it's a topic that grabs all children at any grade level. Don't you love it when the kids come to school eager to share the fun and fascinating facts they learned after you start the unit? It seems that they always go home and raid their book bins and cabinets looking for any space themed books. They love searching for more information and talking about anything space related. It's a topic with many resources that kids can easily access and explore.
I stumbled upon this little tune on School Tube to help us learn the phases of the moon-the kids loved it! I also used The Moon by Gail Gibbons to introduce many of the facts about the Earth's only natural satellite.
You can make an interactive moon using a foam ball (purchased at Walmart for $3), some masking tape, and acrylic paint. Tape a line around the circumference of the ball; paint half of it black and the other half white (let it dry before putting on the 2nd color). Then, it's ready to be used as a whole group and individually!! Hold the ball in front of you and rotate it ever so slightly-have your students tell you which phase is shown. Here's a look at the different phases using the painted ball:
Back to First Quarter:
After studying the moon's phases and facts, I tested them on what they learned. Click the pictures below for a moon test (questions based off of Gail Gibbons book) and study guide:
Right before they took the test, I gathered some pie tins and sugar and had the students shake them to make the different phases of the moon. They loved this quick little review!
Sprinkle the sugar so it covers the entire bottom of the pie tin:
Gently shake the tin so the sugar resembles a phase of the moon: