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Earth, Moon, and Sun System: Developing Models – Middle School Science Unit

Developing Models is an important science skill. This LARGE unit will help you teach your 6th, 7th, or 8th-grade science class about the relationship between the movement of the moon, Sun, and Earth!

This resource uses phenomena to engage students in scientific exploration. Science concepts include why we have seasons, solar and lunar eclipses, and lunar phases. Students will make a model of the Earth, Sun, and Moon system and demonstrate an understanding of phases of the moon, causes of the seasons, and how eclipses happen. This unit starts with phenomena and includes hands-on labs, informational text passages, slideshow, comprehension pages, interactive notebook flaps, and more. Parts of this can be used for Distance Learning. Developing and using Models is one of the science and engineering practices.

Lunar phases middle school

This complete unit on Developing Models is HUGE!

If you use all of the pages and my suggested schedule, the material will cover 19 days of lessons.

It includes 84 pages and slides! See more about making models for science her.

This middle school unit on Developing Models of Space includes a PowerPoint slideshow, four pages of informational text passage, interactive notebook inserts, response pages, answer keys, and quizzes in the end of year testing format.

The Sun, earth and moon system

After the slideshow overview there are three distinct mini-units:

  • Lunar Phases
  • Seasons
  • Solar and Lunar Eclipses

Students will make a model of the Earth, Sun, and Moon system and demonstrate an understanding of phases of the moon, causes of the seasons, and how eclipses happen.

This resource is full of engaging activities about the relationship between the movement of the moon, Sun, and Earth.  It includes an informative slide show that gives students an overview of the patterns of movement in the solar system, particularly the Sun, Earth, and Earth’s moon system.

After the slideshow overview there are three distinct mini-units:

Lunar Phases

Seasons

Solar and Lunar Eclipses

If all pages are used at the suggested schedule, this unit will take about 19 days to complete. It includes 84 pages and slides.

This resource includes a slide show, four pages of informational text passages, interactive notebook inserts, response pages, answer keys, and quizzes in the end-of-year testing format. Perfect for Middle School Science on lunar phases, seasons and eclipses.

Developing Models

Your students will really enjoy the hands-on labs!

This resource is meant to fully address the NGSS MS-ESS1-1 Develop and use a model of the Earth-sun-moon system to describe the cyclic patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons. Excellent for middle school science!  [Clarification Statement: Examples of models can be physical, graphical, or conceptual.] This comes from the Earth’s Place in the Universe Strand in the Next Generation Science Standards. This resource uses phenomena to engage students in scientific exploration. Science concepts include why we have seasons, solar and lunar eclipses, and lunar phases.

Students will investigate with hands-on labs and physical models, they will create conceptual models and they will read informational text about solar and lunar eclipses, lunar phases, and seasons.  Students will understand that the patterns of movement between the Earth, Sun, and moon have a specific relationship to lunar phases, solar and lunar eclipses and they will understand that the tilt of the Earth is the reason we have seasons. Students will use critical thinking while working with models and will be able to explain concepts such as the new moon, solar eclipse, lunar eclipse, and phases of the moon.

developing models for phases of the moon

This resource is meant to fully address the standard NGSS MS-ESS1-1 as well as CCSS RI.6.1-6.6

Develop and use a model of the Earth-sun-moon system to describe the cyclic patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons.

NGSS MS-ESS1-1

Other teachers LOVE this unit!

Check out just two of the 100+ perfect reviews:

So great to see such a hands-on resource for teaching earth and space science. My students really engaged with the modelling activities and I think they have a much better grasp of the content as a result. Thank you! I will be purchasing more of your resources.

Hailey N.

The model activities were great. I also think the reading passages that focused on evaluating models was helpful. Students enjoyed these activities.

Elizabeth B.

Developing Models: The Earth, Moon, and Sun System

This unit is available for download in two places:

  1. Here on teachingscience.us
  2. Teachers Pay Teachers

Both downloads are identical in every way – if you download directly from this site, you’re giving me the maximum amount of support!

Either way, your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed.

This site uses 100% secure checkout with PayPal, and after checkout your download is instantly available.

Thank you, and I hope you enjoy using this unit in your classroom!

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Start Here

The elephant article was excellent but I also thought the lab on dissecting a flower was broken down so easily, even telling me where to get inexpensive flowers!  This resource helped me teach this challenging standard in an engaging way.  Worth every penny!

 
Structure and Function NGSS 4-LS1-1 and 4-LS1-2

Richard S

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:07:52-06:00

Richard S

The elephant article was excellent but I also thought the lab on dissecting a flower was broken down so easily, even telling me where to get inexpensive flowers!  This resource helped me teach this challenging standard in an engaging way.  Worth every penny!   Structure and Function NGSS 4-LS1-1 and 4-LS1-2
As always, Lynda provides perfect alignment with the standards.

 
Age of the Earth and Geologic Time Scale NGSS MS ESS1-4

Sharon M

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:24:44-06:00

Sharon M

As always, Lynda provides perfect alignment with the standards.   Age of the Earth and Geologic Time Scale NGSS MS ESS1-4
Thank you so much for creating this resource! It is such a fun and engaging activity for my students, especially during distance learning.

 
Honey Bee Digital Escape Distance Learning

Expedition Fourth

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
2020-11-03T20:44:55-07:00

Expedition Fourth

Thank you so much for creating this resource! It is such a fun and engaging activity for my students, especially during distance learning.   Honey Bee Digital Escape Distance Learning
My students loved this unit. I was able to present different elements of it throughout the month. It is hard to find interesting non-fictional, age-appropriate text for my students that they will enjoy. This was a great unit that aligned well for my students who have very different goals within the same group.

 
Compare and Contrast Two Texts on Reindeer

Heidi J

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
2020-11-03T20:45:49-07:00

Heidi J

My students loved this unit. I was able to present different elements of it throughout the month. It is hard to find interesting non-fictional, age-appropriate text for my students that they will enjoy. This was a great unit that aligned well for my students who have very different goals within the same group.   Compare and Contrast Two Texts on Reindeer
I am so impressed with this unit which manages to be distance learning and hands-on at the same time.  Really well thought out and engaging activities that allow students to practice each of the eight Science and Engineering Practices.  Really no prep for me!

 
Science and Engineering Practices Distance Education Unit

Tina S

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:05:39-06:00

Tina S

I am so impressed with this unit which manages to be distance learning and hands-on at the same time.  Really well thought out and engaging activities that allow students to practice each of the eight Science and Engineering Practices.  Really no prep for me!   Science and Engineering Practices Distance Education Unit
5
3
Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams