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Earth, Moon and Sun System: Developing Models


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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.

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.
This resource also aligns with Utah SEEd 6.1.1 Develop and use a model of the Sun-Earth-Moon system to describe the cyclic patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the Sun and Moon, and seasons. Examples of models could be physical, graphical, or conceptual.

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.

Please note the PPT included is not editable. It is secure for copyright reasons.

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. See more on Earth, Moon and Sun Systems and Developing Models here.

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

Lunar Phases


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.

Students will use the following NGSS science and engineering practices:

Science and Engineering Practices used by student:
Asking questions
Developing and using models
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Constructing explanations
Engaging in argument from evidence
Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information