For my science unit on the moon and stars, we did a lot of independent hands-on work at centers. The standards we met are below:
a Standard: Earth and Space Sciences K-2. Benchmark: A. Observe constant and changing patterns of objects in the day and night sky. Second Grade Indicator: The Universe – 1. Recognize that there are more stars in the sky than anyone can easily count.
b Standard: Earth and Space Sciences K-2. Benchmark: A. Observe constant and changing patterns of objects in the day and night sky. Second Grade Indicator: The Universe – 3. Observe and describe how the moon appears a little different every day but looks nearly the same again about every four weeks
Accompanying the centers was a graphic organizer to ensure each student was recording their learning at each center.
The first center was a large cardboard box with a small styrofoam model moon. The students were to look in each different viewing hole to see the different shadows cast on the moon from the flashlight "sunlight."
The different view point phases can be seen in the following pictures.
The second center was a pie tin filled with flour and cocoa powder to signify the dust on the moon's surface. Students could drop marble "meteors" onto the surface to create craters.
The third center involved the change in mass and gravity on the moon. I took a pair of snow boots from Good Will and spray painted them silver (for an extra-cool space look). Then I attached athletic ankle weights. Then I placed two circles on the ground. One circle signified Earth and the other signified the moon. Students put on their heavy moon boots with weights while they stood on the Earth circle. Then I had them hop over to the moon and pretend to travel in their space shuttle. When they got to the surface of the moon, I helped them to take off the weights and try to jump. The change of taking off the weights makes students feel much lighter and as if they can jump higher.
Another day during the unit, we gave the students a circular piece of construction paper with one of the phases of the moon written on the back. They then shaded the moon to the correct area of darkness and could decorate it however they chose. (One of my favorites is the pizza half moon!)