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K-3 Lesson Plan for "If You Decide to go to the Moon"

By Cheryl Gabbert

Spark students' imaginations and help them develop an interest in space exploration with "If You Decide to go to the Moon". Space lesson plans were never so easy! From a "phases of the moon" snack to a creative writing lesson that will ignite their creativity, you're sure to find something useful.

This is a beautiful story about going to the moon. It conveys what would be seen and how it would make the reader feel to actually be there. Kids will learn scientific facts as they follow along in this wonderfully illustrated space adventure to the moon and back. The book explores what to take with you to the moon, what to expect on the journey, feeling lonely in space, landing on the moon, and ends with a satisfying trip home.

Use "If You Decide to go to the Moon" as part of a K-3 space unit.

Phases of the Moon Snack

Make snack time learning time with a theme-related "phases of the moon" snack. You'll need spreadable cream cheese or some other type of spreadable cheese product and round crackers. Students can use plastic knives to spread the cheese product onto their crackers. More than just a snack, this is a great way to learn 4 phases of the moon.

Give out crackers and knives. Each child will also receive a spoonful of cheese to spread on their cracker. You might wish to use paper plates to work from. The cheese will represent the light reflected during each phase. Talk about the new moon. Have the students place their cracker on the plate with no cheese. Even though the moon is there, we can't see it because there is no light reflected. Take another cracker and spread a banana-shaped portion of the right side with cheese to represent a waxing crescent. The right half of the next cracker will be spread with cheese to show the first quarter moon. The fourth cracker will be spread with cheese over the entire surface to display a full moon. When the four phases of the moon are done, eat the crackers!

Make a Moon Picture

You will need black construction paper, glue, glow in the dark yellow paint, and large styrofoam balls that have been cut in half. The students will glue a styrofoam ball half to construction paper. Then they will choose one of the moon phases and paint their moon with glow in the dark paint to show what the chosen moon phase looks like. Students can paint the name of the phase along the bottom part of the paper. These make nice bulletin board displays.

Creative Writing Lesson

After reading the story, "If You Decide to go to the Moon", ask the students to write a paragraph that describes three things each student would most want to take with them. Have them name each item and tell why they would choose that item. At the bottom of the paragraph, the students can draw a picture of themselves using the items from inside a spaceship. After the students are finished, they can read their paragraphs aloud if they wish.