Use the glossary (pp. 77-78) to define the vocabulary words.
What do you need to be a ‘sky watcher’?
Over the next few months, observe and record the moon going through its various phases. What is the current phase of the moon? (Check your local newspaper for the answer.)
How long does it take for the moon to orbit the Earth?
Describe the phases of the moon. Students should write a short paragraph describing how the moon looks in each phase. Younger students can draw the phases instead.
What happens during a solar eclipse? Have students draw this event.
What happens during a lunar eclipse? Have students draw this event.
What are the two types of telescopes? How do they differ? How are they the same?
NOTE: For this activity, a night-time class would be helpful to observe the sky. If you live in a well-lighted area, you may want to drive to a nearby park so you can see more.
On a clear night, go outside and look at the sky. How many constellations you can find? Your local newspaper should list moon-rise times, as well as which planets are visible and in which part of the sky they can be seen.
The Astronomy Book suggests the magazine Sky and Telescope. A word of caution, this magazine contains articles which talk about long ages (millions and billions of years), the ‘big bang’, the evolution of stars, etc. as if they are fact. The Sky and Telescope web site has an interactive sky chart and other useful information.