Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Moon Phases, Seasons, and Shadows TEKS 4.8C

5th grade science teachers in Texas need to spend some time reviewing/reteaching some 3rd and 4th grade science TEKS in addition to the 5th grade TEKS. 

Science TEKS 4.8C says "Collect and analyze data to identify sequences and predict patterns of change in shadows, seasons, and the observable appearance of the Moon over time."

This TEKS has been tested once in the last 4 years and it was over tides--which was dropped from the TEKS this year. It isn't enough for students to know what causes these events but they should be able to look over data and predict. 

Moon Phases
This video shows all the moon phases from 2017.  
  • Ask students what they notice and wonder after watching the video. Do they see a pattern after watching it?
  • Give students a calendar with some of the moon phases filled in for the month. Have them complete the calendar based on the pattern they see. 
Use this file to assess what students remember about the different seasons. There are 24 cards. Give each student one card and they can walk around the room meeting up with their classmates. When they meet another classmate, each students will share the characteristic on their card and discuss what seasons they believe it belongs in. At this point, they can switch cards and then find another partner. At the end of the activity, create a chart and have students place their cards in the correct season. 

Students need to understand how shadows are formed (because light travels in a straight line and when light hits an object, that object may block the light) and they need to understand that shadows form a predictable pattern. You can put an object outside and predict where the shadow that object creates will be. 

This activity lets students practice where the shadow is. It also doubles as an activity for 5.8C which is about Earth's rotation. Place the page with the tree in a sheet protector. Have students label the time for each of the Sun's position. Then have them draw where the tree's shadow will be with a dry erase marker at any given time. 


All three of these patterns can be summed up with this free foldable found in my TpT store. 

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