First Grade NGSS
Light, Shadows, and Seasons


Exploring the Earth/Moon systems creates the ultimate shadow in the sky.


Exploring the phases of the moon.
Discovering how Sun, Earth and Moon causes shadows.

Phases of the moon
·         Crescent
·         Full Moon
·         New Moon
·         Gibbous

Model of Earth/ Sun/moon
·         Small ball (representing the moon)
·         flashlights
·         Earth Balls
·         Slideshow on Universe (portions of planets rotating and revolving)
·         Mugambi’s Moving Moon
Zoom Zoom  (storybooks)
·         Moon maps
·         Hole puncher
·         yarn


The Earth student and the Moon student first arrange themselves in the new Moon position, as shown in the diagram. Make sure they see that the "sunlight" shines on the side of the Moon away from the Earth. Next, have the Moon student revolve half way around the Earth person. The key objective is for the students to recognize there is a lot of motion occurring all the time in the Solar System.



1.    May want to start off (or end the lesson) with Zoom Zoom….. get the students into the mood of learning about the Moon.

2.      Read the story.  Although Mugambi's Moving Moon is fictional, it reflects how children view and interpret their world. The Moon has a schedule and comes out at night.  Children observe the night time sky and realize that the Moon is predictable. Mugambi moves to a new place and knows the Moon will follow him and therefore is a comfort. Books like this can be used to illustrate the difference between illusion and fact. There are many additional books you can use to remind students there are many things we don't understand, but that is why we go to school.

3.      Explain the difference between a new Moon and a full Moon to the students. Group the students into threes. Have one student be the Sun, one the Moon, and one the Earth. Again, have the Sun hold the flashlight. This time the Sun will shine on the Moon.

4.      With a partner have students work with the Earth ball and the Moon to try and make sense of the diagram.   It is important to emphasis that these are big shadows

5.      Students may ask what an eclipse is…. So basically answer as it is a shadow caused by the Moon getting in between the Earth and Sun.

6.      Have the students make a moon book mark



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