FOSS Module Summary

Course Summary – Sun, Moon, and Stars


The Sun, Moon and Stars Module consists of three sequential investigations, each designed to introduce students to objects we see in the sky. Through outdoor observations made during the day and at night, active simulations, readings, videos, and discussions, students study the Sun, Moon, and stars to learn that these objects move in regular and predictable patterns that can be observed, recorded, and analyzed.


  • Observe and record how the Sun, Earth's star, rises in the east and sets in the west in a predictable pattern.
  • Learn that Earth rotates on its axis, causing day and night. Day happens when a location on Earth is facing toward the Sun, and night happens when a location is facing away from the Sun.
  • Understand that the exact path the Sun takes in the sky varies by season.
  • Understand that shadows are the areas of darkness created when an opaque object blocks light and that shadows on Earth depend on the position of the Sun in the sky.
  • Learn that Earth is one of several planets that orbit the Sun in the solar system.
  • Learn that the Moon orbits Earth and can appear in the sky during both day and night; observe and record how the Moon changes its appearance or phase in a regular pattern over 4 weeks.
  • Learn how useful telescopes are in studying the solar system, as they make distant objects look closer and larger.
  • Learn that stars are suns positioned at great distances from Earth and form groups called constellations that appear to move together across the sky at night.
  • Use tools to collect and analyze data to develop logical conclusions about the movements of objects in the sky.
  • Predict the outcome of an event and compare the results with the prediction.

For a description of each investigation in the Sun, Moon, and Stars Module and the correlations to the National Science Education Standards, download the Module Overview PDF.

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