Two Moons for Planet Earth?
Students will read a recent science news article and discuss the content.
Depending the on the article, students may be asked to draw connections to current events or other classroom exercises.
Depending on the article, one of these standards may be most appropriate:
Subject Area - 1: Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening
Standard Area - 1.3: Reading, Analyzing, and Interpreting Literature - Fiction and Non-Fiction
Grade Level - 1.3.6: GRADE 6
Standard - 1.3.6.A: Read, understand, and respond to works from various genres of literature
Assessment Anchor - R6.A.2: Understand nonfiction appropriate to grade level.
Preparation Time Needed
<30 minutes, enough time to read the article and associated questions, answer the questions, and possibly come up with more that are relevant to recent class exercises.
(Part of the PAESTA In The News - Current Events in Earth and Space Science Series. This series compiles current resources and background materials for recent scientific events in the news. Questions are provided with each topic, written across Bloom's Taxonomic Scale, and can be used for classroom discussion and/or as a writing prompt at the beginning/middle/end of an instructional unit.)
A new theory suggests that, after 80 million years of co-existing, a slow collision between our current Moon and a smaller, second Moon occurred. Is this how the mountains on the far side of the Moon formed?
Articles to Share with Students
- Earth had Two Moons, New Model Suggests
- E Pluribis Lunum: Did Earth Once Have Two Moons?
- Earth May Once Have Had Two Moons
- NPR AUDIO: Early Earth May Have Been Orbited By Two Moons
- The Moon – NASA Lunar and Planetary Science
- Moon – New York Times Science Topics
- GRAIL Mission - NASA
- Astrogeology Science Center – The Moon [USGS]
Questions for Classroom Discussion
- How did the Moon form?
- What is the physical evidence that has led scientists to believe there was a second Moon?
- Define how the collision took place and the aftermath.
- How could scientists prove this new idea?
- What is the significance of the idea of there once being a second Moon?
Compiled August 8, 2011, by L.A. Guertin. Teachers are encouraged to search for more recent articles and related discoveries.