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The Waning Moon

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Keywords: moon, clay, animation
Subject(s): Information Skills, Art, Video, Animation, Social Skills, Technology, Special Needs, Earth Science, Reading, English/Language Arts
Grades 4 through 5
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Peakview Elementary School, Aurora, CO
Planned By: Susan Ekblade
Original Author: Susan Ekblade, Aurora
Ask: Who has seen the moon? Does it look the same ever night? What changes have you noticed?
Guiding Questions: What can we learn from the shape and position of the moon?
Task: Students will collaborate in teams (2-4) to research moon phases, and create a stop animation project explaining the phases, the effects, and may choose to include mythology/lore regarding the moon phases.
Day 1: research using books, online resources, collecting and organizing data using google docs
Day 2: Continue research. Begin to create plan for stop animation and narration.
Day 3: Plan and create items needed. Complete a dry run.
Day 4: Students begin to film a stop animation - duration of about 30 seconds.
Day 5: Add in voice narration.
Day 6: Share and Celebrate
If time allows, students can also create a stop animation of the Earth’s path around the Sun.
This lesson plan does not include the instruction needed to create stop animation. This assumes that students have already been introduced to this procedure. Students may need clay, string, construction paper, glue, scissors at their disposal.
This lesson would take at least 5 days, 45 minutes per day to complete.

Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Create or retell myths and legends from diverse cultures that attempt to explain the moon phases.
Share animations with other classrooms. Have them grade their animation on creativity, accuracy, and enjoyment.
Create a file share using a free site like Dropbox or Samepage so others may enjoy your projects!
Students could also choose to include the mathematical data about moon- diameter, distance from Earth, length of orbit, etc.
Links: Link to Lunaf.com
Materials: Video Cameras, Art Tools, Video Tools, Screen Capture, Animation, Internet Services, Student Resources, Integrating Technology