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Moon Phases


Central Focus/Big Idea: The moon has different phases and it rotates around the Earth.

Subject of this lesson: The cause of night and day

Grade Level: 4th grade

NC Essential Standard(s): 4.E.1.1 Explain the cause of day and night based on the rotation of
Earth on its axis.

Next Generation Science Standard(s): MS-ESS1-1 Earth's Place in the Universe

21st Century Skills: Collaboration and Communication. I chose these 2 because students will
need to collab their ideas together to put the moon phases in the right spot on their activity.
Communication was chosen because students need to communicate their opinions with each
other as well as communicate with the teacher if they have questions.
Academic Language Demand

Language Function: In the table below highlight the one most important language
function for your lesson. Explain why you chose this.
Analyze Argue Categorize Compare/contrast Describe Explain
Interpret Predict Question Retell Summarize
Scientific Vocabulary: What are the key scientific terms that your students will learn
through this lesson?

Explain is the most important language function because explaining why the day and night is
caused by the rotation of Earth on its axis.

Analyze is important as well because students will analyze the different moon phases there are.

Instructional Objective: Students will be able to identify the different phases of the moon when
it is rotating around the Earth. Students are expected to earn 8/10 points to show mastery.

Prior Knowledge (student): Students should know that the Earth rotates. The students should
also know that there are multiple ways the moon appears to us on Earth.

Content Knowledge (teacher): Teachers need to know that the Earth rotates on an axis and that
this rotation causes one side of our planet to receive light rays from the sun while the other side
is in darkness (day/night). This rotation occurs over a 24-hour period.
Accommodations for special needs (individual and/or small group): Students that are ELL will
be given a copy of the work and guidance in their main language. Students that are slower than
others will have extra time to complete the activity. They will also get a copy of a guide of what
is going on and what is being taught.

Materials and Technology requirements: Smartboard, pencil, paper, chromebooks, gluestick.

Total Estimated Time: How long do you expect your lesson will take?

30 mins

Source of lesson: Web site, textbook, colleague?

Youtube https://sites.google.com/a/chccs.k12.nc.us/fourth-grade-is-fabulous/science/moon-and-
Safety considerations: How will you make sure students are safe in your lesson?
There is not any safety concerns for this lesson.
Content and Strategies (Procedure)

Engage: Students will be asked how does the moon and sun appear? Where does the sun and
moon go after they disappear? A youtube video will be shown to show the moon phases. If the
youtube video does not work I plan on having a power point as well that explains and shows the
phases while the Earth is rotating.

Explore: All students will have the common experience by watching the same video from the
engage. Students will work with the group at their table. On each table place 10 moon phase
pictures. Tell students their task is to sort the pictures into order. Students will not be told that
you are only supposed to use 8 of the photos. Students will be given a piece of chart paper on it
that has the Earth in the middle and a glue stick so they can put the pictures in order around the

Explanation: Students will share with the class what their groups created on their paper. As
each group finishes sharing allow other groups to ask questions and comment. Scientific terms
that will be used: axis, earth, sun, moon.

Elaborate: Give students the photos from the engage to rewrite an explanation to why they put
the photos in the order they had done. While they are working, ask students if they changed their
original pictures were arranged the way they have it now. If it did why? If it didnt why?

Evaluate:Students will get 2 point for correctly identifying the proper moon phase. Students will
get 4 points for their explanation of the moon phases and why they placed them in the order they
had done. This will be the summative assessment. Students will be formatively assessed with
questions throughout the lesson.

To be complete after the lesson is taught as appropriate

Assessment Results of all objectives/skills:

Reflection on lesson:

CT signature/confirmation: _________________________________ Date: ________________