Astronomy (3 of 4): Our Moon

Lesson Title: Astronomy (3 of 4): Our Moon
Academic Standards: HS-ESS1-4, HS-ESS1-6
Content Creator: Mrs. Wendy Martin
Level: High School
Duration: 35-45 min
  /  Astronomy (3 of 4): Our Moon


  • Define synchronous rotation.
  • Understand how that influences how we see the Moon from Earth.
  • Understand the giant-impact theory and how the moon is formed.
  • Explore the information that the Apollo missions accumulated.
  • Understand what causes the moon phases.
  • Learn the phases of the moon.
  • Understand what causes a lunar eclipse.
  • Understand what causes a solar eclipse.
  • Define blood moon, supermoon, blue moon, harvest moon.
  • Understand the moon's effect on Earth's tides.
  • Understand the moon's effect on Earth's wobble.


Planets orbit the Sun and moons orbit the planets. Our Moon is the Earth’s only satellite. It is the largest and brightest object in our sky and the 5th largest moon in our solar system. You cannot look at the history of the Earth without including our Moon’s history. The Moon’s phases have guided our farming and harvest for years. Its gravitational pull has controlled our tides and kept the Earth at its tilt, controlling our seasons. In this lesson students will learn all about the basics of the moons, explorations of the moon and the moons effect on the Earth. Students will demonstrate both lunar and solar eclipses with models of the Earth, Moon and Sun. Students will perform a hands on activity modeling the phases of the moon. Video experiences include an original VictoryXR video describing the moon, its basic structure and its role in Earth’s ecosystems.


1. Start out in the planetarium. 2. Take a field trip to the moon. 3. Watch video "Sun, Earth and Moon". It is in the VictoryXR library. 4. Discuss the moon basics. 5. Give them a moon and have them manipulate it as we discuss it. 6. Go through PowerPoint. Discuss eclipses. 7. Have the kids use a Moon, Earth and Sun and demonstrate each type of eclipse: solar or lunar. 8. Discuss the cause of moon phases. 9. Discuss each of the phases. 10. Have them use the moon model. There is a sun on the Mars location that they can use to model this. Have them rotate the moon as it would so they can see how the sun reflects on the moon. 11. Finish class with a quick True/False assessment.

Demonstratives & Media

Classroom Space
Virtual Field Trips & Lab Demonstrations

Suggested Ancillary Support

For the eclipse demos, I give the sun, moon and Earth to each kid and have them put them in the correct order.   For the True/False assessment, I had a large T and a large F. I created 10-12 sticky notes on Engage. About half were true statements about the moon and half were false statements about the moon. The students grabbed a sticky note and took it to the True side or False side.