Education Technology

Earth Science: It's Just a Lunar Phase

by Texas Instruments - Simulation Lesson


  • Students will identify patterns in data associated with the lunar phases.
  • Students will describe how the relative positions of the Earth, the Moon, and the Sun cause lunar phases.
  • Students will identify why a graph of illumination of the Moon during the lunar cycle is a function.
  • Students will describe the requirements for an eclipse.


  • illumination
  • phase
  • eclipse
  • percent error

About the Lesson

In this lesson, students will study the cycle of lunar phases. Note: Students should use the TI-Nspire computer software for an optimal experience with this lesson.

As a result, students will:

  • Estimate the portion of the Moon's surface that is illuminated each day of the lunar cycle.
  • Identify patterns in data that is presented in a table and in a graph.
  • Use interactive animations to investigate the relative positions of Earth, the Moon, and the Sun during each phase and the requirements for an eclipse to occur.