This bundle is written and illustrated by Karen Ostlund and Sheryl Mercier as lessons/ assessments for Middle School ESS1-1. It includes models of solar and lunar eclipses, models of seasons, and models for phases of the moon. More details are below along with links to see each lesson in preview. A free short eclipse movie is also linked below.
NGSS Middle School Model Solar and Lunar Eclipses ESS1-1
This series of activities/assessments are aligned to the NGSS student performance expectation for MS-ESS1-1. Develop and use a model of the Earth-sun-moon system to describe the cyclic patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons
First, students use models to compare and contrast solar and lunar eclipses. Next, students model, observe, and describe the positions of the Sun, Moon, and Earth during solar and lunar eclipses. Then students model, observe, and describe the shadows during a solar eclipse and during a lunar eclipse. Teacher directions, activity recording sheet, sample answers for recording sheets, "Science Notes" with graphic organizer, and rubrics for all activities are included.
A short, free movie is also available on TPT for download or streaming called : Astronomy Eclipse Models Movie.
NGSS Middle School Models of Seasons MS-ESS1-1
In this series of activities/assessments, students develop and use models of the Sun-Earth system to observe and describe the cyclic patterns of the seasons in order to gather evidence to explain what causes the seasons: (1) the tilt of the Earth’s axis and (2) the amount and concentration of sunlight striking the ground which is affected by the angle at which the sunlight hits the ground. The first activity assesses students’ prior knowledge about changes in events from season to season. Students write a paragraph describing a season, read the paragraphs written by other students, and then infer the season described. Next, students use a polystyrene ball to model the Earth and a light bulb to model the Sun. Students spin the “Earth” and observe the amount and concentration of light on the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Then they collect and analyze data about the average duration of sunlight on cities in both hemispheres. Students work collaboratively to synthesize the data in order to gather evidence to explain what causes the seasons (note taking pages are provided). Next, students work in pairs to use a “Sunlight Angle Measuring Tool” to observe the relationship between the angle sunlight hits the ground and how much the light spreads out on the ground. Then students synthesize the data collected and construct concepts maps to explain what causes the seasons (concept map templates are provided). Finally, students are challenged to create a model of some astronomical phenomena to share with the class (suggestions are provided). Teacher directions, student activity and note taking sheets, sample answer sheets, and rubrics are included.
NGSS Middle School Develop Models for Phases of the Moon MS-ESS1-1
In this series of NGSS aligned activities/assessments by Science and Kids Activities, teachers assess prior knowledge by asking students to organize a series of cards showing different phases of the Moon; then students observe the Moon and record its shape in a lunar calendar for one month; next, students use a model to show that the phases of the Moon depend on the locations of the Moon, Sun and Earth; then students read Phases of the Moon Science Notes and complete a graphic organizer. Students organize their moon phases cards in a chart to conceptualize the following phases of the Moon: full moon, waning gibbous, last quarter, waning crescent, new moon, waxing crescent, first quarter, and waxing gibbous. As a final assessment, students are challenged to make and present their own model of lunar phases. A series of ten multiple-choice items are included to assess student understanding of the phases of the Moon.