Earth and Space

Why does the Moon shine?

Classroom Activity for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

What the Activity is for

Using scientific evidence.

The aim of this activity is to allow pupils to consider the evidence for why we believe that the Moon shines by reflected sunlight.

What to Prepare

  • printed copies of the support sheet: Moonshine (see below)

What Happens During this Activity

The story to develop here is that science consists of a set of explanations or theories that are supported by evidence. There are two possible explanations for why the Moon might shine. The task of the scientists is to decide which explanation the evidence supports.

  • Organise the pupils into groups of 4. Hand out the support sheet.
  • Ask them to consider the evidence and come to a conclusion. Allow a maximum of 10 minutes for this.
  • Ask pupils to consider how they would argue against anybody who took the opposite view.
  • At the end of 10 minutes, ask groups to send one envoy to the next table to tell the other group what they have decided.
  • Conclude with taking a vote for what they believe. Explain the scientific view if there are still any pupils unconvinced.


Download the support sheet / student worksheet for this activity.

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