Predictable Phenomenon lesson plan


for Class: Year 7

Learning Area: Science

Unit Title: Predictable Phenomenon

Length of lesson: 70 minutes


Lesson goal(s): At the end of the lesson, students can:

  • Explore and identify the phases of the Moon.
  • Draw and arrange the phases.
  • Consider the importance of the presence of the Moon in the night.


Teaching science to the students is like getting them into the real world by making the connection between science and reality. Scientific understanding gave us the tools, such as electricity, medicine, and communication devices and responsible for providing a reason behind processes and phenomena we experience daily, such as day, night, solar system, sky, and so on. Each science-related fact is too fascinating to be learned, and it is the teacher’s responsibility to teach in a way that each student in the classroom get encouraged to learn science. The research on science education shows a high emphasis on making science more interesting to the students by using innovative teaching methods (Berry, & Van Driel, 2013; Sheninger, & Devereaux, 2013). Rather than just memorising answers to the questions and evaluate their ability to reproduce these answers in the exam as argued by the Weisman (2012) that the teacher’s job is to “develop thinkers, not parrots” (p. 116). The changing shapes of the Moon at the sky in during nights is probably one of the amazing things a child have noticed after the Sun and the Stars (Keeley, & Sneider, 2012). This specific lesson has been selected from the perspective of encouraging curiosity for learning about our surrounding, especially about the solar system and how it influences our lives. The topic “Phases of the Moon” is the second lesson of the of the unit “Predictable Phenomenon” from the “Earth and Space” strand of Year 7 science curriculum (ACARA, n.d.). Understanding phases of Moon are vital for learning the concept of Eclipses, Months, tides and other solar system related topics.
Students need to understand why the Moon changes its shapes every night which further helps to perceive the idea of the days in a month. Learning about Moon phases is also significant for the students to learn about seasons, eclipses, tides, forces on the Earth and impact of the lunar cycle on the human body (Chakraborty, 2013). Further, the students should know the tides are the result of the gravitational force between the Earth and the Moon where the Moon tries to pull and the Earth holds everything except water (Grego, & Mannion, 2010). The students must learn about the phases of the Moon before moving to these concepts. Students might develop conception or misconception about the Moon and its changing shapes. During primary years of schooling, students often perceive the idea that the Sun is for the daytime and the Moon is for night time, and we cannot see the Moon during daytime (Keeley, & Sneider, 2012). The homework activity from the previous lesson will show the student thoughts around this misconception by carefully watch their observation time. A teacher can teach the student the existence of the Moon by taking them outside (take care that there should be no clouds and students should be wearing sunlight protected glasses). There can also be some students who may believe that we are not able to see the full Moon always because of Earth’s Shadow on it. The students might also have a fixed mindset that there is only full Moon, no Moon and Half Moon in the night or the Moon absorb the light from the Sun and then emit it instead of reflecting the light from its surface. This lesson will help them to learn the concept of occurrence of eight different shapes of the Moon. Additionally, the hands-on activity is taken from Science By Doing (n.d.) will challenge these thoughts with the help of Teachers supervision.

The instructional model of 5 E’s, “Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate”, by Bybee (2014) is used in the lesson, namely, the engaging, explore and explanation phases. In which student’s prior knowledge is being assessed through homework, initial questioning and revision exercise. The activity involves the explore and explain phase, in which student will investigate or inquire their preconceptions for the different phases of the Moon and then the teacher will ask a question about each observation to get an idea about student’s comprehension. Followed by the explicit explanation of scientific terms by the teacher. The purpose of the activity to challenge and inquire the preconception of the students about Earth’s shadow on Moon and build knowledge of the existence of eight phases of the Moon. The rules of the activity are explicitly mentioned on the PowerPoint slide and also on the activity sheet with appropriate use of apparatus. Although the low risk is involved in the activity, the safety measures and classroom management will be managed by the Teacher. The homework activity (Waxing and Waning from science by doing, n.d.) will evaluate student’s understanding of the topic or any misconception (if any) students still have in their mind.

The scientific literacy knowledge and critical and creative thinking are required to explore the phases of the moon through this activity. The student will develop the scientific literacy and also, they to think critically to understand the concept. The students can be invited to learn about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures traditional beliefs about the night sky and investigate the cross-cultural relationships and understanding. Furthermore, the student may feel challenged during the lesson due to previous religious beliefs about the Moon. Digital Literacy is also a part of this lesson regarding showing animation to students an using PowerPoint as an instructional tool.

Curriculum Alignment

• This is the second lesson of the unit “predictable phenomenon”: To understand the influence of the relative position of the Earth, the Sun and the Moon.

• Science Understanding: Earth and Space

ACSSU115: Predictable phenomena on Earth, including seasons and eclipses, are caused by the relative positions of the Sun, Earth and the Moon.

• Science Human Endeavour:

ACSHE119: Scientific knowledge has changed peoples’ understanding of the world and is refined as new evidence becomes available.

• Science Inquiry Skills:

  • ACSIS124: Identify questions and problems that can be investigated scientifically and make predictions based on scientific knowledge.
  • ACSSU188: Foundation knowledge for year 10 earth and space science exploring concepts such as stars, solar systems and galaxies.

Essential Questions

  • Why does the Moon change its shape?
  • How do you feel when there is no Moon at night-time?
  • Does it affect you in any way? Australian Curriculum Cross Curricular Priorities and General Capabilities

Cross-Curricular Priorities

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures:

Considering that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures might have some beliefs or stories of the Moon, the Sun and The Earth.

– General Capabilities


Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing

• Interpret and analyse learning area texts

• Navigate, read and view learning area texts

Word Knowledge

• Understand learning area vocabulary

Resources: pictures and PowerPoint presentation.

– Critical and Creative Thinking:

• Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas

– Organise and process information

– Identify and clarify information and ideas

Resources: Activity sheets and group discussion

– Personal and social capability:

• The student will be working in groups to think-pair-share their ideas.

Resources (equipment, media, people, rooms, ICT, etc)

For the Lesson

• PowerPoint presentation
• Torch
• Polystyrene ball half coloured with black colour
• iPad to take pictures
• Activity sheets to draw pictures
• Whiteboard Markers

For homework

• Waxing and Waning activity sheet
• Glue and scissors Classroom Contexts: Diversity, Differentiation, Inclusivity

What considerations have you made to enhance learning for all students?

• The student will be involved in group work to explore the moon positions, will use some metalanguage and learn from each other.
• Different cultures have different beliefs about “Phases of the moon”, it may help the students to construct their knowledge or challenge their assumptions.
• The students must be careful with the torch and lamp; Teacher should supervise the appropriate use of the apparatus of the activity.
• Behaviour management is required during the activity as students will be working in groups it should be productive and focused on the learning goals.


• Formative assessment: Explore and Explain the phases of the moon:

Students activity sheets will represent their group work and accomplishment of the first learning goal.

The teacher will review the work with each group and discuss the result with the whole class.

Homework: Waxing and Waning activity will be collected in the next lesson.

• Summative Assessment: not applicable

Time Section 2 – IMPLEMENTATION: THE LESSON SEQUENCE ( 70 minutes lesson)


10 mins

Introduction/ orientating phase (engaging students, motivating, situating, tuning in)

• Welcome students and checking the attendance

• Collect the observation table from the students for the last one-week pictures of the moon with the dates and time of the observation (Previous lesson homework).

NB: Teacher can check the students’ responses by using the link: and show to the whole class after revision exercise.

• Review of the previous lesson:

We have learned about the Moon in the last lesson in terms of its appearance, distance from the Earth and time for its one orbit around the Earth. Let’s do a revision exercise (Appendix A) to recall this information. I will give you an exercise sheet with questions (Multiple Choice Questions). You should select one answer. Remember, this is not a test, and you can ask questions by raising your hand. I will give you 5 minutes for it.

• Review the answers and explain if needed.

• To start the lesson topic, the teacher will use some pictures of the Moon on the screen through PowerPoint and Student will:

Answer the questions: (Whole class discussion)

“What do these pictures show?”

“Can anyone tell me the name of any picture?”

“How do you feel when there is no Moon in the sky at night?”

Does it affect your life in any way?”


o Students will enter the class and settle on their seats.

o The teacher will introduce the topic and lesson objectives.

o Students will do the revision exercise.

o The teacher will review the responses on the activity sheet and ask questions to start the lesson


o PowerPoint
o Whiteboard and Marker
o Revision exercise

40-50 minutes

Body/enhancing/content phase (input, output)

• So, the different shapes of the Moon are termed as “Phases of the Moon” which is our today’s topic. We will do an activity to explore the phases of the Moon. Before, we start can anyone tell me why Moon has different shapes?

“The luminous part of the Moon changes because of its position with respect to the Sun and the Earth when it revolves around the Earth.”

Now, we will do an activity to explore and explain these phases.


• Divide the students into groups of three and give the material (Torch, activity sheet, instruction sheet, polystyrene ball and iPad) to perform the activity and explain briefly what they need to do (Appendix B).

NB: Tell the students that they can ask questions when need help.

Step 1: Student one will be the sun by holding the torch; Student two will be the observer in the centre (act as the Earth) and take pictures; the third student will stand in between the Sun and the observer facing the white part of the moon always facing the Sun.

Step 2: Student two will take the picture from this position (This will be the first observation).

Step 3: Third student will now move the moon in the clockwise direction (by approximately 45 degrees as shown on PowerPoint slide) keeping the bright side facing the Sun. The observer will again take the picture again.

Step 4: Now, repeat the step three by moving the moon by 45 degrees each time and taking pictures for each position. NB: keep in mind there should be eight positions for eight phases of the moon.
After, completing the four steps, you will have eight pictures of the moon as shown in the slide.

Step 5: Complete the table in the activity sheet (Appendix B) by drawing each picture recorded on the iPad, and match with the order of the phases (as in the PowerPoint Slide). Then clap three times to let me know your group has finished the activity.

Wrap up Discussion:

• Once all student finished, the teacher will ask prompting questions if the student understood the meaning of each observation they have made and the meaning of the terms used in the activity. Followed by teacher’s explanation of each term explicitly and showing them the animation of the Moon around the Earth via Scootle.

NB: Before moving on ask the student if they have any question or doubt?


o Teacher-led class discussion

o Student get into groups for the activity


o PowerPoint Slides with instructions
o Torch
o Activity Sheet
o Instruction sheet
o polystyrene ball
o iPad
o Scootle for animation

10-15 minutes mins

Conclusion/synthesising phase

Today, we have explored and discussed that:

• The light of the sun illuminates the moon.
• The phase of the moon and how we see it is determined by the angle of the sunlight reflected off it.
• The moon orbits the Earth which affects the angle of sunlight reaching it.

To conclude the lesson teacher will ask:

• What are the names of main phases of the moon?
• Why is it important to learn about phases of the moon?

• Conclude the lesson by explaining the homework activity (Appendix C).

Exit Pass: Each student will write answers (PowerPoint) to the following questions (at least two) and hand over the paper (names on the top) to the teacher while living the class:

• What have they learned today?
• What is the most important thing you will take away from today’s lesson?
• Were your cultural beliefs being challenged? Do you want to share?
• Do you understand the lesson?

• Transition:
• Student reflects on their learning
• Homework: the student will complete the waxing and waning activity at home and bring that in the next lesson.

Appendix A: Revision Exercise Name: …………………………………….

Multiple Choice questions:

1. The moon is the ……………. of the Earth.
A. Satellite
B. Planet

2. The moon is about ……………size of the Earth.
A. 1/4th
B. 1/3rd
C. Twice

3. Why do you think we can see the moon?

A. The moon creates its own light.
B. Sunlight reflects from its surface.
C. City lights from the Earth reflect off it.

4. How many days the does moon take to revolve around the Earth?
A. 15 days
B. 8 days
C. 291/2 days

5. The distance between the moon and the Earth is………
A. 2,000 km
B. 3,468 km
C. 2,500 km

Appendix B

Activity Instructions:

Step 1: Student one will be the sun by holding the torch; Student two will be the observer (act as the Earth) and take pictures; the third student will stand in between the Sun and the observer facing the white part of the moon always facing the Sun.

Step 2: Student two will take the picture from this position.

Step 3: Third student will now move the moon in the clockwise direction (by approximately 45 degrees) keeping the bright side facing the Sun. The observer will again take a picture.

Step 4: Now, repeat the step three by moving the moon by 45 degrees each time and taking pictures for each position. ‘keep in mind there should be eight positions for eight phases of the moon.

Step 5: Complete the table in the activity sheet (Appendix A) by drawing each picture recorded on the iPad, and match with the order of the phases. Then clap three times to let me know your group has finished the activity.


1. Do not throw the torch or any apparatus in the classroom.
2. If you want to ask any question, then raise your hand.
3. Do not speak loudly with others as you may disturb the others.
4. Do not bump into others; if you do then you will get three warnings after that you have to sit in your seat quietly doing a questionnaire.

Activity Sheet:

S.N. Pictures/Diagram Name of the phase

Appendix C:

Homework Name: ……………………………

Complete the following activity by pasting the correct phase of the around the Earth and also provide reason/explanation why do you think the selected place is correct.

Activity sheet – Waxing and waning (Science by Doing, n.d.)
Cut out the moon images and labels on the next page and paste them in the correct location on the diagram below.


  • Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA, n.d.). Retrieved from:
  • Berry, A., & Van Driel, J. H. (2013). Teaching about teaching science: Aims, strategies, and backgrounds of science teacher educators. Journal of Teacher Education, 64(2), 117-128. DOI: 10.1177/0022487112466266
  • Bybee, R. W. (2014). The BSCS 5E instructional model: Personal reflections and contemporary implications. Science and Children, 51(8), 10-13.
  • Chakraborty, U. (2013). Effects of different phases of the lunar month on humans, Biological Rhythm Research, 45:3, 383-396, DOI: 10.1080/09291016.2013.830508
  • Grego, P., & Mannion, D. (2010) Eyes on the Skies. In: Galileo and 400 Years of Telescopic Astronomy. Astronomers’ Universe. Springer, New York, NY.
  • Keeley, P., & Sneider, C. (2012). Uncovering student ideas in Astronomy: 45 formative assessment probes. NSTA Press.
  • Sheninger, E. C., & Devereaux, K. (2013). What principals need to know about teaching and learning science.
  • Science by Doing. (n.d.). Retrieved from:
  • Weisman, D. L. (2012). An essay on the art and science of teaching. The American Economist, 57(1), 111-125.


Click here for more lesson plans.