The moon and its phases: Astronomy and integration with other subjects in elementary classrooms Name Instructor Classroom 3 September 2012 Elementary school courses provide the first formal exposure of children to science. Elementary school teachers are now required by current state standards to have the knowledge and skills to teach their students a wide spectrum of science courses (Plotnick, Varelas, & Fan, 2009, p.152)…
Afterwards, it seems that the moon vanishes for several days. Elementary teachers can use this “mystery” of the changing moon to explain sunlight, reflection, and the movement of the moon around the earth. Astronomy teaches interesting subjects about celestial objects and phenomena that can be integrated with other subjects in the elementary classroom through identifying interrelated skills, knowledge, and concepts. The revolution of the Moon around the Earth makes the Moon appear as if it is changing shape in the sky. In reality, the Moon’s shape changes because of the sunlight that it reflects. The Sun always shines on half of the Moon, and as the Moon orbits the Earth, people see different parts of that lighted part of the Moon (National Air and Space Museum, 1999). What people see as changes in the bright part of the Moon’s surface are also called as phases of the moon. The Moon does not produce light on its own; it only reflects the light of the sun. This reflected part changes and becomes the palpable phases of the Moon for people on Earth. The Moon goes through five basic phases shapes during a cycle that recurs every 29.5 days. The phases always go after one another in the same order. There are five basic phases of the Moon that people can see from Earth and they are: The New Moon, First Quarter Moon, Gibbous Moon, Full Moon, and Last Quarter Moon. In total, there are eight phases of the Moon, however. The eight phases start from the New Moon and eventually goes back to the New Moon phase and they are: Phase 1 - New Moon- During the phase of the New Moon, the lit side of the moon is not facing the Earth. This makes the Moon look invisible to people on Earth (NASA Starchild Project, n.d.). Phase 2 - Waxing Crescent- The Waxing Crescent Moon is the phase after the New Moon and before the First Quarter Moon. During this time, a small part, or less than 50%, of the moon is lit up by the sun (NASA Starchild Project, n.d.). The lighted part of the moon slowly expands as the Moon orbits the Earth (NASA Starchild Project, n.d.). Phase 3 - First Quarter – During the First Quarter Moon, its right side is lighted, while the left part is dark. During the instance between the New Moon and the First Quarter Moon, the fraction of the Moon that appears lighted gets bigger and bigger every day, and it will keep on expanding until it reaches the phase of the Full Moon (National Air and Space Museum, 1999). Phase 4 - Waxing Gibbous – This Moon is seen subsequent to the Full Moon, but before the Last Quarter Moon. The Waxing Gibbous Moon is almost completely lit up and the part that is lit up increases every day. Waxing means increasing (National Air and Space Museum, 1999). Phase 5 - Full Moon – During the Full Moon, the lit side of the Moon fully faces the Earth. This means that the Earth, Sun, and Moon are almost in a straight line, with the Earth in the center (National Air and Space Museum, 1999). The Full Moon looks very bright because of the sunlight it reflects (National Air and Space Museum, 1999). Phase 6 - Waning Gibbous – The Waning Gibbous Moon is seen subsequent to the Full Moon, but before the Last Quarter Moon. The amount of the Moon that can be seen grows smaller and smaller every day. Waning “ ...
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