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Lesson Plan: Moon Phases

Teacher________Aja Harvey________________ Grade


I. Content and Standards:

Organize, represent, and interpret data with up to three categories; ask and
answer questions about the total number of data points, how many in each
category, and how many more or less are in one category than in another.

Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or
information presented orally or through other media.

c. 1-ESS1-1- Use observations of the sun, moon, and stars to describe

patterns that can be predicted.

II. Prerequisites:

a. MP.2 Reason abstractly

b. Science Practice- Make predictions based on prior experience.

III. Essential Questions (provide a framework)

a. Why does the moon look different each night?

IV. Instructional Objective:

a. Students will be able to recognize the main characteristics of the moon’s

phases and explain why the phases occur.

V. Instructional Procedures:.

a. First, the moon journal will be updated

i. Students will be shown a calendar of the moon’s cycle on the smart

ii. As a class, the class moon calendar will be filled in showing the
moon’s gradual changes from night to night.

iii. Students will return to their tables to fill in their own moon
journals in their weather and sky journal.

b. “So, we talked about the moon a little yesterday. Do we remember why

the moon looks white some days and why it is dark on others?”

c. “As we complete our moon journal, we will continue to see the moon
change each night and those changes are called phases.”

d. “If we look at a fully lit moon, what do we call that phase?”

e. “If we could see a completely dark moon, what do we call that?”

f. “I want to show a video that explains the phases of the moon using a little

i. Start at 0:15s

g. Following the video, we will discuss the names of the moon phases

h. We will complete our own version of the experiment so that each student
is able to see this occurrence first-hand.

i. “So, when we start from a new moon, what happens as you start to

ii. “As we pass the full moon, what do you see?”

i. Completing our own version of the experiment, students will need to
describe the phase of the moon that they see.

j. Students will complete page 97 in their weather and sky journal.

k. Exit ticket- Students will describe one of their favorite facts about the

VI. Materials and Equipment: Weather and sky journal, Moon Phases
demonstration video (,
Sphere, Flashlight

VII. Assessment/Evaluation:

a. Students will be questioned on the phases of the moon through the


b. Page 97 of the weather journal

c. Exit tickets

VIII. VII. Differentiation: Individualized Activities: N/A

IX. Technology: The smartboard will be used to allow all students to see the
same image, large enough to be seen for all.

X. Self-Assessment: Student engagement throughout the lesson, student

understanding represented through their answers to questions, and their work
in the weather and sky journal will be used to assess the efficacy of the
lesson’s current structure and content.