Moons in the Solar System card game
Our Moon is magnificent, and we know a lot about it already. But did you know that there are hundreds of moons in our solar system alone? Do you know about any of them? This activity will help teach you more about these moons and will allow you to make up your own exomoon (a moon outside the solar system).
Did you know?
- Planets aren't the only ones that can have moons. Dwarf planets and asteroids can have them too!
- An exomoon is a moon that is found outside our solar system. We know there are thousands of exoplanets (planets that orbit around stars other than the Sun), but it is very difficult to detect their moons (exomoons) because they are not as big or as bright.
This activity will allow you to learn about the moons in the solar system through an educational card game.
You will need
- The Moons in the Solar System card game, which includes 30 cards (4 per page), including two blank cards to print out (PDF, 3.48 MB)
- A method of doing research on the moons (books or Internet access)
- Colouring pencils
- Laminator (optional)
How to play
- Study your cards
- Ask an adult to download the PDF file and print it out, ideally in colour. If you want to, you can also laminate the cards before cutting them out.
- Take some time to study the different cards on your own or with friends or family members. What do you notice? What is surprising to you? Which moon is your favourite?
- Complete your card deck
- Your deck of cards is incomplete! There are over a hundred moons in the solar system. Do a little research on the Internet or in a book and create one or more cards about moons in the solar system to add to your collection. Use your coloured pencils to draw the moon of your choice.
- On another blank card, imagine an exomoon. You can draw it orbiting around a made-up exoplanet, or a real one, like the exoplanet Awasis (its name means "
child" in the Cree language), which is located in the habitable area of its star. Make up the characteristics of this moon, the conditions on the surface and even its inhabitants!
- Play with your family and friends
- Deal the same number of cards to every player.
- Taking turns (youngest player goes first), each player looks at the first card in their hand and chooses a characteristic of their moon that makes it unique from the others. For example, it could be the largest or the smallest, discovered first or the most recently. The player tells the others, "
My moon was discovered the most recently, in ."
- The other players look at the first card in their hand, find the same characteristic (in this example, the year of discovery) and take turns saying it out loud.
- The player with the strongest moon (in this example, the moon discovered most recently) collects all of the cards for this turn from all of the other players. In case of a tie, start over with the next card and a characteristic chosen by the youngest player.
- At the end of a given amount of time, the player with the most cards wins the game.
- Taking it further
- You could also make up a story to tell the origins of the moon on one of your cards, inspired by the stories about the Moon from different Indigenous cultures.
Curriculum focus areas
Key concepts related to the science curriculum
- Solar system
- Sun, planets, moons, asteroids
- Conditions required to sustain life, habitability
- The universe
- Science and society
- Importance of the Moon in the stories and art of many cultures
- Atmosphere of the moons in the solar system
- Habitability of the moons in the solar system
- Comparison between our Moon and the other moons in the solar system
- Concept of exomoons
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