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8th Grade Lesson Plans

Monday, March 9th – Friday, March 13th

Monday

Students will complete vocab for Earth, Sun, and Moon and Pre-assess for the unit.

Tuesday

NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • ESS1.A: The Universe and Its Stars:
    • Patterns of the apparent motion of the sun, the moon, and stars in the sky can be observed, described, predicted, and explained with models. (MS-ESS1-1)

Students learn:

  • The Moon does not make its own light; the sun illuminates the Moon.
  • Scientists can use simulations to gather evidence and answer questions.

Lesson at a Glance

1: Warm-Up (5 min.)

Students look at and think about images of the Moon in order to activate their prior knowledge.

(Teacher Only) Video: Photographing the Moon (5 min.)

Students are introduced to their role and the problem they will solve in this unit.

2: Taking Pictures of the Moon (15 min.)

Students are introduced to the Chapter 1 Question that they will begin to answer during this lesson.

3: Investigating Light on the Moon (20 min.)

Students explore the Earth, Moon, and Sun Simulation in order to become familiar with it, and they use it to gather evidence to help them answer the first Investigation Question: Where does the Moon get its light? The teacher uses this opportunity as an On-the-Fly Assessment of students' ability to use evidence to support a claim.

4: Homework

Students are provided with an introduction to the crosscutting concept of scale through an article about the relative size and distance of objects in our solar system.

Wednesday

NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • ESS1.A: The Universe and Its Stars:
    • Patterns of the apparent motion of the sun, the moon, and stars in the sky can be observed, described, predicted, and explained with models. (MS-ESS1-1)

Students learn:

  • Models are representations of systems that help us understand something by making it simpler or easier to see.
  • When a model is “to scale,” object sizes and distances are larger or smaller than in the real world but the same relative to one another. Some models need to be “not to scale” to be useful.
  • Earth, the Moon, and the sun are extremely far away from each other. Even though all three are huge, the distances between them are even larger.

Lesson at a Glance

1: Warm-Up (5 min.)

Students apply what they learned from the article "The Solar System Is Huge" to a different context in order to generalize ideas about scale and appreciate the usefulness of models.

2: Debriefing the Warm-Up (15 min.)

Students share their responses to the Warm-Up and connect this discussion to their experiences with the Sim in order to support their understanding of models and scale.

3: Introducing the Moon Sphere Model (5 min.)

The teacher introduces the Moon Sphere Model. Students discuss what each of its parts will be used to represent and whether the model will be "to scale." The teacher uses this opportunity as an On-the-Fly Assessment of students' understanding of the concepts of models and scale.

4: The Moon Sphere Model: Light and Dark (20 min.)

Students use a physical model of the Earth, Moon, and sun system in order to gather evidence about why the Moon is half lit and half dark.

5: Homework

Students read an article about the side of the Moon facing away from the sun to gather more evidence about why part of the Moon is dark.

Thursday

 

Friday

NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • ESS1.A: The Universe and Its Stars:
    • Patterns of the apparent motion of the sun, the moon, and stars in the sky can be observed, described, predicted, and explained with models. (MS-ESS1-1)

Students learn:

  • The sun illuminates the half of the Moon that is facing it, and the other half is dark.
  • Light from the sun travels in straight lines.
  • Scientists can use models to represent their understanding of a concept.

Lesson at a Glance

1: Warm-Up (5 min.)

Students have an initial opportunity to write an answer to the Chapter 1 Question: Why is there a border between light and dark on the Moon?

2: Investigating Darkness on the Moon (15 min.)

Students use the Sim to gather evidence in order to answer the Investigation Question. This activity provides an opportunity for an On-the-Fly Assessment of students' knowledge of why part of the Moon is dark and of how effectively students can communicate their knowledge by gathering and presenting evidence.

3: Modeling Light and Dark (20 min.)

Students get a chance to apply what they have learned so far by creating a visual model in the Modeling Tool that helps them answer the Chapter 1 Question.

4: Taking Pictures of the Moon (5 min.)

Students discuss their current thinking about Eric Wu's assignment for About Space magazine. This sets the stage for the work they will do in Chapter 2.

5: Homework

Students examine photographic evidence suggesting that the appearance of the Moon changes. This foreshadows the questions they will consider in Chapter 2.