Lesson Objectives

  • Recognize when the Sun and Moon can be seen.
  • Differentiate between objects that are near and objects that are far.
  • Observe and describe the pattern and features of day and night.
  • Recognize that the Earth and other planets that orbit around the sun are called the Solar System



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Engage: Activate Prior Knowledge; Generate Interest

Play the song: Planets for the class. You can download the lyrics here.
Ask the students which of the planets they live on.
Explain to students that in this lesson we will look at the relationship between the Earth, Moon and Sun.

Stimulate Interest
Tell students that they will watch a video about light and dark. Say: In this video it is night time.
You will see different animals trying to see in the night. Think about what they do to help them see in the dark. Ask: How do Quack and Peep find their way in the dark?

Show students the Video Night Light. Stop periodically to discuss different segments of the video. Stop the video at 8:49, where the Peep and Quack video ends. Note that students may need to view this segment more than one time in order to fully grasp the concept.

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Ask students questions about the video, such as:
  • When Quack wakes up, is it day or night? How do you know?
  • How do Peep and Quack feel in the dark?
  • What do Peep and Quack do to find their way through the dark forest?
  • Is Peep bigger or smaller than Quack? How does Peep make himself appear bigger than Quack?
  • What do Peep and Quack do with the flashlight to light their way so they can find Chirp?
  • Why can't Quack fall asleep during the daytime?



Ask students, What questions do you have about day and night or light and dark? What would you like to learn? Write a list of student- and teacher- generated questions on a board or chart paper for reference throughout the lesson.

Include the following essential questions:
  • When can we see the Sun and the Moon?
  • How would you describe day and night?
  • What kinds of objects can be seen in the sky in the day or at night?

Explore: Allowing Students to Experience Content

Display the Lesson Essential Questions:
  • When can we see the Sun and the Moon?
  • How would you describe day and night?
  • What kinds of objects can be seen in the sky in the day or at night?
  • Can you name three objects that are far from Earth?
  • How big are objects that are seen from Earth?

Show students the video Night and Day
Tell students to pay close attention to what can be seen in the sky at night and what can be seen in the sky during the day.

Have students complete the Hands-On Activity Night and Day.

Ask students to share identify objects in their pictures. Make a T chart on the board showing objects that are seen at day and objects that are seen at night. Then ask the students which of these objects are far from earth. Circle the objects that are far from Earth

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As a class, complete the Fun-damental Cycles in the Sky (Earth and Sun) Answer the questions in the Student Guide as you complete the Fun-damental. If necessary add new objects to your T chart.

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Use the hands-on activity: Near and Far to help students use models to explore how things on the ground and in the sky look differently when they are far away or up close.

Write the following vocabulary words on the board or chart paper: sun, star, moon, and cloud.
  • The sun is a star. Earth moves around the sun. The sun looks big to us because it is closer to Earth than other stars.
  • A star is a ball of gas that gives off light and heat. Stars look small to us on Earth because they are very far away.
  • The moon orbits Earth. It can be seen at night and sometimes during the day.
  • A cloud forms from drops of water in the air.


Explain: Firm Up Understanding; Allow Students to Explain What They Know

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Read the passage Day and Night aloud to students. Note that this passage is available as an e-book for practicing readers. After you have read the passage, call out different words from the passage and ask students to associate them with day or with night. For example, say “sun.” Have students say “day.” Continue with “sunlight,” “darkens,” “stars,” and “moon.” When you finish, ask students to name other objects that can be seen in the day or night. Then have the rest of the class say whether each object is associated with day or night.

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Read aloud the passage Up in the Sky. Note that this passage is available as an e-book for practicing readers. Pause after each sentence and make sure students understand the vocabulary as you read. Explain the comparison between the size of objects in the sky and their distance to Earth






Elaborate: Allow Students to Apply What They Know


To help students understand the concept of distance and size, have students hold up a small object, such as a paper clip, an eraser, or a coin, close to their faces. Then point to an object that is outside the classroom window, such as a car, or a swing on the playground. Explain to students that a car is much bigger than the paper clip, eraser, or coin, but the paper clip, eraser, or coin looks bigger because it is closer to us. Point out that the car looks smaller because it is farther away. Explain that the same is true of objects in the sky. Stars are bigger than the moon, but they look smaller because the moon is much closer to us.

Provide picture cards with objects in the sky that can be seen from Earth, such as the moon, the sun, clouds, airplanes, and birds. Have students sort the cards in order from biggest to smallest.

Essential Question(s):

  • What kinds of objects can be seen in the sky in the day or at night?
  • Can you name three objects that are far from Earth?
  • How big are objects that are seen from Earth?



Project Ideas: To help students apply their understanding of objects in the sky you may wish to have them complete some or all of the following projects. The time required to complete each project will vary; some may require students to work outside the classroom.

  • Project: Distance and Size: Take a walk outdoors and observe the objects around you. Then observe objects in the distance. Have students sketch the size of objects in the distance and close by. Encourage students to observe which object is bigger in reality. As a group, discuss the importance of distance to perceiving size.

Evaluate: Check for Understanding


Venn Diagram: Draw or project a blank Venn Diagram onto the board or wall. Post different photos and pictures of objects that can be seen in the night sky and day sky. Label one circle "day" and the other circle "night." Invite students to post pictures in the appropriate circles. For example, a rainbow can be seen in the day sky, so its photo should be placed in the "day" circle. The moon can be seen either in the day or in the night sky, so its picture can be placed in the intersection of the two circles.

Have students complete the selected response Objects in the Sky


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