The Sun, the Moon, and the Earth Together: Phases, Eclipses, and More

by: Dennis Schatz and Andrew Fraknoi

This chapter adds a third cycle of importance in astronomy (and human culture): the revolution of the Moon around the Earth. The chapter starts with a simple challenge for the students: putting a series of lunar photographs in order by the shape of the Moon as it would appear if they observed it over a number of weeks. Because the students want to know if their answers are correct, this experience “hooks” them into observing the Moon, which leads to a deeper understanding of lunar phases, the connection of the lunar phase cycle to our concept of the month, and the cause of solar and lunar eclipses. A materials list, teacher background information, and outcomes are provided. This book selection includes the Table of Contents, About the Authors, Introduction, Acknowledgment, References, Internet Resources, and Index.

Grade Levels

Elementary Middle School


Astronomy Earth & Space Science Lesson Plans Pedagogy Performance Expectations Technology


Type Book ChapterPub Date 12/11/2015Pages 88Stock # PB403X_4

NSTA Press produces classroom-ready activities, hands-on approaches to inquiry, relevant professional development, the latest scientific education news and research, assessment and standards-based instruction.

Learn More