the Sun. Students should also understand that the Sun emits light which is reflected from the Moon surface to Earth.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
How does the position of the Sun, Moon, and Earth influence the appearance of the Moon?
What differences are there between the way the Moon appears from Earth, from the Sun, and from a third view point?
Engage: What object, event, or questions will the teacher use to trigger the students' curiosity and engage them in the concepts?
Open class with a discussion about how the Moon appears at different times. Ask the students to brainstorm as to why the Moon appearance changes. Ask them to think about how the Sun plays a role.
Next, conduct a live demonstration of these basic concepts can be shown in a dark room with a flashlight and a volleyball (Sun), a tennis ball (Earth), and a ping pong ball(Moon). Have students play each role and be sure the remaining students walk around the demonstration to see the Moon from different views. Have the "Moon" move in stages so students can take a moment to see how it looks at each position from different views. Have the students take notes as necessary. Tell them they will use their observations later.
Explore: What will the students do to explore the concepts and skills being developed through the lesson?
To contrast with their visual aids, tell the students that you will now create a view of the Moon from the Sun. This cookie should only show a full view of white icing. Students should see that the view of the Moon from the Sun does not change as it is always illuminated.
For reference, see this NASA graphic:
For reference, use the NASA Moon Phases diagram:
Explain: What will the students and teacher do so students have opportunities to clarify their ideas, reach a conclusion or generalization, and communicate what they know to others?
With students in groups of two, carefully separate the cookies and shape the icing into representations of the Moon phases and place the cookies on the handout Phases of the Moon Activity.doc. The teacher will observe and ask questions.
Elaborate: What will the students do to apply their conceptual understanding and skills to solve a problem, make a decision, perform a task, or make sense of new knowledge?
Students will draw, label and explain the phases of the moon and answer the questions on the handout. Moon Phases Questions.doc
Students will complete a handout depicting the Moon phases and its position in space related to the Earth and Sun.
The students will demonstrate their knowledge of Moon phases by creating the Moon phases using cream filled chocolate cookies. Students will also complete a Moon phase handout depicting the placement of the Moon, Earth, and Sun.
Feedback to Students
The teacher will walk around the room observing students create their Moon phases using the cookies and provide feedback about their accuracy.