TeachersFirst's Moon Phases and Seasons - Science Resources

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This collection of resources will help you research information about moon phases and the seasons. Read the descriptions to find out whether a site sounds right for what you want to know. Some sites may be more challenging reading, while others may offer solid basic information. Be sure to try several sources. Explore the lessons ideas, interactives, and content sites.   

If you cannot find what you need here, you may want to try searching on TeachersFirst for specific keywords.

Explore these resources related to the moon or this collection of tagged resources related to seasons

 

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Ready Jet Go! - PBS Kids

Grades
K to 6
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Ready Jet Go! is a PBS Kids animated series to help children learn about astronomy and earth science concepts. This site features characters from the series in games, videos, and ...more
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Ready Jet Go! is a PBS Kids animated series to help children learn about astronomy and earth science concepts. This site features characters from the series in games, videos, and activities. Watch full episodes, connect to the live Space Station feed, or learn about spacecraft from Astronaut Amy's short videos.

tag(s): gravity (50), moon (75), planets (131), preK (284), solar system (121), space (226), stars (69), sun (69), temperature (33)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning station or center. Be sure to include a link on your class web page for use at home. If you're beginning to integrate technology in your class or have younger students, create a word cloud of the important terms students learn from this site using a tool such as Word Clouds For Kids, reviewed here. Alternatively, these students could use an online poster creator such as Printing Press, reviewed here, to present information learned about space. Teachers more advance with integrating technology, or who have older students could use Wordle, reviewed here, or an online poster creator such as Canva, reviewed here.

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Solstice and Equinox - Sixty Symbols

Grades
6 to 12
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Solstice and Equinox is a video explanation tracking the sun's passage through the sky to explain the changing of seasons. Narrators demonstrate and discuss video tracking of the sun...more
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Solstice and Equinox is a video explanation tracking the sun's passage through the sky to explain the changing of seasons. Narrators demonstrate and discuss video tracking of the sun by day, week, and year to show the position of the sun over time. If your district blocks YouTube, then the video may not be viewable. You could always view it at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as ClipGrab, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube. Created in the UK, the video may have some pronunciations and spellings that are different from those in American English.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): seasons (35), solar system (121), sun (69)

In the Classroom

Have students share what they know about solstice and equinox using Padlet, reviewed here, before viewing this video. The Padlet application creates free online bulletin boards. Use EdPuzzle, reviewed here, to add questions and comments to this video. Embed on your class webpage for students to view at home, then bring answers to class for discussion. Use an online flashcard maker, like Flashcard Stash, reviewed here, to work on any new vocabulary or information learned. Have students take pictures of the sun outside of your classroom at the same time daily for an extended period (a month or more), then put images together to view these changes in progression.

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When Nature Strikes: Science of Natural Hazards - NBC Learn

Grades
5 to 12
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Explore the science behind the world's worst natural disasters. These ten videos are hosted by Dr. Marshall Shepherd of the University of Georgia and The Weather Channel in partnership...more
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Explore the science behind the world's worst natural disasters. These ten videos are hosted by Dr. Marshall Shepherd of the University of Georgia and The Weather Channel in partnership with NBC Learn and the National Science Foundation. Topics include Wildfires, Volcanoes, Tsunamis, Tornadoes, Space Weather, Landslides, Hurricanes, Flash Floods, and Earthquakes. Videos are approximately 5 to 6 minutes in length and include transcripts. Scientists' interviews explain the stunning scenes of nature's havoc. Although part of a larger site that charges for access, these videos are free.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): earthquakes (51), floods (12), hurricanes (40), natural disasters (21), scientists (69), tornadoes (17), tsunamis (18), volcanoes (67), weather (205)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on the weather. Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Have each group choose a video to use as a launching pad for further study. Challenge them to use TurboNote, reviewed here, which is a Chrome extension for taking notes online on the video while watching it. Have students create an annotated, narrated image, including text boxes and related links, using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Place the videos on your classroom website or blog for students to explore on their own. Flip your instruction, and have your scientists watch the videos before class time to build background knowledge. Review nonfiction reading strategies with students before reading the transcripts. Have students investigate STEM careers by researching the jobs of the scientists interviewed in the videos.

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Fun Science Demos - Dr. George Mehler & Jared Hottenstein

Grades
K to 8
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Fun Science Demos is a YouTube Channel devoted to sharing engaging science lessons for young learners based on Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Choose from popular videos such...more
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Fun Science Demos is a YouTube Channel devoted to sharing engaging science lessons for young learners based on Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Choose from popular videos such as Balancing Balloons - Air Has Weight or Muscles Moving Your Bones. Be sure to check out the playlists to find videos categorized by topic. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Online-Convert, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): earth (224), electricity (93), energy (210), engineering (132), heat (16), human body (133), life cycles (24), magnetism (39), matter (61), minerals (17), moon (75), recycling (59), rocks (51), solar system (121), sound (106), space (226), STEM (197), sun (69), video (271), water (132)

In the Classroom

Flip your classroom and use a video as homework. Have students take notes on the material and write down questions they still have and topics that confuse them. Or, use a tool like playposit, (formerly eduCanon), reviewed here, for students to pause videos and ask or answer questions right on the video. These activities can uncover misconceptions. Show the video to the class, and then discuss the concept at length. To share a single video from this site without all the YouTube clutter, View Pure, reviewed here, and create a shortcut to the View Pure page directly on the desktop. For more advanced classes, provide time for students to choose a video to view and research the underlying concept.

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International Observe the Moon Night - Lunar and Planetary Institute

Grades
K to 12
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Lead up to this annual event in September with resources that teach about the features of the Moon! Find events around the World, create your own event, and find classroom ...more
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Lead up to this annual event in September with resources that teach about the features of the Moon! Find events around the World, create your own event, and find classroom and home activities. Be sure to click on the Activities tab to find information and activities about Moon phases, Spotting Craters, Ideas for viewing, and more.
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tag(s): moon (75)

In the Classroom

Use the activities the week before your viewing event to learn about the moon. Use other classes for cross-curricular events. Read books that center on viewing the Moon. Read passages from a variety of sources that reference the Moon, focusing on how the Moon is portrayed in the passages. Research the role of the Moon and other celestial bodies on culture and superstitions. Encourage students to create art or write stories and poems that portray the Moon. Encourage students to draw a picture of the Moon they view during Observe the Moon night. Consider creating a night event for your school or community for the night and share the event using your school website, blog, Twitter or Facebook.

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Why Do Leaves Change Color - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Grades
5 to 8
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Why Do Leaves Change Color is a "plain vanilla" site all about leaves! This site offers simple explanations to four questions: Where do leaf colors come from? How do leaves ...more
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Why Do Leaves Change Color is a "plain vanilla" site all about leaves! This site offers simple explanations to four questions: Where do leaf colors come from? How do leaves change color? Do leaves change color because of weather? And Why do leaves fall? There is also a link to the Fall Color Report (from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism).

tag(s): photosynthesis (33), seasons (35), trees (30)

In the Classroom

Use this site as one of multiple sources for researching fall changes. Show students how to take Cornell (two-column) notes and summarize using this information. Use a tool such as 43 Folders Cornell Notes, reviewed here, to help explain Cornell Notes to students. Pair weak readers with strong readers for this activity. Make a graph using Chartle, reviewed here, comparing different types of trees and their rate of change. Find a buddy class in your county, state, or across the country and compare the changes occurring in your areas.

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K-5 GeoSource - American GeoSciences Institute

Grades
K to 6
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K-5 GeoSource bills itself as the "one-stop professional development website for Earth science." Sections include content, activities, assessment, and careers. Explore content to view...more
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K-5 GeoSource bills itself as the "one-stop professional development website for Earth science." Sections include content, activities, assessment, and careers. Explore content to view animations and earth science images. Download slides or PDF presentations on rocks, seasons, fossils, and other topics. View benchmarks for Science Literacy while investigating many suggestions for activities.

tag(s): careers (145), climate (93), erosion (19), fossils (45), rocks (51), seasons (35), soil (21), water (132), weather (205)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for use during any Earth Science unit. View PowerPoints on your interactive whiteboard with students. Use suggestions from the literacy strategies with any classroom subject and share with student teachers as a resource for lesson planning. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as WordItOut, reviewed here.

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Moon phases - Calculator Cat

Grades
3 to 12
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This site offers a widget that shows the moons phases. Place this widget on your blog, wiki, or site for students and others to see. Find details on the current ...more
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This site offers a widget that shows the moons phases. Place this widget on your blog, wiki, or site for students and others to see. Find details on the current moon phases, such as amount shown and the next full or new moon. Find past moons back to 0 A.D. and future moons through 4999 A.D. The website gives a brief description of the different moon phases.

tag(s): earth (224), moon (75), solar system (121)

In the Classroom

Use to connect students to the night sky and to help them understand why the moon phases change. Use in an Earth Science or Astronomy class when learning about the movement of moons and planets. Have students write information to accompany the widget on your class site, explaining how and why the moon phases change.

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Mother Nature Network: Earth Matters - MNN Holdings, LLC

Grades
4 to 12
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Find information and recent news about the environment, energy, animals, weather, environmental politics, and more. Search various topics through the drop down menu. Click on headlines...more
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Find information and recent news about the environment, energy, animals, weather, environmental politics, and more. Search various topics through the drop down menu. Click on headlines in the Latest News section. Images found in the Photo Galleries are impressive. Search through videos and articles, as well as blogger columns.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (319), climate change (70), earth (224), earth day (104), energy (210), environment (321), natural resources (58), nuclear energy (25), politics (101), solar energy (40), space (226), weather (205)

In the Classroom

Click on each topic for more information. For example, Choosing Energy shows latest news related to energy alone. Use the spectacular images as writing prompts or to encourage discussions. Find incredible photographic lists to use as a writing prompt and for further research. Research more information under the Learn more section. Use the information for research, understanding issues involved with the environment, for questioning the natural world, and to encourage action. Reading specialists can find informational reading passages to use for practice with reading comprehension. Clear out clutter on the page with the article using the Readability tool, reviewed here. Then share the article on interactive whiteboard for students to use the pens to annotate main idea, etc. In science class, have students read an article of choice and create a public service announcement type assignment. Consider using Tildee, reviewed here. With Tildee students can use text, screen shots, and video to develop their public service announcement. Be sure to provide a link of this site on your website or a classroom computer for easy access.
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Sun Moon Scope - Sunaeon

Grades
4 to 12
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Use this well designed 3D simulation to show the position of the sun and moon from any point on Earth. See the positions instantly in real time or choose a ...more
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Use this well designed 3D simulation to show the position of the sun and moon from any point on Earth. See the positions instantly in real time or choose a past or future time. Hover over the Moon to view the current moon phase. Sunrise and sunset times are also given. Choose different locations on Earth (it gives you the latitude and longitude) to see the differences. There is a lot of information hidden in the interactive, so explore carefully.
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tag(s): map skills (81), moon (75), seasons (35), sun (69), time zones (9)

In the Classroom

The change in seasons is a difficult concept for students to understand. Use this interactive tool to show the sun's position at various times of the year and how the sunrise and sunset times change. This is terrific to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector, then have elementary (or even middle school) students "act out" the roles of sun. moon, and earth by moving about the room. Turn down the music to avoid distraction. Show how sunrise and sunset are also different at various points on the globe. Allow students the opportunity to play with the tool first and ask them what they notice and what questions they have. Inquire together to understand the various concepts. Share on an interactive whiteboard or projector with a student emcee to run the inquiry. Be sure to include this site with your study of map skills, longitude, and latitude so students can see how our maps and nature's actions fit together.
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CWSU National Map - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (U.S. Gov.)

Grades
2 to 12
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This interactive weather map of the U.S., Mexico and Canada allows you to mouse over any location to see current conditions including temperature, wind chill, visibility, dew point,...more
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This interactive weather map of the U.S., Mexico and Canada allows you to mouse over any location to see current conditions including temperature, wind chill, visibility, dew point, etc. Most "dots" are local airports. With a click on the desired station, a history of the current weather conditions for the last few days pops up, showing the information in a linear table. In addition, there are graphs above the table of temperature/dewpoint and relative humidity. Under other tabs on this page are aerial weather information observations, forecasts, and other more technical weather information. This is a great source for seeing a variety of graphs and their practical applications.

tag(s): charts and graphs (197), weather (205)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introduction to study of graphs, meteorology, and information application. Aspiring meteorologists will find plenty of new vocabulary to learn here. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using DesignBold, reviewed here. Remember that you can always take screenshots of a map using PrtScrn key in Windows (then paste it where you want it) or using Command+Shift+4 on a Mac to save the image on your computer. Use the screenshots in explanations and presentations.

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WeatherSpark - WeatherSpark.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Find beautiful weather graphics from a location of your choice. Choose your location and NOAA data is populated on interactive graphs. View the current Doppler weather conditions. Also...more
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Find beautiful weather graphics from a location of your choice. Choose your location and NOAA data is populated on interactive graphs. View the current Doppler weather conditions. Also view the history going back up to a year. Click on "Select Graphs" to choose data to be shown such as Sun, Clouds, Precipitation type/amount/rate, Temperature, Humidity, and Pressure. Make comparisons among four different locations. Move the slider along the bottom to go back to various decades from 1950 on to view data. Switch tabs along the upper left between dashboard (contains map and graphs,) maps, or graphs. Click "More" to view Forecast, Reports, or Climate. Change the data between English measurements and metric along the top right of the site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): climate (93), climate change (70), weather (205)

In the Classroom

Identify changes in average temperatures and precipitation. Compare forecasts and other data from the same location at different years or between more than one location. Identify trends, notice differences among other areas, and develop explanations for these differences. Research various factors that affect the climate.
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Extreme Earth - Extreme Science

Grades
7 to 12
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This site offers a simple site (sub-page) from Extreme Science. Learn factual information about the geologic history of the earth. On the left side of the page, there is a ...more
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This site offers a simple site (sub-page) from Extreme Science. Learn factual information about the geologic history of the earth. On the left side of the page, there is a navigational list of topics that allows one to navigate between topics. The readings are fairly easy for early high school aged students and would work as a nice alternative to textbook readings. The hotlinks to extra information on specific terms and concepts are a very helpful and convenient touch. Be aware: there are some advertisements. Advise students not to click on the ads.

tag(s): amazon (9), animals (319), antarctica (29), arctic (46), earth (224), earthquakes (51), geology (77), plate tectonics (22), sun (69), tsunamis (18), volcanoes (67), weather (205)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an alternative to a textbook in a one to one laptop science class. Add the link to the classroom wiki as an informational resource for your students. Or, develop questions about the reading and use as a guided reading activity to help enhance reading across the curriculum activities. Have cooperative learning groups explore one of the specific topics and create multimedia presentations. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here. Have students use Thinglink, reviewed here to narrate a picture.
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Lunar Phase Simulator - University of Nebraska Lincoln

Grades
5 to 12
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Demonstrate how the moon and sun appear to us on Earth using this clever application. View the main window to start the simulation and follow daylight and the movement of ...more
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Demonstrate how the moon and sun appear to us on Earth using this clever application. View the main window to start the simulation and follow daylight and the movement of the Moon. Skip forward by minutes, hours, or days, or change the speed of the animation. The side window shows the phase of the moon present as it passes between the Sun and the Earth. Click angle, lunar landmark, or time tick marks to add more information for even greater understanding of moon phases. View the horizon diagram at the bottom to reveal how the Sun and Moon would move about the sky if one were standing on Earth.

tag(s): earth (224), moon (75), sun (69)

In the Classroom

Consider having the class use this simulation prior to discussion in class and after an initial survey quiz to determine prior knowledge about lunar phases. After using this simulation in groups, encourage students to identify the movement of the Earth and the Moon over time. Allow students to use a projector or other light source and objects resembling the Earth and the Moon to demonstrate what they have learned to the rest of the class.
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Earth View - The Living Earth

Grades
K to 12
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This very simple tool allows you to show how the earth's rotation affects daylight. By viewing different time zones, latitude, and longitude you can see where it is day and ...more
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This very simple tool allows you to show how the earth's rotation affects daylight. By viewing different time zones, latitude, and longitude you can see where it is day and night. The site does allow you to zoom in slightly, but not too close. There are many "custom" viewing options for current cloud cover, IR imagery, and much more.

tag(s): earth (224), globe (17), iwb (32), maps (294), seasons (35), weather (205)

In the Classroom

This tool is great for all levels. Use this as part of a science, social studies or geography lesson. Put this site up on your interactive whiteboard or projector. When using this with young students, use the zoom feature and zoom into different areas of the world to show them day and night. What a great way to teach about opposites. When using with older students show them how to find locations using the latitude and longitude feature. Use the different views with both younger and older students so they can see how the earth looks from the moon and from the sun.Use custom weather imagery as part of a unit on weather and global atmospheric patterns.
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