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Draw your own comic strip about the history of the Moon

An artist's concept of the Lunar Gateway, a small space station in orbit around the Moon

Example of a comic strip. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

Our Moon has a spectacular history! We believe that at the very beginning of the solar system, when Earth had just been created, a small planet named Theia collided with Earth, launching a large amount of debris into orbit. This debris then came together to form the Moon. Next, celestial bodies collided with the Moon and created the oceans and craters we see on its surface today.

Objective

This activity will help you learn more about the Moon's formation and evolution by drawing a comic strip that illustrates parts of its history.

You will need

The Moon was formed during an impact between Earth and Theia, a protoplanet the size of Mars. (Credit: ESO/G. Glasø/M. Kornmesser)

This video shows the evolution of the Moon. When it cooled down, several meteor impacts gave it the appearance we all know. (Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center)

How it works

  1. Looking at the images above, familiarize yourself with the formation of the Moon. There are also books and webpages on the subject. Suggestions: This video (for younger kids) or this one (for older ones) describes the creation of the Moon as a result of a large impact.
  2. Choose and draw the steps of the Moon's formation and evolution that you find important. For example, you could draw:
    1. The arrival of Theia, a protoplanet the same size as Mars, near the young Earth.
    2. Theia colliding with Earth.
    3. The debris surrounding Earth.
    4. The newly formed Moon revolving around Earth.
    5. The oceans on the Moon, formed by flowing lava.
    6. The arrival and collision of other celestial bodies, which created craters of different sizes all over the Moon.

Variant: Flip book

You can make your own flip book about the history of the Moon's formation. You will need scissors, a small clip and many sheets of paper.

  1. Cut out small sheets. You could, for example, take letter size paper and cut it into 2 pieces along the short edge and into 4 pieces along the long edge.
  2. Choose which steps of the Moon's history you want to draw.
  3. On each little page, draw one step of the Moon's formation. Only change the drawing slightly from one page to the next. Be patient! You need lots of images to achieve an interesting result.
  4. Bind your small pages together with a clip. Use your thumb to quickly flip through the pages, creating a short animation.

Curriculum focus areas

Key concepts related to the science curriculum

  • Solar system
    • Composition of the solar system
    • Meteorites
    • Theories on the formation and evolution of the solar system

Complementary knowledge

  • Formation of the Moon
  • Evolution of the Moon
  • Lunar craters and collisions
  • Orbit

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