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What do Australia, Alaska, Qatar, Indiana, and Ohio all have in common? Similar climates? Population numbers? No, the authentic writing More Observations of Nature (MOON) Project! In this unique project, teachers from these disparate geographic locations teamed up to instruct children in grades four through eight via the internet on a nearly universally challenging subject for teachers in the elementary classroom--the phases of the moon.
A selection from Science and Children March -- 2006
The authors describe the success of and online collaboration project that involved multiple classrooms in the U.S, Australia and Qatar. The project involved teaching students the phases of the moon through. The first step of the project was to have the students observe and gather data daily for two months. Student would debrief with classmates and as a whole class their weekly finding for ten minutes at the end of the week. Student had to record their daily observations in a notebook and had weekly prompts to reflect on the data they gather. At this point, they also communicated with student from around the world and shared their date and learning from their observations. After gathering all of the data student analyzed the data to see if there is any patterns on the different phases of the moon. Students had to create their own names for the shapes of the moon that they observed. After their findings, the teacher would introduce the concepts terms and phases of the moon. Students from the different countries shared their cultural stories about the moon. This was a powerful part of the text because it created cultural connections.
The word MOON stands for ‘More Observations Of Nature’. Teachers in various geographical locations around the globe teamed up to teach fourth through eighth grade students about moon phases. Students through authentic observation wrote, used technology and shared their observations with other students using a lunar observation form provided in this article. Students also gained cultural understandings about the moon and its phases by reading stories about the moon observation.
Adah (San Antonio, TX)
In this modification of a classic moon observation activity, students collaborte globally using the internet. In addition to learning phases of the moon they learn about each other and the significance of the moon in various cultures
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