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Tips on Preparing Lesson Plans for Third Grade on "The Moon and Tides"

written by: Sushma • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 1/5/2012

A lecture on 'Moon and tides' can be made interesting by including student activities, power point presentations and videos in the lesson plans for third grade. This will help in getting the class interested and also strengthening the fundamentals behind the Moon and tides.

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    While introducing the concept of the moon and tides, the teacher should cover basic concepts about the Moon, tides and the relationship between them. Good lesson plans for third grade should include practical tools for demonstrating the process to instill interest in lunar learning. This will also excite the students to explore more about the subject. It is recommended you teach students about the moon and tides using videos, charts and multimedia presentations. The lesson plan should motivate students to research on the Internet using the moon vocabulary learned and note down any new learning.

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    Helping the Students Understand The Phases of Moon

    You should help students understand the relationship between the earth, the moon and the sun. You can include the following strategies to help the students understand the phases of the moon:

    • The earth's movement and the moon should be demonstrated along with the effect of the sun on the moon. A working model of the entire structure can be prepared by the teacher herself or the teacher can take the help of the class in getting the model ready as a background preparation for the class.
    • Understanding of cyclic phases of the moon should be reinforced by asking the students to present the positions of the earth, the sun and the moon, representing them with different sized balls, such as a golf ball, basket ball, tennis ball and a torch light.
    • Students must be given sufficient time to understand the position of the earth, the sun and the moon during different phases of the moon.
    • The lesson plan for the moon and tides should make the subject interesting by adding interesting notes about American Indian tribal people and their capability to use the moon to measure time.
    • Students can be made to perform role play as astronauts and scientists and communicate with each other on the attributes and characteristics of the moon.
    • Lesson plans for third grade should also encourage the students to observe a full cycle of the moon every night and record the changes and shapes in the moon.
    • A group discussion can be conducted to present the findings and share their experiences.
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    How to Teach Tides

    Students of third grade must be given an opportunity to explore ocean tides. Discussion must be initiated among the students to research the effect of the sun, the moon and the earth on tides. A teacher should have the following approach while designing the lesson plan:

    • It is good to revisit the concepts learned on the moon to make sure the students recollect the relationship between the sun, the moon and the earth.
    • A clear introduction to gravity and the effect of gravity on objects on earth should be taught first to ensure understanding of the occurrence of tides. It is advisable to use objects in different weights to explain gravity.
    • Before proceeding to teach gravitational pull, the students should be made to think about the effect of gravity on nature. High and low tides should be demonstrated using a tide chart depicting the positions of the earth, the sun and the moon when the tides occur.
    • It is recommended you add simple experiments wherever possible to emphasize the relationship between the earth, the sun, the moon and the effect of gravity, to lay the foundation for further learning.
    • Including video documentary and power point slides in the teaching kit is a good idea as the visual impact lasts longer than verbal explanations.
    • There are various online resources that the students can use for better understanding of the moon and tides.