3 Summary

The learning activities you have done in this unit are long-term, interdisciplinary and student-centred. You, as a teacher, can plan investigative experiences that result in an in-depth understanding of important ideas in science. When your students are more in control of their learning, they can draw upon their strengths and create projects that incorporate their own interests, native language, cultural background and aptitudes.

Students’ understanding of the relationships between the Earth, the Sun and the Moon may include various misconceptions. Sometimes it may be necessary to create a simulation of events – through drama, for example – so that students can gain a deeper understanding of why things happen. This unit has presented some ideas for exploring the movements of the Earth, the Sun and the Moon through classroom and outdoor activities.

The phases of the Moon are a familiar natural phenomenon that can be approached by first considering the nature and characteristics of shadows cast by sunlight. Observing and describing shadows, and using classroom models, can lead naturally on to describing and identifying the phases of the Moon.

Creating opportunities for all students, but especially those with special educational needs, to observe and record the natural phenomena around them can help them to realise the connections between the Earth, the Sun and the Moon in a more practical and concrete way.