ALEX Lesson Plan


Hello, Moon

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Amara Alexander
System: Madison City
School: Madison City Board Of Education
Author:Anne Monroe
System: Jackson County
School: Bryant School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 34328


Hello, Moon


In this interdisciplinary lesson about the moon phases, students track the phases of the moon across the sky. The lesson involves components of the Sun- Earth- Moon system, English Language Arts and Science. This lesson will involve NASA resources, hands-on inquiry and observational data. 

This lesson was created as part of the 2016 NASA STEM Standards of Practice Project, a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. 

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
SC (6)
9. Identify the moon's phases.
  • Describing lunar and solar eclipses
  • Relating effects of the moon's positions on oceanic tides
  • SC2015 (6) Earth and Space Science
    1. Create and manipulate models (e.g., physical, graphical, conceptual) to explain the occurrences of day/night cycles, length of year, seasons, tides, eclipses, and lunar phases based on patterns of the observed motions of celestial bodies.

    Local/National Standards:


    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    Learning Target: I can investigate and explain the phases of the moon.

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

    Students will be able to identify and explain the lunar phases and construct a model that represents the phases of the moon. 

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    61 to 90 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    Teacher Materials: 

    Faces of the Moon by Bob Crelin

    Popplet Lite app iOS or MindMeister Android (concept mapping apps) 

    Popsicle sticks (class set)

    5' centimeter Styrofoam balls (8)

    Bare light bulb on stand- light bulb should be 100 watts or larger

    A room that can be marked, with enough open floor space to fit students standing in a circle.

    Technology Resources Needed:

    Interactive White Board

    laptop with protector

    speakers for listening

    tablet or iPad

    internet access 



    Teacher Preparation: Teacher will gather the following materials: popsicle sticks and Styrofoam balls and place in a location where students can freely access materials.

    If desired, teacher can prepare model 'moons' for  students. To do this, place a popsicle stick in the middle of the Styrofoam ball. Leave enough of the popsicle stick out of the ball so students can hold model in their hand. 

    Students and teachers should be familiar with the 'snowball' strategy. Review for more details. 

    Teacher should access videos regarding moon phases to ensure that links and audio are working properly: 

    NASA Moon phases-

    Mr. Parr: Moon phases

    Teacher should have space available for students to move into a circle to model lunar phases and a classroom that can be completely dark. 

    Students will need to already know how to use Popplet Lite or MindMeister app to create concept maps. 


    Step 1 Students and teachers will complete 'snowball' activity to pique interest and engage students in learning more about the moon.

    • Teacher will have students to write the following question on their paper, "What do you wonder or know about the moon?" After students write question, have them to write their response.
    • Then, equally divide students in half and have them to move to opposite sides of the classroom.
    • On the count of '3', the teacher will say "snowball fight'. Students will then (gently) throw their 'snowball' across the class.
    • Another student will grab a 'snowball' open, read response and then write their own. The teacher may complete this process 2 more times or as desired. 

    After that, have students to share our responses from their 'snowball' through Popplet Lite app. Students will create a Popplet based on their thought of the moon. 

    Step 2 The teacher should read Faces of the Moon to students aloud (whole group). After reading the book, teacher should engage in guided discussion with students by asking the following questions regarding the moon. The teacher may want to record responses on chart paper to refer back to during discussions. 

    1. What is meant by a 'phase' of the moon?

    2. How many phases does the moon have?

    3. Why does the moon appear to have phases? 

    4. What is the best place to view the phases as they occur? 

    5. What other questions do you have about the moon?

    Once the discussion is over, students add new learning to their Popplet. 


    Step 3 Students will watch introductory video on moon phases. 

    NASA Sci-Files 

    The teacher will discuss with students the moon phases activity that was represented in the video. Inform students that this process takes about 30 days for the moon to orbit around the Earth. 

    Students and teacher will then complete the moon phases demonstration.  

    Moon Phase Demonstration


    Step 4 Teacher will review phases of the moon with students. Students will then add new learning to their Popplet and share aloud. 

    Share Mr. Parr video



    Assessment Strategies

    Teacher Observation

    Students' Popplet will be reviewed as formative assessment just to identify what the students have said they learned. 

    Moon Phases- Science Notebook/ Journal- Informal evaluation for correctness and completeness.


    Students will illustrate and label each phase of the moon in their science journal. 


    Pull students who are having difficulty in small group to play Moon Phase Yahtzee to review the lunar phases. 

    Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

    Presentation of Material Environment
    Time Demands Materials
    Attention Using Groups and Peers
    Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
    Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.