Lesson Plan: Life on the Moon

First and Last Name: Nicola Dickinson
Author's E-mail Address: dickinson73@hotmail.com
Course Name: ED 222 - Instructional Technology
College: Butler Community College
Current Semester: Fall, 2014
Professor Name: Dr. Shellie Gutierrez

Essential Question:

Could humans one day live on the Moon?

Content Questions:
What is the Moon?
What is the purpose of the Moon?
What would we need to survive on the Moon?

Lesson Summary
The introduction will be showing a video by NASA called "Tour of the Moon." After the video ask students what they already know about the moon. After hearing the students insights give a short lecture about the Moon. After, have students get into groups of two or three to read two articles online about life on the Moon and the potential to live on the moon. Lastly, have students use Glogster to create a poster.

Grade level: 6-8

Subject Area: Science, Social Studies

Learning outcomes
Students will have learned basic information and facts about the moon
Be able to recognize and evaluate what it will take for life to exist on the moon
Be able to work together to make an online poster

Lesson Procedures and Time Requirements:

  • Introduction (10 minutes)

Video and class discussion on what students know about the moon

  • Lecture (10 or 15 minutes)

Tell the class facts about the moon and cover the following information (All information taken directly from http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/astrono... )

Notes to lecture
The moon is Earth's only natural satellite. The moon is a cold, dry orb whose surface is studded with craters and strewn with rocks and dust (called regolith). The moon has no atmosphere. Recent lunar missions indicate that there might be some frozen ice at the poles.

The same side of the moon always faces the Earth. The far side of the moon was first observed by humans in 1959 when the unmanned Soviet Luna 3 mission orbited the moon and photographed it. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin (on NASA's Apollo 11 mission, which also included Michael Collins) were the first people to walk on the moon, on July 20, 1969.

If you were standing on the moon, the sky would always appear dark, even during the daytime. Also, from any spot on the moon (except on the far side of the moon where you cannot see the Earth), the Earth would always be in the same place in the sky; the phase of the Earth changes and the Earth rotates, displaying various continents.

The moon is about 238,900 miles (384,000 km) from Earth on average. At its closest approach (the lunar perigee) the moon is 221,460 miles (356,410 km) from the Earth. At its farthest approach (its apogee) the moon is 252,700 miles (406,700 km) from the Earth.

The moon revolves around the Earth in about one month (27 days 8 hours). It rotates around its own axis in the same amount of time. The same side of the moon always faces the Earth; it is in a synchronous rotation with the Earth.

The Moon's orbit is expanding over time as it slows down (the Earth is also slowing down as it loses energy). For example, a billion years ago, the Moon was much closer to the Earth (roughly 200,000 kilometers) and took only 20 days to orbit the Earth. Also, one Earth 'day' was about 18 hours long (instead of our 24 hour day). The tides on Earth were also much stronger since the moon was closer to the Earth.

The moon's diameter is 2,159 miles (3,474 km), 27% of the diameter of the Earth (a bit over a quarter of the Earth's diameter).
The gravitational tidal influence of the Moon on the Earth is about twice as strong as the Sun's gravitational tidal influence. The Earth:moon size ratio is quite small in comparison to ratios of most other planet:moon systems (for most planets in our Solar System, the moons are much smaller in comparison to the planet and have less of an effect on the planet).

The moon's mass is (7.35 x 10 22 kg), about 1/81 of the Earth's mass.
The moon's gravitational force is only 17% of the Earth's gravity. For example, a 100 pound (45 kg) person would weigh only 17 pounds (7.6 kg) on the Moon.
The moon's density is 3340 kg/m 3. This is about 3/5 the density of the Earth.

The temperature on the Moon ranges from daytime highs of about 130°C = 265°F to nighttime lows of about -110°C = -170°F

The moon has no atmosphere. On the moon, the sky is always appears dark, even on the bright side (because there is no atmosphere). Also, since sound waves travel through air, the moon is silent; there can be no sound transmission on the moon.

The Earth and the Moon are relatively close in size (4:1 in diameter, 81:1 in mass), unlike most planet/moon systems. Many people consider the Earth and Moon to be a double planet system (rather than a planet/moon system). The moon does not actually revolve around the Earth; it revolves around the Sun in concert with the Earth (like a double planet system).

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin's footprint on the moon's Sea of Tranquility, from the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.
There have been many missions to the moon, including orbiters missions and moon landings. NASA's Apollo missions sent people to the moon for the first time. Apollo 11's LEM (Lunar Excursion Module) landed on the moon on July 20, 1969 with Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin (Michael Collins was in the orbiter). Neil Armstrong was the first person to set foot on the moon. His first words upon stepping down the Lunar Module's ladder onto the lunar surface were, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Aldrin described the lunar scenery as "magnificent desolation." Apollo 12-17 continued lunar exploration.

NASA astronauts have retrieved 842 pounds (382 kg) of moon rocks (in many missions), which have been closely studied. The composition of the moon rocks is very similar to that of Earth rocks. Using radioisotope dating, it has been found that moon rocks are about 4.3 billion years old.

Most scientists believe that the moon was formed from the ejected material after the Earth collided with a Mars-sized object. This ejected material coalesced into the moon that went into orbit around the Earth. This catastrophic collision occurred about 60 million years after Earth itself formed (about 4.3 billion years ago). This is determined by the radioisotope dating of moon rocks

When two full moons occur in a single month, the second full moon is called a "Blue Moon." Another definition of the blue moon is the third full moon that occurs in a season of the year which has four full moons (usually each season has only three full moons.)

  • Group Work (45 minutes)

Have students get in to groups of two or three depending on the class size. Using the computers in class have children open Symbaloo and read two articles as a group. The articles are called "What if we lived on the Moon" and "How to live on the Moon."
Have the students brainstorm ideas on how they could create life on the moon. What steps would they take? What would they do to provide the basics like breathable air, food, shelter etc.
Lastly have students create a poster on Glogster. (This step will take the longest because students will have to set up accounts. Also this is the part of the lesson that will bring out a students creativity. Give children plenty of time to create poster and if necessary let them continue working on posters the next class period.)
Tell students the following beforehand: Based on what you have learned about the Moon and the potential to live on the Moon, I want groups to create a poster that the rest of the school will see. You are telling the rest of the school that you have worked out how to survive on the moon and that we are all leaving Earth to live on the Moon. Make the poster fun, interesting and informative. Make sure to explain somewhere on your Glog some basic facts about the Moon to inform people about the planet they are about to move to. Add pictures and anything else you think will get people's attention.

  • Closing (15 minutes)

Students who have finished their posters have the opportunity to present them to the rest of the class.
Access to internet on the smartboard to show opening video to class.
Computers with internet so students can access Symbaloo and Glogster.

Accommodations for differentiated Instruction
Special Needs Learner: Give student more time to complete assignment, check the students progress throughout the lesson, give the student more direction if needed and encourage feedback from student so I can tell if the student is understanding the lesson.
Non-Native English Speaker: Repeat information with student one on one. Student will benefit from group work.
Gifted Student: On the Symbaloo site there are more tiles for students. There is a link to a quiz and a "Moon Olympics Game."
Student Assessment:
I will assess based on how well they participate in group and class discussions. Presentations of posters will help me see what they have learned.


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