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FOSS Planetary Science Investigation 4: Discover the Moon (4 days)
Big Idea
The moon's monthly orbit around Earth, the relative positions of the sun, the moon, and the observer and the fact that it shines by reflected sunlight explain the observed phases of the moon. (K-12 Framework Core Idea: ESS1.B)
Essential Questions
Does the moon appear the same from day to day?
What do you wonder about the moon?
How can our questions be categorized or classified?
How were myths used to explain something about the moon?

Keep a record of observations, notes, sketches, questions, and ideas using tools such as written and/or computer logs.
Describe how a major milestone in science or technology has revolutionized the thinking of the time (e.g., global positioning system, telescopes, seismographs, photography).
Explain the phases of the Moon in terms of the relative positions of the Earth, Sun, and Moon.
Identify how diverse people and/or cultures, past and present, have made important contributions to scientific innovations (e.g., Rachel Carson [scientist], supports Strand 4; Luis Alvarez [scientist] and Walter Alvarez [scientist], support Strand 6; Percival Lowell [scientist], supports Strand 6; Copernicus [scientist], supports Strand 6).
Analyze the use of technology in science-related careers.
Observe and record the Moon's changing appearance day and night for at least a month. Generate a list of questions about the Moon that will guide further study.
Science & Engineering Practices
Asing Questions:  generating questions about the Moon
Content/Core Ideas
  • The Moon's appearance (shape) changes predictably over a month. The phases are called new, first quarter, full, and third quarter.
  • The Moon has features that can be identified in telescope images: craters, maria, and mountains.
Learning Practices
CC:7.RL.1:  read and analyze moon myths
CC:7.RL.1  Read Father Moon
CC:7.RL.1 Read Rona and the Moon
CC:7.RL.1  Read Moon and His Sister
CC:7.RL.1 Read Tale of the Rabbit and Bahloo, Moon Man
CC: 7W.3  students will create their own Moon myth explaining some aspect of the Moon (phases, craters, maria, etc.)
Academic Vocabulary
  • Moon log
  • craters
  • maria
  • highlands
  • rays
  • rilles
  • myth
Mid-summative Exam 4
informally assess student questions
Moon Myth