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Each lesson or activity in this toolkit is related to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The toolkit is designed so that each lesson can be done independently, or combined and taught in a sequence. The Teacher Implementation Guide provides... (View More) recommendations for combining the lessons into three main strands: 1) Lunar Exploration. These lessons provide a basic introduction to Moon exploration. Note that this strand is also appropriate for use in social studies classes. 2) Mapping the Moon. These lessons provide a more in-depth understanding of Moon exploration through the use of scientific data and student inquiry. The lessons also include many connections to Earth science and geology. 3) Tools of Investigation. These higher-level lessons examine the role of technology, engineering and physics in collecting and analyzing data. (View Less)
This article explains the monthly variations in the Moon's appearance as seen from Earth. Directions for using Oreo cookies to illustrate the four major phases of the Moon are provided. The article is targeted to children ages 10-12.
This is an activity about the Moon's formation, changes over time, gravitational connection to Earth, or influence on our culture and urban legends. Learners share their learning by creating zines: small, self-published magazines inexpensively... (View More) duplicated on standard letter paper and folded into eight-page booklets. This is the concluding activity of Explore! Marvel Moon. (View Less)
This is an activity about the rotation of the Moon. Learners use a penny and a quarter to model that the Moon does indeed spin on its axis as it orbits the Earth. They find that the Moon keeps the same face toward the Earth, but receives... (View More) illumination from the Sun on all sides in turn. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon. (View Less)
This is an activity about the Moon's influence on Earth. Learners think like a scientist — with reasoning skills and a healthy amount of skepticism — to sort puzzle pieces containing statements about the Moon into two images. The "Far-out Far... (View More) Side" has incorrect statements about the Moon (urban myths), and "True-Blue Blue Moon" has true facts about the Moon’s influence on Earth and life. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon. (View Less)
This is an activity about the tides. Learners discover how the Moon's gravitational pull causes the level of the ocean to rise and fall twice a day along most coastlines. Six children represent the oceans, solid Earth, Moon, and Sun and move their... (View More) bodies to show the interactions of these elements. They then consider what the Earth's tides might have been like if there were no Moon. They model the smaller tides that would be produced solely by the Sun. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon. (View Less)
Learners model how Earth's tilt creates the seasons. They use their bodies to review the Earth's daily motions before investigating the reason for Earth's seasons in this kinesthetic exploration. The motion of the Earth about its axis (rotation) and... (View More) in orbit around the Sun (revolution) is related to the appearance of the sky over the course of the day and year. Next they model that if the Earth's tilt was not stabilized by Moon, Earth's axis would slowly wobble between straight up (0° tilt) to nearly on its side (80° tilt). The resulting seasonal extremes would be unfavorable for life. Note that this activity is appropriate for children who are able to explore the geometry of Sun-Earth-Moon relationships in three dimensions. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon. (View Less)
Learners explore Earth's rotation and the Moon's role in our 24-hour day, using their bodies to explore and model the Earth's daily motions in this kinethetic exploration. They relate the motion of the Earth about its axis (rotation) to the... (View More) appearance of the sky over the course of the day. Learners consider the role of the Moon in slowing Earth's rotation over time; if the Moon didn't exist, Earth might be spinning more quickly, giving us an eight-hour day! This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon. (View Less)
Learners use a Styrofoam ball, sunlight, and the motions of their bodies to model the Moon's phases outdoors. An extension is to have children predict future Moon phases. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon.
Learners hear a story, song, or (silly or serious) poem that celebrates the Moon's different phases. They recreate the shapes of the lunar phases using the frosting from Oreo® cookies, and then they place them in correct order to reveal the... (View More) repeating pattern. As they eat the cookies, they consider how our culture would differ without the Moon changing shape in the sky over time. They use words inspired by the Moon to write a short poem. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon. (View Less)