Recommended Grade Level: 6-8
- Estimated Time: 3 forty-five minute sessions
Objective: Moon Phases & Eclipses is a free and innovative 3-day unit that provides interactive videos, hands-on activities, lesson plans, and student worksheets to explore why the Moon's phase changes. The curriculum uses a combination of Earth- and space-based visualizations and models to address common misconceptions and strengthen students’ spatial reasoning skills. Moon Phases & Eclipses is aligned with standards for middle school Earth and Space Science (NGSS MS-ESS1-1).
The program covers the rotation and revolution; the relationship between sunlight and the objects in our solar system; the different phases of the lunar cycle; and a four-step process for predicting an Earth-based perspective of the Moon's phase. Join us as we use WorldWide Telescope to journey around the solar system to better understand Moon Phases as seen from Earth!
These two Curriculum Guides provide teachers with all the necessary materials for each day of the 3-day ThinkSpace Moon Phases & Eclipses curriculum. The Moon Phases curriculum and the Eclipses curriculum each include a variety of components that you will find on this webpage: daily lesson plans; student activity sheets; classroom activities; and interactive instructional videos.
In order to run the Moon Phases curriculum in your classroom, you will need to use the Moon Phases multimedia content as well. You have two options here. You can either (1) run the collection of slideshows and videos provided below on a classroom projector, or (2) download and use the interactive Moon Phases WorldWide Telescope file (you will need to download the WorldWide Telescope application to your computer as well). All downloads provided below under Digital Resources.
Session 1 Sheets
Session 2 Sheets
Session 3 Sheets
Moon Phases & Eclipses on WorldWide Telescope
All of the Moon Phases & Eclipses digital content was made using WorldWide Telescope (WWT), a free, interactive software that models our universe and allows users to record tours of their explorations. WWT requires Windows, so the tours are converted into videos for accessibility. For the fully-interactive experience of this curriculum, follow the steps below to install and run WWT.
Download the Moon Phases WorldWide Telescope tour file (.wtt) from Zenodo.
Download the Eclipses WorldWide Telescope tour file (.wtt) from Zenodo.
How do I run a WWT tour on my Windows computer?
You will need to download WorldWide Telescope to your Windows computer to run a WWT tour file.
- Download WWT (for free) from worldwidetelescope.org.
- Download the Moon Phases and the Eclipses WorldWide Telescope tour files (.wtt) above.
- Double-click the .wtt file to open and run the Moon Phases tour or the Eclipses tour.