Earth and Space Science

Moon Phases

Author Post
Michael Massad Michael Massad 3120 Points

I've been wanting to make a moon phases demo that I saw at an Earth Science training I attended years ago, but could not find a good resource to explain how to make it. The demo involves students putting their head (which represents the Earth) inside a hole in foam board. They are looking at 8 ping pong balls hot glued to the foam board, each representing a moon phase, each ball positioned to show where it is located in relation to the Sun and Earth during each phase.  I finally found a site with a great explanation. This demo gives the best way of helping students connect with the concepts of the positions of the Earth, Moon, and Sun at each phase. Here's the link to the site I found. It's complete with pictures of what students see: Regards, Michael..............

Marci Ward Marci Ward 6165 Points

Thanks for sharing.  Looks like some good ways for kids to learn phases of the Moon. Marci

Marci Ward Marci Ward 6165 Points

Michael Massad Michael Massad 3120 Points

Follow up:  After my partner and I used this tool during our study of Sun, Earth, and Moon, we found students' learning was much deeper with regards to not just learning the phases of the moon, but being able to describe the positions of the Sun, Earth, and Moon during each phase. It helped them "see" and understand why each phase has to look the way it does.  As part of our assessment of their learning, we had students not just name the phases, but draw a simple diagram of each phase, using letters to identify each space body: S for Sun, E for Earth, M for moon. So, for example, for a full moon, students had to write this: S E M I also used 3 balls (identified as each space body) on a tray for students to rearrange and quiz themselves and partners for each phase. 

Michelle Khan Michelle Khan 1075 Points

Wow, my students are working on the phases of the moon and I have been wanting to explain and show my students in a different manner, this helps so much. Thanks.

Andreina Betancourt Andreina Betancourt 615 Points

We were learning on how to there are different phases of the moon, but if we teach them all at once the students will be overwhelmed and confused. It is better to teach students a couple of phases at first and let them know those first.

Jessica Williams Jessica Williams 1125 Points

My biggest fear when teaching the phases of the moon is that  I did not want to confused them and make them frustrated. I like your ideas and I think this will be great for the students.

Nydia Alvarado Nydia Alvarado 715 Points

Thanks for posting! What a fun and engaging way to teach students about the moon's phases. Love the creativity 

Zayra Castillo Zayra Castillo 650 Points

My teacher is having us record the way the moon looks, and use a compass to see which way it is facing. We took running records over time, and then examines why they changes faces. 

Wendy Nativi Wendy Nativi 775 Points

What a great way to help students learn the phases of the moon. Thank you for sharing!

Michelle Khan Michelle Khan 1075 Points

I tried this activity and it was so fun and engaging for the students, they just loved it.

Amber Swander Amber Swander 595 Points

I love that the students are able to look at this from different angles and can move it around! This is what I have used before to teach about the phases of the moon!

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