Exploring Earth, Sun, and Moon

Teri Cosentino
National Science Teachers Association Recommends

Creative teachers are always challenged to find ways to excite students and help them understand how Earth moves in space. The Visual Learning Company's video series provides one component of a unit that will satisfy both teacher creativity and student needs. Each program in the series includes a teacher’s guide, a video/DVD, the video script, pre/post student tests, a video review, and a vocabulary sheet. The writing and interpreting models activity sheets are terrific, covering many areas of student learning using pictures, sounds, and hands-on activities. For the third grader who has a somewhat limited grasp of vocabulary but an endless supply of motivation, this diverse collection of methods will feed the visual, auditory and kinesthetic regions of the brain. The video applies practical knowledge to ideas that are out of this world. From facts about our home (Earth), to facts about the Sun, phases of the Moon, eclipses, and tides, there are listening and visual learning opportunities along with "You Decide" sections in which questions are asked and conclusions have to be inferred. The sheets in the guide help students remember what they learned (like what holds the planets in orbit). And hopefully, after you do a classroom activity with a hoola hoop and moon phases like I do, your students will feel at ease with reading and doing the phases of the moon worksheet, placing the waxing and waning moons in their proper order. Although I would recommend this guide for third graders, it could be easily used through the middle school years, especially for fifth-grade review.