Monday, 10 October 2016

Great Lesson 1 : Moon Phases [Post 7]

Since I have renewed my vows to blog again..I will be starting with continuing my Great Lesson 1 posts from 2015. 

The next great lesson 1 follow up activities are on the moon phases. 

Moon Phase Box

This first thing I like to do with moon phases, is provide the children with experiences that help them to understand why the moon appears differently throughout the month. I do this through a series of activities which they can repeat as often as they like.

Firstly, I gather the children to make a moon box like this. 

(photo from

Instructions for a moon box can be found here and here. This is fairly simple to make, so I allow my elementary children to get on and make one themselves. Once the box is made, we shine a torch through and peep through the different holes. Looking through each hole, the child will see the moon appear differently. If possible, use a circular box as this will give and even better impression. 

Moon Phase Demonstration

(photo from

Another activity we do is model out the moon phases in a dark room. For this I have the child stand in the centre of a dark room on a printed earth, to symbolise viewing the moon from the earth. The child hold a polystyrene moon on a cocktail stick straight in front of him. Another child stands at one end of the room holding a torch, shining on the child on the earth. The child in the centre (on the earth) rotates slowly, holding the moon out in front of him observing the moon's appearance as it changes. 

The Nasa website has detailed instructions of how to demonstrate this here

Here's a youtube video that shows the demonstration.

Through these two activities and others, the child develops an understanding of what moon phases are. This makes the language of the moon phases so much more meaningful. 

Moon Phase 3-part Cards

ETC Montessori have a lovely set of moon phase cards which I have used for years. The cards can be downloaded for free from their website here. Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of them set up.

Moon Phase Chart

My children then use the 3-part cards to make their own moon chart like this. This one is very basic, using a white pencil. However, I love to give the children a full range of materials to get creative and make their charts out of anything they like.

Moon Phase Puzzles

Unfortunately, I am not lucky enough to have a moon phase puzzle yet! This is one piece of material I have on my waiting list to make. I have seen quite a few blogs with home made puzzles. This felt puzzle from Pinay Homeschooler is lovely!

 (photo from The Pinay Homeschooler)

Moon Research

As with all the other follow up lessons, I guide the children to research our moon themselves. Some have even gone on to look at the moons of other planets. As with all research I encourage the children to record their finding and make visual props to demonstrate their understanding. This usually leads to a classroom performance giving all the children the opportunity to hear what has been researched. 

1 comment:

Elementary Observations said...

LOVE this post - thank you so much for linking up at It's Elementary! Looking forward to seeing more this year :)