How can I better improve my student's understanding of the phases of the moon? Are there other activites that are more inquiry based for my students?

 

Attachments

Moon_Phases.doc (2.26 Mb)

Shannon Tran
Shannon Tran
915 Activity Points

I recently discovered a fun and unique way to learn about the phases of the moon using Oreo cookies (or off brand sandwich cookies). Students are actively engaged in learning about the different phases of the moon by using Oreo cookies to construct each phase of the moon. I have attached a link to a free resource by Rockin' Teacher Materials-Hilary Lewis on Teachers Pay Teachers. 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Phases-of-the-Moon-Oreo-Activity-FREEBIE-158654

I hope this helps! 

Makensy Stump
Makensy Stump
964 Activity Points

Hello Shannon,

Popular activities like labelling handouts, cutting out paper or cardboard, and the popular (and tasty) turning cream-filled cookies into the different shapes only demonstrate that students can tell you what a waning gibbous or waxing crescent moon looks like.  I would say that these two-dimensional, hands-on activities may actually reinforce that the moon could be flat! 

Ask your students to just observe the moon.  What’s its shape, colour, placement in the sky?  Does it change during the day? Have them take photos or draw on calendars over a few weeks or months. The great thing: observe the moon during the day in your own school yard.   Can they create a model that explains what they observe?  [ Don’t worry if they don’t – western cultures didn’t really figure it out until Copernicus and Galileo came along.] 

Conduct a demonstration by putting a projector at one end of a darkened classroom or, better yet, a large space like a library or gym.  Have the students stand in a cluster in the middle with a large ball (Earth) and face the projector.  Spinning in place they should discern how day and night occurs.  With the students still in the middle, you walk counter-clockwise around the periphery with a ball representing the moon.  Observe and record the lit and unlit portions at different points in your orbit.  Other observations to make: walk clockwise; create eclipses; spin the moon at different rates.

The main ideas students need to understand are that the phases of the moon are caused by reflecting sunlight, being spherical and orbiting around the Earth. 

Hope this helps!



Gabe Kraljevic
Gabe Kraljevic
4059 Activity Points

On YouTube, I found a great song called "Moon Phases to Cee Lo’s Forget You." This short audio-video goes through each phase of the moon in more details. A teacher took a popular song that is catchy and entertaining and modified it to teach this lesson. Students will be able to remain engaged and sing along. Link to the song is posted below:

 

https://youtu.be/HkvlrWpsnuQ

Alicia Salazar
Alicia Salazar
1174 Activity Points

My 5th grade teacher gave us wooden spheres with sticks to hold onto, kind of like a wooden lollipop, and placed a bright lamp in the middle of the classroom, to act as the sun. He'd have all of us rotate our bodies to show the different phases of the moon. It was a fun activity and I'm sure your second grade class would enjoy it as well.

Erica Hernandez
Erica Hernandez
90 Activity Points

My 5th grade teacher gave us wooden spheres with sticks to hold onto, kind of like a wooden lollipop, and placed a bright lamp in the middle of the classroom, to act as the sun. He'd have all of us rotate our bodies to show the different phases of the moon. It was a fun activity and I'm sure your second grade class would enjoy it as well.

Erica Hernandez
Erica Hernandez
90 Activity Points

I would start by learning about the cultures in your class.  Many students use multiple calendars, the Gregorian for school/ work and a lunar calendar at home.   Students with that background have a different understanding of moon phases, and having observed the patterns so often, usually only need a little hands on with the how.

Anne Lowry
Anne Lowry
5270 Activity Points

Hello Shannon, a fun activity regarding the phases of the moon that i always enjoyed doing, was with oreos. Each phase was represented with the amount of vanilla frosting remained on the oreo, it was always fun to do.

Brenda Zapata
Brenda Zapata
180 Activity Points

What misconceptions have you noticed your students showing/what sort of understanding do they need more instruction in?

Amanda Fraley
Amanda Fraley
905 Activity Points

Hello Amanda,

Are you asking about misconceptions in general or related to the phases of the moon?

- Gabe

Gabe Kraljevic
Gabe Kraljevic
4059 Activity Points

https://youtu.be/fW4EpHfUQvo

Hello fellow science teacher,
 
I am replying you behalf of Funsciencedemos YouTube Channel that is home to hundreds of free videos for ideas for teachers and students to recreate in the classroom. Science is our passion and we are so excited to share our engaging, kid-teacher-parent friendly, and interactive lessons with you to use in the classroom or at home. Our videos adhere to the common core science standards, encompass a wide variety of science concepts, and are specifically geared toward younger learners. All videos on the FunScienceDemos channel come with an English subtitle that can be translated into almost any language, making science lessons accessible virtually any place in the world.  
 
We encourage you check it out and spread the word! We post new science videos once a month, please subscribe our channel.
 
https://www.youtube.com/user/funsciencedemos
 
 
Sincerely,
 
The FunScienceDemos Team
 
 

George Mehler
George Mehler
1340 Activity Points

I grew up in a Hispanic dominant community and an activity I really enjoyed regarding the phases of the moon was getting a flour tortilla and eating away the tortilla to represent the phases of the moon. This was fun and I will always remeber it, maybe developing an activity around this concept could be helpful for your lesson! Best wishes!  

Nicholas Canas
Nicholas Canas
210 Activity Points

Post Reply

Forum content is subject to the same rules as NSTA List Serves. Rules and disclaimers