Moon Mass Math

A Closer Look at the Moon

Object Type: Interactive

Moon Mass Math

Media: A Closer Look at the Moon

Students will apply their understanding of affects of gravity on Earth versus Gravity on the moon while they cross the curricular lines of science to math!

The objective of this activity is to understand and apply that objects weigh a different amount on the moon than they do on Earth. The activity involves a picture of an object on a scale that displays its weight on the earth. The scale is pictured on top of picture of the earth. Next to this is a picture of the moon with a "?" in the scale display. Below both pictures is the standard division algorithm for the students to calculate the weight difference (divide the weight of the object on earth by 6 to correctly calcuate its weight on the moon). There is no time limit involved and the pictures change upon each calculation. The game continues for 4 different problems. If the answer is correct, a bell dings and the correct answer is displayed. If incorrect a buzzer sounds.

Before playing this game, students need to be familiar with the traditional division format and have an understanding of how to solve division problems. It is also helpful if they know their 6s multiplication facts or discuss factors of 6. Students should watch the video to understand how gravity impacts weight and why it is different on earth and the moon. This game could be played as a class, in pairs/small groups or individually.

  • Whole Class: Students can use their own white boards or calculators to solve the problems and use the IWB to check their answers. This allows for indivdiual participation for each student. Pairs/Small Groups: Students take turns entering answers and checking the work (by clicking on check). They could also each solve 4 problems and then the other person could solve 4 problems and keep track of who solves the most problems correctly. This will help reinforce the division by 6 as well as the science concept. Individual: Students could use their own calculators to particpate as individuals. In the box where there is a "?" as the quotient in the division problem, click and type in the answer to the problem. Click "check" to see if the answer you typed is correct. This will continue for 4 problems and then will provide feedback to the students in the form of green check marks for problems they solved correctly and red x marks for the ones solved incorrectly.
  • This game can be extended to other planets using their gravity ratios for advanced students. Students could also be allowed or not allowed to use a calculator to help with the actual solving of the problem. For struggling students, other weight ratios could be used (such as 5s, 10s or 2s multiplication facts which are generally easier for students) or multiplication grids could be used.

    Math: Have students write out the long division problem to practice remembering the steps (multiply, subtract, bring down).