Fun Lesson Ideas for Teachers

Welcome!

Here you’ll find some fun lesson ideas and great links that will help capture your student’s imaginations about the planets — and the many moons that orbit those planets.

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Our Fun Links

THE LOONEY MOONIES

The Looney Moonies are campaigning to give the Earth’s moon a unique name and teach children about our celestial neighborhood.

NAME THE MOON

Enter unique names for our moon at www.namethemoon.world.

In June we’ll list the best names and have a contest to choose the favorite unique name for the Moon.

NAME THE MOON BLOG

Learn more about the Looney Moonies and our Solar System by visiting blog.namethemoon.world.

Watch for featured essays on our blog during the contest. Please check there periodically to see if any of your student’s essays are highlighted.


PreK-2nd GRADE LESSON IDEAS

Make a Moon
Mix 4 parts flour to 1-part baby oil to create moon dough. As you push pebbles into the surface it will make indentions that look like craters. You can give your dough moon a unique name and even enter it at www.namethemoon.world.

Learn the Moon phases with Oreo cookies
Teach your students about the eight phases of the Moon. Have them scrape cream from Oreo cookies with popsicle sticks to create the different moon phases. Be sure to bring some milk for when the activity ends!

 

Cut and color Moon phases

Learn the eight phases of the Moon and have each student cut out, color and label their favorite phase.

Color a picture of the Moon and give it a name
Have your students watch Episode 1: The Moon Comes to Play, of the Looney Moonies. Then have them draw or paint our moon and give it a unique name. Share your pictures with us or submit them to our Moon Picture Contest.We will choose five winners from PreK thru 2nd grade and reward their classes with a pizza party and Looney Moonie poster.

 

Examples:

20160210_102733  20160210_102533

 

UPLOAD A PICTURE
Looney Moonie planet and moon coloring pages
Each Looney Moonie cartoon page has information about that moon, and information about the planet that moon orbits. The Looney Moonies are an entertaining way to introduce the many wonders of space to your young students.

 

DOWNLOAD COLORING PAGES

 
 


3rd-5th GRADE LESSON IDEAS

Learn about one of the 140 moons that have unique names
The NASA website has volumes of well-organized information about our solar system, space in general and science. While learning about the eight planets can be interesting, there are over 140 moons with fun, unique names, and interesting shapes and sizes. Send your students to the NASA web site to adopt a moon that appeals to their curiosity. Then have them write a short essay about their moon, what the name means and what planet it orbits.

 

VISIT NASA WEBSITE
Name the Moon Essay Contest
We are having an essay contest to help name the moon.

Have your students watch the Looney Moonies at home or in your school’s computer lab. Then have them choose their own unique name for our moon and ask them to write an essay about why they chose the name. Go to www.namethemoon.world and submit their name. Essays can be submitted for our contest.

We will choose five 3rd thru 5th grade winners at the end of May and reward their classes with a pizza party and a Looney Moonie poster. Watch for featured essays on our blog and this website during the contest. Please check there periodically to see if any of your student’s essays are highlighted.

 

UPLOAD YOUR ESSAY
NASA Kids Club
The NASA Kids Club has several online games and activities that were designed for third to fifth graders. Either from home or from your school computer lab, have your students play some of the games at NASA Kids Club and then report on what they learned about the Solar System to your class.

 

NASA KIDS CLUB WEBSITE
Develop a travel brochure or poster
Have your students pick a planet or moon and develop a travel brochure or poster to invite people to visit. You’ll find fun examples at: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/visions-of-the-future/. These NASA posters can be printed and displayed in your classroom along with your student’s brochures and posters.

 

Examples:

grand_tour jupiter mars

 

DOWNLOAD COOL NASA POSTERS

 
 


6th-8th GRADE LESSON IDEAS

Give our moon a unique name essay
NASA Kids Spaceplace asks if our moon should get a “cool name” instead of just Moon. We think that’s a great idea! So we’re having an essay contest to help name the moon.

Have your students write a persuasive essay on what they think a cool name for the moon might be and why. Then enter the name at www.namethemoon.world. Essays can be submitted for our contest. We will choose five 6th to 8th grade winners at the end of May and reward their classes with a pizza party and a Looney Moonie poster.

Watch for featured essays on our blog and this website during the contest. Please check there periodically to see if any of your student’s essays are highlighted.

 

UPLOAD AN ESSAY
Moons and mythological names
Many of the planets and the over 140 moons in our Solar System have been given names after Greek and Roman mythology. Explore the background behind other moons’ or planets’ names and their connection to Greek and Roman mythology.

 

Moon legend essay
The ancients throughout the world had interesting ideas about the origin of the sun and moon. We’ve prepared a downloadable file so you can read some of these legends. Once your students have learned what old cultures thought about our moon, have them write their own legend.

 

DOWNLOAD MOON LEGENDS PDF
Create a matching game
Below you’ll find several informational websites about the Solar System which have many interesting planetary and moon facts. Have your students create a matching game that links the moons or planets to their facts.

 

SPACE FACTS  THEPLANETS.ORG  NASA SOLAR SYSTEMS

 
 


HIGH SCHOOL LESSON IDEAS

Lesson Ideas for High School Students

Write an essay about the invention of the telescope and the discovery of Jupiter’s moons by Galileo

Research theories about how our moon was formed and chose the theory that you believe is the most likely explanation.

Study the role of moon discoveries (particularly Jupiter’s) in the Copernican Revolution.

Create a chart that compares and/or calculates the gravitational force on different moons and planets.

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