Introduction Moon Phases Science Lesson Plan

Grade: 3rd
Time: 30 minutes
Subject/Topic: Science/the moon
Standard: Recognize the pattern of apparent changes in the moon’s shape and position.
Objective: Students will be introduced to the moon and the moon phases.

·         The Moon by Ralph Winrich
·         KWL Chart
·         Moon Trivia Q&A Sheet
·         Lunar Eclipse Pictures/ Diagram
·         30 Second Lunar Eclipse Video (

Introduction: Have the students sit on the floor in front of the smart-board. Ask the students when the last time they have seen the moon. Ask the students if the moon is always the same shape. Give each student a KWL chart and have them go back to their desks to fill out what they know, and what they want to know about the moon.
1.      Have the students sit on the floor and have 3 volunteers share what they wrote.
2.      Read The Moon to the students.  While reading ask the students to listen for characteristics about the moon.
3.      On page 20, before reading it, ask the students to share with a partner how they think the moon came into existence.  Have 2 groups share their theories, then read the rest of the page.
4.      On page 21 ask the students if they have seen any of the moon phases before. Have them repeat the word “phases” then briefly explain them, showing the pictures.
5.      Put the moon trivia sheet on the doc cam and use a sheet of paper to cover the answer and other questions below.
6.      Ask the students if they have ever heard of or seen a lunar eclipse.  Show the diagram and explain that this occurs when the sun, earth, and moon line up exactly in a line. Show the next picture and explain that this is what it would look like standing from the moon. Tell the students the next lunar eclipse will happen on December 10th and will only last 51 minutes.
7.      Play the 30 second lunar eclipse video.

Closure: “Today we learned about some characteristics of the moon but next class we will learn more about the moon phases.”
Assessment: Have students write one fact about the moon that they learned in their notebooks, and then turn it in.
Management/Transitions:  Students will sit on the floor quietly then transition to their desks. Students will be seated in an appropriate spot, not by their friends to disturb the class.

Lower level learners will be guided in the class discussion by their peers and partners.
Higher level learners will be introduced to new, higher level vocabulary.