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Moon Phase as a Context for Teaching Scale Factor

by: Ann Wallace, Daniel Dickerson, and Sara Hopkins

The Sun and the Moon are our most visible neighbors in space, yet their distance and size relative to the Earth are often misunderstood. Science textbooks fuel this misconception because they regularly depict linear images of Moon phases without respect to the actual sizes of the Sun, Earth, and Moon, nor their correlated distances from one another. This integrated lesson is designed to help students communicate their ideas of the relative sizes and distances of the Sun, Earth, and Moon, and to construct appropriate understandings of how scaling factors can be used to make representations of astronomical distances.

Details

Type Journal ArticlePub Date 12/1/2007Stock # ss07_031_04_16Volume 031Issue 04

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