Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Monthly Update sign up
Mailing List signup

Teacher's Lab
A Private Universe ProjectIn Class Activities
IntroductionWhat are Your Ideas?In Class ActivitiesDiscussion Forums
Earth Moon Activity
Moon Journal Activity

Additional Resources
image of student  

Perhaps you have asked your students to answer the questions and have found that they made some incorrect responses regarding the phases of the moon. How would you best teach them the correct ideas? You could simply tell them the answers, but research has shown that this seldom changes student ideas. Teaching by telling often gives the impression that science is something students have to accept but not understand.

Alternatively, you could look specifically at which astronomy concepts your students do and do not understand, and then choose a teaching sequence that provides opportunities for them to apply their ideas in situations that can be experienced and tested.

Choosing an Activity

The Lab's three in-class activities are appropriate for grades 4 to 8 and have been purposefully selected to help students gain an understanding of the phases of the Moon. Each activity contains a statement about why it is useful. This allows you to match the purpose of the activity to the student misconceptions exposed by the five questions.

To begin, choose an activity from the list below, or read more about doing in-class activities with your students.

In the Additional Resources section, you can watch a video clip from "A Private Universe," find out how to order the video, and link to helpful online and print resources about astronomy and student misconceptions in science.

Discussing Your Ideas

Before, during, and after the activities, you can also participate in discussion forums with your colleagues to plan teaching sequences, learn how to adapt the activities to your situation, and share the results of your experience.


© Annenberg Foundation 2017. All rights reserved. Legal Policy