The Moon in Children's Literatureby: Kathy Cabe Trundle and Thomas H. Troland

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The Moon's cycle of phases is one of the most familiar natural phenomena, yet also one of the most misunderstood. Research has found that a significant segment of the population, including students and teachers, mistakenly believes that the Moon's phases are caused by the shadow of the Earth. This articles discusses how to avoid the pitfalls of introducing misconceptions when reading about the Moon.

  • Elementary
  • Middle
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Reviews (5)
  • on Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:39 AM

Not only does the article do a great job of telling the importance of connecting disciplines, such as by bringing literature into the science classroom, but it also addresses the idea of misconceptions and ensuring to avoid them when doing so. I think the author did a good job of describing ways that we can incorporate this literature in a way that allows the students to compare their own observations to that of the book's portrayal of phases of the moon. This will allow the students to think deeply about how realistic the book's portrayal is. Therefore, it is important that the students participate in this observation ahead of reading.

Molly Hart
Molly Hart

  • on Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:01 PM

The article the Moon in Children's Literature is a real eye-opener in trying to help children avoid developing misconceptions about the moon. As teachers try more & more to integrate literacy and science they need to be careful the content they choose is appropriate. This doesn't mean we shouldn't these excellent pieces of literature with children but we should provide children with their own expereinces in obsserving the moon over a long period of time before they are introduced to books that have inaccurate science content. Then they can compare and discuss their observations to the points in the book. Now there is teachable moment.

Kathy Renfrew  (Barnet, VT)
Kathy Renfrew (Barnet, VT)

  • on Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:52 PM

Using literature to connect and engage students in the science classroom is increasingly popular. Yet when using moon stories one must be careful not to reinforce broadly held misconceptions. The authors analyze several books about the moon taken from children's literature making recommendations and suggestions on classroom use. This is a great resource if you are planning an elementary level lesson on the moon.

Pamela A
Pamela A

  • on Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:22 PM

Not only is this article an informative analysis of two prominent books for children featuring the moon—wrongly—, the authors also provide teaching strategies for using the books, including "thinking questions" to help guide discussion of the reality of the books' portrayals of the moon. The article is aimed at teachers of young children, below Grade 2.


  • on Sun May 25, 2014 3:09 PM

Teachers often have difficulties explaining the phases of the moon properly to their students in the classroom. In the article The Moon in Children’s Literature, by Kathy Trundle and Thomas H. Troland written in Science and Children’s Journal October 2005, the authors portrays that children’s literature often depicts incorrect information about the phases of the moon but states different ways to address this problem. One way the authors advise teachers to teach children properly about the moon is to still continue to use the misconstrued literature but have children compare their own findings about the moon to the literatures findings. Another way the others advised teachers was to have them select non-fiction books that depict the correct phases of the moon. However, the authors enforce the idea of having the students always make their own observations records whether reading a fiction or non-fiction book about the moon. I believe these are great options when trying to have students understands that they must make their own observations and not always take the books information as the truth. One thing I believe the authors did not include was to have students create their own comparison and contrast between their own findings of both non-fictional and fictional moon books. This would allow critical thinking to develop for the students. I would recommend this article to all elementary science teachers who are trying to find ways to portray the concept of the moon properly through the usage of books in the classroom.

Leslie Pierce  (Jacksboro, TX)
Leslie Pierce (Jacksboro, TX)

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