What shape is the Moon?

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Aims and objectives
Children all have different ideas about why the Moon is the shape it is. This activity helps the children test their own ideas and gives them opportunities to revise their conceptions.

Previous knowledge
The nature of this activity is based upon pupil pre-conceptions and so doesn’t require any previous knowledge or understanding.

In the classroom
Children's ideas are usually difficult to change so this activity sets out to change them by asking them to collect evidence to test their ideas. Encourage the children to click on the campfire and then move the mouse over the children sitting around the fire. Ask the children to click on an idea that is close to theirs and see if they were right.

Various parts of the activity may require equipment like torches and balls and on two occasions the children are asked to print an activity recording sheet (by clicking the print button on the top toolbar of the browser).

A major part of this activity is to encourage children to talk about their ideas and openly discuss them. By using an interactive whiteboard the teacher can lead these discussions and therefore assess where the pupils’ research needs to be directed in order for them to arrive at the correct outcomes.

Support materials description: Resources type:
The worksheet contains an image taken form the activity together with the core question. This can be used for pre-activity elicitation to gauge children’s pre-conceptions or post-activity to assess their revised understanding. what_shape_is_the_moon.pdf

Curriculum references
Science – KS2:
Sc1 1a-b; 2b, h, i, l
Sc4 4a-d

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