The Effects of Teaching Style on Science Comprehension


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The Effects of Teaching Style on Science Comprehension

  1. 1. The Effects of Teaching Style on Science Comprehension Prepared for: Dr. Marcie Bober-Michel ED 690 Department of Educational Technology San Diego State Spring 2009 Prepared by: Mary Beth Laychak Amber Lunde ED 690/Sp 09—Lunde and Laychak
  2. 2. Table of Contents The Effects of Teaching Style on Science Comprehension.................. i Table of Contents.......................................................................................................................... ii Overview........................................................................................................................................ 1 Impact of The Literature on Review........................................................................................... 2 Contextual Factors........................................................................................................................ 6 Methods.......................................................................................................................................... 7 Findings.......................................................................................................................................... 9 References.................................................................................................................................... 14 Appendix A: Moon Phases Pretest............................................................................................ 15 Appendix B: Moon Phases Post Test......................................................................................... 16 Appendix C: Student Survey...................................................................................................... 17 Appendix D: Moon Phases Activity .......................................................................................... 19 Appendix E: Moon Phases Reading Comprehension Assignment......................................... 22 ED 690/Sp 09—Lunde and Laychak ii
  3. 3. Overview Are there optimal ways to teach science? Not many years ago, researchers and practitioners alike advocated strongly for hands-on science activities that would allow the students to learn experientially. “Lectures” were thus supplemented by lab activities that students conducted themselves—either individually or as part of a team. The pendulum has swung in the other direction and now science teachers see a push to use the textbook with fidelity. For example, the La Mesa Spring Valley School district in California is now requiring that subjects be taught using the textbook and the supplied materials with fidelity 85% of the time. Teachers have gone back to a teaching method of reading followed by comprehension worksheets. The question arises, which method results in higher short- and long-term performance: hands-on activities or reading comprehension? To explore this controversial issue, the researchers assessed knowledge retention with 8th graders studying phases of the moon. Students were organized into two groups, and both completed “regular” instruction. One group, however, extended their learning by tackling a reading comprehension worksheet (control); the other group (experimental) took part in a hands-on activity that covered the same concepts in a more interactive way. With a limited number of days in a school year, and a push from the federal government to increase student interest in and performance relative to complex scientific topics, teachers want to use the most efficient forms of instruction. Using the information from this study, teachers will be able to utilize their classroom instruction time in a way that will maximize student learning. ED 690/Sp 09—Lunde and Laychak
  4. 4. Impact of The Literature on Review To launch their study, the researchers conducted a review of the literature that primarily focused on differences between active and passive learning and the impact of both on student understanding. As part of their review, they examined environmental and procedural “barriers” that constrain the implementation of active learning in the classroom. The research associated with “experiential” v. “textbook” learning tends to focus on two areas—a student’s initial comprehension of the subject matter as well as the retention and recall of the material at a future date. Lord (2007) highlights two studies completed two decades apart: Dale (1969) and Angelo and Cross (1988). Common to them was the methodology. In each, college students were organized into groups exposed to various kinds of instruction including lecture, reading, demonstration, activity and peer-to-peer teaching. When tested six weeks later, lecture students retained only 5% of the information they were taught, reading students 6 to 10%, lecture with visual students 12 to18%, demonstration students 20 to 45%, hands-on independent students 45 to 65%, cooperative learning groups 60 to 80% and teaching another 80 to 98%. Dale’s results led to a cone of knowledge. At the tip of the cone lies lecture due to the low knowledge retention of that instructional method. As the cone widens, through reading, lecture with visuals, demonstration, hands on individual learning, and co-operative learning, progressively higher percentages of knowledge are retained at the six-week mark. At the base of the cone lies the method with the greatest percentage of knowledge retention, teaching another person (Lord 2007). McCarthy and Anderson’s (2000) study also demonstrated the connection between active learning and retention. Students (n=80) enrolled in a introductory American history class were divided into two groups based on their pre-assigned and smaller weekly discussion sections. One group, comprised of two discussion sections, was used as a control group, the other six discussion sections comprised the test group. All sections attended the normal class lectures, led by the class’s primary instructor, on the subject of early contact and exploration of the Americas. Throughout, he hinted that 2
  5. 5. there would be a test—a subtle encouragement for them to take the lecture seriously. The two control groups participated in the normal teacher centered discussions on the colonization of the Americas led by their discussion section leader—a graduate level teaching assistant. The other group covered the same material as the control group, but via debate in their smaller sections lead by their graduate student teaching assistant. In the group lecture two weeks after either the debate or teacher lead discussion, the students in both groups were required to complete a essay test that called for them to select four cultural groups (out of those they studied) and then compare/contrast them on a variety of factors or elements. The essays were graded on a very simply scale that ranged from 1 (poor) to 10 (excellent). The mean score on the test for debate students was 7.7 out of 10, while the control group scored 6.7 out of 10. Additionally, the students from the debate sections were three times more likely to participate in the large lecture class post debate, than students who were in one of the control groups. Barriers for Schools in Becoming More Inquiry-based Pine postulates that the space race and subsequent national push for students stronger in science caused the National Science Foundation to re-write the national science curriculum towards inquiry based learning (Pine et al., 2006). After conducting a meta-analysis of data from NSF supported elementary curricula, Bredderman (1983) wrote that if activity based learning was adopted “performance on tests of science process, creativity, and perhaps intelligence would show increases of 10–20 percentile units”. Despite research that repetitively shows its value, few school districts have moved to inquiry-based curriculum. In fact, Pine et al. (2006) asserts that throughout the 1980s, the use of inquiry based declined due in part to influences from pro-textbook educational specialists. Such specialists advocate direct instruction as received from textbooks. In 1999, based in part on the efforts of these pro-textbook educational specialists, California removed the NSF sponsored hands-on materials from the state’s approved instructional materials list. California also went on to create state standards that directly match textbook curricula (Pine et al., 2006). Pine states that these specialists suggest, despite 3
  6. 6. the research done by the National Science Foundation, that more research into inquiry- based learning is necessary before school districts switch to an inquiry based curriculum. At least in California, school districts may be hesitant to move towards an inquiry-based curriculum when the state’s educational standards are tied so tightly to textbooks (Pine et al, 2006). Educational standards are not the only reason schools and districts have found the move from textbook to inquiry to be challenging. Teacher perception also plays a role in the slow migration of classrooms to inquiry-based learning. In 2003, Michael conducted a workshop at Niagara University on the topic of active learning. Twenty-nine teachers, attended the workshop; while most were from Niagara University, other institutions were represented as well. The participants represented a mix of disciplines/content areas, but all had a common interest in active learning. At the onset of the workshop, Michael broke the teachers into four groups and asked each one to create a list of perceived barriers to inquiry-based learning. Common themes emerged as the teachers were primarily concerned about three areas: student attributes, teacher issues, and pedagogical issues. The teachers felt that students were not equipped to deal with active learning. They were concerned that students would not come to class prepared, would not be willing to engage in active learning nor had the maturity to deal with the freedom that accompanies active learning. When it came to teacher issues, many feared that active learning would require more preparation time and that both peers and students would judge the teachers unfavorably. The teachers also believed that pedagogical issues like classroom size and setup, lack of resources, and inability to properly control the classrooms made active learning inaccessible to the average teacher. Michael found that despite the teacher’s concerns, none of the participants cited satisfaction with the current educational methods as a barrier to active learning. Additionally, Michael discovered that no difference existed between the concerns of science and non science teachers regarding barriers to active learning. Michael suggests that the best way to over come teacher’s resistance to active learning is simple discussions of new teaching strategies between colleagues. He also 4
  7. 7. states that once teachers determine which barriers truly exist in their own classrooms, they, with the help of colleagues, will be able to develop creative solutions to the barriers. The Need for Science Vocabulary: A Disadvantage of Inquiry-based Learning. St. Omer (2002) writes of the importance of science vocabulary in the understanding of scientific concepts. She asserts that in science labs, the scientific method is frequently emphasized while the supporting vocabulary is not. And when vocabulary is not equally emphasized, the students lack the foundation for more complex scientific concepts. She suggests educators need to give time to the students after the lab to retain the vocabulary and concepts learned in the experiment. Passive Assignments vs. Active Assignments Ueckert and Gess-Newsome (2008) believe that learning science is more than just learning vocabulary and isolated “pieces” of information for testing purposes. Students have a deeper understanding of the concepts behind science, they argue, when they are able to apply those ideas to different situations, in different contexts, etc. The scientific process is active, but science is frequently presented passively in educational settings. Ultimately, students lose interest. Ueckert and Gess-Newsome focused in particular on three teaching methods (bell work, worksheets, and labs) and derived several suggestions for making each more interactive. • Bell work: Ueckert and Gess-Newsome found many teachers have an assignment or question on the board for the students to answer while class is settling/taking role, etc. Frequently, the teacher never looks at the assignment and doesn’t get a good idea of what the student understands. Two ways to reduce the “natural” passivity of bell work is to reorganize the activity into a cooperative exercise or have students create a concept map. The teacher can review these assignments to get an idea of where the students lack understanding. • Worksheets: Worksheets are inherently passive. The student is asked to read a passage, fill in the blanks, connect vocabulary, etc. In many cases, the studenthe or she is able to get the correct answers less by their own insight and 5
  8. 8. understanding and more by searching for the appropriate information within the worksheet itself. Uecker and Gess-Newsome suggest worksheets that require the students to create conceptual flow graphics. In these, students connect ideas via arrows. They work similarly to concept maps, except the students connect full statements of concepts rather than simple terms. Students can also be asked to apply the knowledge they’ve learned by answering more of a short essay question, rather than matching or filling in a blank. • Labs: Intuitively, labs seem to fall into the active learning category, but Uecker and Gess-Newsome believe that many are little more than procedures followed by data tables. The students follow the procedure, fill in the tables and the lab is finished. In an active lab, students are given a simple question, then expected to figure out how to get the answer. The learner is engaged in the whole process and gets a greater understanding of how science works. The active lab strategies of Ueckert and Gess-Newsome tie in with the vocabulary rich ideas of St. Omer (2002). In both cases, the authors point out one major issue with active learning in science: the potential misuse of laboratory activities. On the surface, lab activities appear to be active learning. However, if an emphasis is not placed on learning science vocabulary or if the lab does not require student engagement, then the results are the same as passive learning. Contextual Factors The researchers were aware of three potentially confounding factors: time, sample size and topic. • Subjects were comprised of students enrolled in classes that one of the researchers taught. The sample contained a total of 114 students or four classes. Utilizing existing science classes provided already established divisions for the sections. In some regards, the classes were already randomized because students were not placed in the class due to ability level. However, this is not a true randomization. 6
  9. 9. The researchers do not know if the four classes contain comparable percentages of students at various ability levels. The results could be compromised if one classroom contains students more students at high or low ability levels than the other three. • Another disadvantage was a limited timeframe for data collection. Data collection was to fit within the time already allotted for the teacher to cover the material on phases of the moon. Any further time would have interfered with the normal classroom learning. Additionally, the student’s spring break recess fell in the middle of the data collection process. As a result, the researchers had to work quickly in order to prepare the assessments and surveys and collect all the necessary data. • One must also consider that the topic of the lesson, lunar phases, impacts the data. It is possible that by nature, the subject of lunar phases lends itself to one instructional method over the other. Additionally, the students have learned about lunar phases in previous science classes. They may remember information about the topic from previous instruction, skewing the scores on the pre-test upwards. – Not really an issue –that’s why you pretested … In truth, there’s very limited content about which you could say with assurance that students knew “nothing.” • Methods Design: The study employed a pretest-posttest control group design. As earlier mentioned, all four classes, organized into two groups, were exposed to the same initial instruction. What distinguished them was the follow-up activity in which they were engaged. The control group read the material from the textbook and completed a reading comprehension worksheet (Appendix E), while the experimental groups were given an activity with moon models to explore, followed by some analysis questions that referred to their textbooks (Appendix D). 7
  10. 10. Sample: A total of four 8th grade science classes (114 students in all), were tracked as they learned about the phases of the moon. These specific classes were selected because one of the researchers is the regular science teacher for the students. Each class was randomly assigned to either hands-on activity or reading comprehension, to create a cluster sampled study. Instruments: The researchers relied on three instruments for their data collection: a pretest (Appendix A), a posttest (Appendix B), and a survey (Appendix C). Collectively, they measured student-learning attitudes towards each form of instruction. The pretest provided a baseline of student knowledge—and it was administered immediately after the phases of the moon lecture. The second instrument was a posttest administered after students completed either the activity or the reading worksheet. Both tests were a combination of existing materials and questions created by one of the researchers (the regular teacher for the science classes in the study). She is a subject matter expert on science teaching, and students were accustomed to her style of testing. Half the test questions were original; the other half were drawn from the publisher’s test bank questions. The researchers created a two-part survey to assess student attitudes toward each form of instruction. Part one featured five Likert-style questions that called for students to rate how the instruction helped them understand the concepts presented in the lesson. Part two focused on the student’s general perceptions of the activity in which they had been engaged. They were asked to choose two words from a selection of positive, negative and neutral words that best described their opinion of the instruction. The students were then given the opportunity to write in their own words what they liked best about the activity and what they would change. The hands-on activity and reading comprehension worksheets used in the study 8
  11. 11. were taken from the science textbook used in the class. Procedure: All students received the same instruction given by the same teacher followed by a pretest. The control group (2 classes comprised of a total of 61 students), participated in a hands-on activity augmenting the teacher’s instruction. The students completed an activity that required them to use a yardstick and two balls to model the phases of the moon. Upon completion, the students answered several questions included in the activity. The next class period, the students completed both the post-test and survey. The other section, comprised of the remaining two classes 57, completed a reading/worksheet assignment. The reading comprehension required the students to read from their textbook, then answer a series of questions related to the reading. The next class period, the students completed both the post-test and survey. Note: To avoid any ethical complications, the students in each section participated in the opposite learning method after the posttest. Data Analysis: Data were analyzed with SPSS, a statistical software program. The researchers chose to use the standard scores the students for the numerical data. Only four classes of students were studied and all at the same school, thus no age/grade equivalents exist. Findings A total of 114 students participated in the survey. Two classes comprised of 58 students worked on the phases of the moon activity, then took a post-test to assess their retention the following day. Two more classes totaling 56 students read their books, completed a worksheet based on the reading and were also tested the following day on their retention. All four classes completed surveys after the post-tests to allow the researchers to evaluate the perceptions of the students on their respective instructional methods. The following sections will first examine the aggregate pre-post test scores for all 114 students followed by an examination of the two individual methods. Once the performance is discussed, the student’s perceptions will be scrutinized. Interestingly, the 9
  12. 12. perceptions of the students were at odds with their performance. Performance Scores in the aggregate. Performance (retention) was significant pre to post (p<.01) regardless of the intervention to which students were assigned after “lecture.” The mean score on the pretest was 5.57 (SD=1.83), and the posttest mean was 6.05 (SD=1.76). The more interesting story, however, unfolds when each group’s performance is detailed—and then compared to members’ stated learning preferences and reactions to the tasks they completed. Worksheet group. (n=56) The “worksheet” students (n=56) averaged 5.30 (SD=2.02) on the pre-test and 5.89 (SD=2.04) on the post-test. This level of increased performance indicated a significant level of growth for the students (p<0.46). The standard deviation (SD=2.16) on the pre-post test shows that not all the students retained the knowledge at the same level. Activity group. The activity group (n=58) performed solidly as well—although growth pre to post was not significant (5.83 and 6.21, respectively; p=.10). Important to note, however, was that the groups were not equivalent at pre-test, with the activity students’ scores more than half a point higher (5.30 v. 5.89). This is interesting, given that the classes themselves are not structured around ability level and were randomly assigned to treatments. Despite a higher mean on the post-test, the activity students gained less than the worksheet students. Also noteworthy is the different in-group variability (as measured by standard deviation). The standard deviation for the activity group (SD=1.77) measured almost 0.4 less than the worksheet group. Table 1 shows the percentage difference between the two instructional methods. Activity students increased their scores by 6.5% between tests. The worksheet students demonstrated a greater 10
  13. 13. percentage difference, improving their mean performance by over 11%. Table 1: summary of Mean Pre- and post-test scores for both groups Standard Standard Mean Mean pre- deviation % Change deviation post-test test score on prost- in Score on pre-test score test Activity 5.83 1.591 6.21 1.460 6.50 Reading Comprehension 5.30 2.026 5.89 2.042 11.1 Assignment Perceptions For the overall group of both students, significant growth existed in their scores with the mean pre-test score being 5.57 and the mean post-test score being 6.05 (p < 0.010). When looked at separately, a significant growth factor did not exist in the activity group with the mean scores going from 5.83 to 6.21 (p < 0.109). The students who participated in the book assignment did show a significant growth with mean scores going from 5.30 to 5.89 (p < 0.046). Universally, students in both groups indicated that they felt they had learned from their respective activities. However, despite the greater increase in retention for the students who completed the worksheet, the perceptions of the students did not match the performance results. Table 2 shows a summary of how students rated their learning experience on a Likert scale. The students who were assigned the hands-on activity rated the learning experience more positively than the students who preformed the reading comprehension, Over 58% of the activity students indicated they felt the activity helped them understand the phases of the moon well or extremely well. Conversely, the majority of the worksheet students responded neutrally when asked how the reading worksheet helped them understand the concepts. Table 2: summary of how students felt the assignment helped them understand the moon phases and eclipses. Extremely Well Well Neutral Activity 6.9% 51.7% 36.2% Reading 0% 39.3% 55.4% 11
  14. 14. Comprehension In addition to the Likert scale questions, the students were asked (1) what they liked best about the instruction, (2) what they would change about the instruction and (3) to select two words from a list of eight that the student felt best described their feelings regarding their instructional method. Worksheet group. As indicated in Table 3, 55% of the worksheet students described the bookwork assignment as dull or boring. The next most common responses, easy and simple, are innocuous in their connotations. When asked what they liked about the reading assignment, ten percent of the students to the bookwork survey responded with “nothing”. When asked what they would change about the worksheet, ten percent would have liked to “ (have) done an activity or lab” or “made it more exciting”. Table 3: words chosen to describe the activity Number and % Number and % Responses from Responses from Reading Total responses Activity Assignment Comprehension Participants Assignment Participants Simple 63 37, 58.7.% 26, 41.3% Easy 44 25, 56.8% 19, 43.2% Interesting 38 22, 57.9% 16, 42.1% Boring 30 11, 36.7% 19, 63.3% Dull 25 13, 52% 12, 48% Difficult 10 2, 20% 8, 80% Exciting 7 4, 57.1% 3, 42.9% Complicated 4 0, 0% 4, 100% Activity Group. As indicated by Table 3, the activity students tended to pick the more positive words such as interesting and exciting. When the students that completed the activity were asked they would change thirty-eight percent of the respondents stated “nothing”. A common response for activity students (19%) regarding what they liked best about the activity was that they liked how they “could see” what is happening and how moon reflects the suns light. Students that were assigned the activity also reported that they liked it because it was they were using objects, it was fun, and interactive. Though the students showed more growth on their scores after they completed the 12
  15. 15. book assignment, their feelings about the assignments should be considered. In the long run having the learners engaged in the lesson will affect their learning. If they have a negative feeling about how the material is presented to them, they will not be focused on the content. While this study only looks at one topic, constantly learning by bookwork may have a different effect as they show a tendency to feel that bookwork is boring. Presenting material in a way that the students find boring everyday could have a more adverse effect in the scores. Recommendations While the study suggests that there is some increased retention in learning when using reading comprehension, no conclusive evidence shows that either method is superior over the other. As a result, further studies should be conducted. Studies should be done: • On various topics: it would be best if topics were used that the students had no previous knowledge in. This would allow for more learning growth and stronger data to support where the students gained the knowledge. • Conducting studies using a counterbalanced design. • Consider the effects if individual student learning style on the research data. • Long term retention: The literature review indicated that the long-term retention on active learning was greater than the retention on reading-based learning practices. This study did not look at the long term retention, future studies should. The dichotomy between student preference and retention should also be explored. Researchers should try to determine if a way exists to create learning strategies that engage the students, while providing additional comprehension. Further work on the topic of learning comprehension is beneficial to educators in many content areas. In a world where testing plays an increasingly important role, determining what is the best teaching practice for increased comprehension is important to educators around the world. 13
  16. 16. References Bredderman, T. (1983). Effect of activity-based elementary science on student outcomes: A quantitative synthesis. Review of Educational Research, 53, 499–518. Lord, T. (2007). Revisiting the cone of learning: Is it a reliable way to link instruction Method with Real Knowledge? The Science Teacher. 37(2), 14-17 Michael, J. (2007). Faculty perceptions about barriers to active learning. College Teaching. 55(2), 42-47 Molenda, M. (2003). Cone of experience. In A. Kovalchick and D. Dawson (eds) Educational technology: An encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, CA: ABCClio. McCarthy, J.P., & Anderson, L. (2000). Active learning techniques versus traditional teaching styles: Two experiments from history and political science. Innovative Higher Education, 24(4), 279-293, Pine, J., Aschbacher, P., Roth, E., Jones, M., McPhee, C., Martin, C., et al (2006). Fifth graders’ science inquiry abilities: A comparative study of students in hands-on and Textbook Curricula. Journal of Research on Science Teaching, 42(5) 647-684. St. Omer, L. (2002). Successful scientific instruction involves more than just discovering concepts though inquiry based activities. Education, 123(2). 318-321. – etc. Thalheimer, W. (2006). Practical wisdom from learning research. Somerville, MA: Work-Learn Research. Ueckert, C.W., & Gess-Newsome, J. (2008). Active learning strategies: Three activities to increase student schievement in learning. The Science Teacher. 75(9). 47-52. 14
  17. 17. Appendix A: Moon Phases Pretest Identify the choice that best completes the statement or answers the question. ____ 1. What causes the phases of the moon? a. the relative positions of the moon, Earth, and the sun b. the tilted orbit of the moon c. the moon’s period of revolution equaling its period of rotation d. sunlight reflecting off Earth’s surface ____ 2. What happens during a total solar eclipse? a. The shadow of Earth falls on the moon. b. A thin ring of the sun shows through. c. The moon completely covers the sun. d. The sun completely covers the moon. ____ 3. What are the different appearances of the moon as it revolves around Earth called? a. satellites c. nebulas b. phases d. eclipses ____ 4. When the shadow of one celestial body falls on another, a(n) ____________________ occurs. a. satellite c. nebula b. phase d. eclipse ____ 5. Where does the moon get its light? a. moon flares c. nuclear fusion b. fires on the moon d. reflection of the sun’s light ____ 6. What happens during a solar eclipse? a. the moon comes between the Earth and c. the Earth comes between the sun and the Sun the moon b. the sun comes between the Earth and d. the sun is the only visible object in the the Moon sky ____ 7. What happens during a lunar eclipse? a. the moon comes between the Earth and c. the Earth comes between the sun and the Sun the moon b. the sun comes between the Earth and d. the moon is the only visible object in the Moon the sky ____ 8. Why do we see different shapes of the moon during the month? a. The sun’s light outshines the moon’s c. the Earth blocks the moon’s light light b. the amount of sunlight on the side of d. the moon s on the shadow of the Earth the moon that faces the Earth changes ____ 9. In a waxing moon we see the lit portion getting _________, while in a waning moon we see the lit portion getting ____________. a. larger, larger c. smaller larger b. smaller, smaller d. larger, smaller 15
  18. 18. Appendix B: Moon Phases Post Test Identify the choice that best completes the statement or answers the question. ____ 1. When the shadow of one celestial body falls on another, a(n) ____________________ occurs. a. eclipse c. nebula b. phase d. satellite ____ 2. What causes the phases of the moon? a. the tilted orbit of the moon b. the moon’s period of revolution equaling its period of rotation c. sunlight reflecting off Earth’s surface d. the relative positions of the moon, Earth, and the sun ____ 3. In a waxing moon we see the lit portion getting _________, while in a waning moon we see the lit portion getting ____________. a. smaller larger c. smaller, smaller b. larger, larger d. larger, smaller ____ 4. What happens during a solar eclipse? a. the sun comes between the Earth and c. the Earth comes between the sun and the Moon the moon b. the moon comes between the Earth and d. the sun is the only visible object in the the Sun sky ____ 5. Where does the moon get its light? a. nuclear fusion c. reflection of the sun’s light b. moon flares d. fires on the moon ____ 6. Why do we see different shapes of the moon during the month? a. the Earth blocks the moon’s light c. The sun’s light outshines the moon’s light b. the amount of sunlight on the side of d. the moon is on the shadow of the Earth the moon that faces the Earth changes ____ 7. What happens during a total solar eclipse? a. A thin ring of the sun shows through. b. The shadow of Earth falls on the moon. c. The moon completely covers the sun. d. The sun completely covers the moon. ____ 8. What are the different appearances of the moon as it revolves around Earth called? a. eclipses c. nebulas b. phases d. satellites ____ 9. What happens during a lunar eclipse? a. the moon is the only visible object in c. the Earth comes between the sun and the sky the moon b. the moon comes between the Earth and d. the sun comes between the Earth and the Sun the Moon 16
  19. 19. Appendix C: Student Survey Please answer the following questions about the assignment that you completed on the phases of the moon: 1. Overall, how well did the moon phase assignment help you understand the phases of the moon and eclipses? Extremely Well Well Neutral Not Well Not Well at All 2. How well do you understand the 6 phases of the moon, now that you’ve completed the moon phase assignment? Extremely Well Well Neutral Not Well Not Well at All 3. How well did the moon phase assignment help you understand why we don’t see eclipses every month? Extremely Well Well Neutral Not Well Not Well at All 4. How well did the moon phases assignment helped me visualize the phases of the moon and eclipses? Extremely Well Well Neutral Not Well Not Well at All 5. How well were you able to understand how to do the assignment on my own. Extremely Well Well Neutral Not Well Not Well at All What did you like best about the moon phase assignment? What would you change about the moon phase assignment if you could? Pick two words from this list that best describe this assignment: Easy Difficult Boring Interesting Exciting Dull 17
  20. 20. Complicated Simple 18
  21. 21. Appendix D: Moon Phases Activity Half Dark, Half Light Models are used to recreate observations that we make. We try to use the simplest model possible. In this activity a ball that is half black and half white will model the moon. This is because the moon, and everything else in our solar system gets its light from the sun. Only half of the object can be lit up because the other half is not facing the sun. Shade the dark half of the moon on the diagram. Sun Light Rays Moon Materials: 1-meter stick 1 black and white ball attached to a stick Student sheet: Observations of moon model Procedure: 1.Position the black and white ball as close to you can to the 0 cm mark of your meter stick and place it between you and your partner as shown in the diagram below. 2. Sit directly across from the 50 cm mark of the meter mark of the meter and look straight at it. Without turning your head, move only your eyes so that you can see the black and white ball. 3. Use the circle for observation 1 on your student sheet and fill in the amount of black you observe. 4. Move the ball to the 50 cm mark while keeping the meter stick in the same place. 5. View the black and white ball the same way you did in step 2. 6. Use the circle for observation 2 on your student sheet to fill in the amount of black you observe. 7.view the black and white ball the same way you did in step 2. 8. Move the ball close to the 100 cm mark as you can while keeping the meter stick in the same place. 9.Use the circle for observation 3 o9n your student sheet to fill in the amount of black you observe. 10.Switch positions with your partner and repeat steps 1-9. Draw your sketches in the circles for observations 4-6.
  22. 22. Close to the 0 cm mark: Observation 1 Observation 4 Close to the 50 cm mark: Observation 2 Observation 5 Close to the 100 cm mark: Observation 3 Observation 6
  23. 23. When you observed the black and white ball for from the first three places: a. How did the amount of black change? Explain. b. How did the amount of white change? Explain. 2. Judging from your observations of this model, why does the moon appear to change shape? 3. Using your textbook page 465, label the six phases represented by the drawings. (Remember, yours will differ from your partner.) 4. Do you think the model we used in this activity is a good one? Why or why not?
  24. 24. Appendix E: Moon Phases Reading Comprehension Assignment Section: Moons 1. Natural or artificial bodies that revolve around larger bodies such as planets are called ____________________________ . 2. Except for Mercury and Venus, all the planets have natural satellites called __________________________ . LUNA: THE MOON OF EARTH ______ 3. What is Earth’s moon also called? a. Luna c. maria b. terrae d. Galilean satellite ______ 4. How old were the lunar rocks brought back by the Apollo missions? a. 3 billion years c. about 4.5 billion years b. about 3.8 billion years d. more than 5 billion years 5. What does the age of the lunar rocks tell us about our solar system? 6. What happens to the surfaces of bodies without an atmosphere and no erosion? 7. What two features is the moon’s surface composed of? 8. What is the current theory about the origin of the moon? 9. What evidence supports the current theory about the origin of the moon? 10. Why is the moon a sphere? 11. What causes the moon to shine? 12. Why do you always see the same side of the moon from Earth? 13. Describe how the moon’s face changes during the month. 14. The different appearances of the moon due to its changing position are called _______________ .
  25. 25. 15. What causes the different appearances of the moon? 16. When the moon is _____________, the sunlit fraction that we can see from Earth is getting larger. 17. When the moon is _______________ , the sunlit fraction that we can see from Earth is getting smaller. 18. When the shadow of one celestial body falls on another, a(n) _______________________ occurs. Match the correct description with the correct term. Write the letter in the space provided. ______ 19. when the shadow of the moon falls on part a. solar eclipse of Earth b. lunar eclipse ______ 20. when the shadow of Earth falls on the moon c. total solar eclipse ______ 21. when a thin ring of the sun shows around d. annular eclipse the moon’s outer edge ______ 22. when the disk of the moon completely covers the disk of the sun 23. Why don’t we see solar and lunar eclipses every month? THE MOONS OF OTHER PLANETS ______ 24. Which of the following statements about moons in our solar system is NOT correct? a. Some moons orbit their planet backward. b. Many moons may be captured asteroids. c. Some moons have very elliptical orbits. d. There are no moons as large as the terrestrial planets.
  26. 26. 25. Name the two moons of Mars. 26. Jupiter’s four largest moons are known as the ___________________. 27. Which of Jupiter’s moons is the most volcanically active body in the solar system? 28. What evidence supports the idea that life could exist on Europa? 29. How does Titan’s atmosphere compare with the atmospheres of other satellites in the solar system? 30. What effect did an impact have on Uranus’s moon Miranda? 31. In what kind of orbit does Triton revolve around Neptune? 32. Why does one side of Pluto always face its moon, Charon? Copyright © by Holt, Rinehart and Winston. All rights reserved. Holt California Physical Science 158 Our Solar System TEACHER RESOURCES