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Activity: Kinesthetic Model of the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:

NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas:

Materials

  • Styrofoam “moon” ball on a pencil
  • Light bulb “sun”
  • Portable utility light
  • Materials to darken room
  • Picture of familiar geographic area (e.g., state or county) (optional)
  • Sticker (optional)

 

Procedure

Your teacher will help lead you through this activity.

Paid
Teacher Guide

Teacher Text: Kinesthetic Model of the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth

 

Activity Questions: 
  1. Explain the movement of the moon in relation to the earth over the course of:
    1. 24 hours
    2. a month
    3. a year.
       
  2. Explain the movement of the earth in relation to the sun over the course of:
    1. 24 hours
    2. a month
    3. a year.
       
  3. Draw the relative positions of the sun, the earth, and the moon during a:
    1. new moon
    2. first quarter moon (Fig. 6.4 A)
    3. full moon (Fig. 6.4 B)
    4. third quarter moon (Fig. 6.4 C)

<p><strong>Fig. 6.4.</strong> Moon phases (<strong>A</strong>) First quarter moon, (<strong>B</strong>) Full moon, (<strong>C</strong>) Third quarter moon</p><br />


  1. Compare your observations of the solar system model to the real world. What does the model represent accurately? What does the model not represent accurately?
Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawaii, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.