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This article explains the role of the tilt of Earth's axis on seasonal changes. An accompanying exploration dispels the commonly held misconception that distances between the sun and Earth are a factor. The article is targeted to children ages 10-12.
This is an activity about the Moon's formation, changes over time, gravitational connection to Earth, or influence on our culture and urban legends. Learners share their learning by creating zines: small, self-published magazines inexpensively... (View More) duplicated on standard letter paper and folded into eight-page booklets. This is the concluding activity of Explore! Marvel Moon. (View Less)
This is an activity about the rotation of the Moon. Learners use a penny and a quarter to model that the Moon does indeed spin on its axis as it orbits the Earth. They find that the Moon keeps the same face toward the Earth, but receives... (View More) illumination from the Sun on all sides in turn. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon. (View Less)
This is an activity about the Moon's influence on Earth. Learners think like a scientist — with reasoning skills and a healthy amount of skepticism — to sort puzzle pieces containing statements about the Moon into two images. The "Far-out Far... (View More) Side" has incorrect statements about the Moon (urban myths), and "True-Blue Blue Moon" has true facts about the Moon’s influence on Earth and life. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon. (View Less)
This is an activity about the tides. Learners discover how the Moon's gravitational pull causes the level of the ocean to rise and fall twice a day along most coastlines. Six children represent the oceans, solid Earth, Moon, and Sun and move their... (View More) bodies to show the interactions of these elements. They then consider what the Earth's tides might have been like if there were no Moon. They model the smaller tides that would be produced solely by the Sun. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon. (View Less)
Learners use a Styrofoam ball, sunlight, and the motions of their bodies to model the Moon's phases outdoors. An extension is to have children predict future Moon phases. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon.
Learners hear a story, song, or (silly or serious) poem that celebrates the Moon's different phases. They recreate the shapes of the lunar phases using the frosting from Oreo® cookies, and then they place them in correct order to reveal the... (View More) repeating pattern. As they eat the cookies, they consider how our culture would differ without the Moon changing shape in the sky over time. They use words inspired by the Moon to write a short poem. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon. (View Less)
Learners select from a variety of fruits to construct a scale model of the Moon, Earth, and Sun. After determining the correct sizes and distances for their models, they remove the Moon. They consider what it would be like if the nearby Moon were no... (View More) longer reflecting the Sun’s light in the nighttime or daytime sky. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon. (View Less)
This is an activity about the way the moon interacts with sunlight. Learners consider a ball, wrapped in aluminum foil, and experiment with a flashlight to make it appear bright. The children compare the foil-wrapped ball to a Moon globe and... (View More) discover that the Moon reflects very little of the light the falls on it, but still appears bright. The children construct their own globe of the Moon to take home with them by gluing a map template onto a tennis-ball. This activity is most effective when conducted in a dark area, such as outdoors at night or in a darkened room. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon. (View Less)
Learners go outside on a clear evening and view the sky to see the Moon for themselves. Using sky charts, children navigate the Moon’s impact craters, flat plains (maria), and mountains with the naked eye and binoculars or telescopes. This outdoor... (View More) night viewing can be combined with the indoor stations activity, Growing Up Moon, or the outdoor activity, Mirror Moon. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon. (View Less)