Earth and Moon Comparisons Activity

earth_moon_comparison

This is a great hands on activity to get students thinking about the size of the Earth compared to the Moon, distance, and rotation vs. revolution. In this handout are 4 mini-activities that cover:

  • Compare the size of the Moon to the Size of Earth.
  • How many Moons could fit inside the Earth?
  • How far away is the Moon?
  • How does the Moon rotate and revolve around the Earth?

Materials:

  • Student Worksheet and Teacher Answer Key (pdf)
  • Circle templates to represent the Moon and the Earth (pdf)
    • Templates are cut out prior to activity and placed in a large zip-top bag, one set per group, (construction paper, oak tag, or plain computer paper works well)
  • Rulers & calculators
  • Pennies – 50 per group, then later 1 per student
  • Quarters – 1 per student
  • Styrofoam ball with a small flag, or something small, pinned to it

Details for the lesson are in the handout. As the students were working, I visited each group to check on their progress and hear their ideas. I held off on revealing the real answers to the first 3 parts until everyone was done with all of the activities and after we discussed our ideas and reasons for the choices they made as a class.

For the Rotation vs. Revolution, I had them try out their own ideas on how to make the penny rotate and revolve around the quarter before I demonstrated it with a styrofoam moon.

If you use this lesson in your class, write about it below 🙂

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