Moon Phases

Recommended For: Ages 7 and up

Badges: Maryland Skies, Citizen Scientist

Download this activity as a PDF - no electricity needed.

 

The moon orbits around our planet, Earth. The moon doesn’t emit light like the sun. What you see when you look at the moon is light from the sun being reflected off the surface of the moon. A phase of the moon is how much of the moon appears to us on earth to be lit up by the sun.

 

In this activity you will learn about moon phases and make your own observations of the moon.

You will Need

  • A Notebook or some lined paper 

  • Pencil 

 

Wonder

 

What does the moon look like? Does it always look the same? 

When do you see the moon?

What do you think the moon is made of? What does the surface of the moon look like?

Why do you think the moon has phases? 

What does it mean to make an observation?

 

Watch/Read

 

Watch this video from GenerationGenius to learn about the phases of the moon!

Listen to The Moon Seems to Change by Franklyn Branley, illustrated by Barbara & Ed Emberley

Look

 

Learn about the moon by making observations. 

After it is dark, go outside and look up at the sky. What do you see? 

 

Record

 

Use your notebook to keep a journal. Include: 

A sketch of what the moon looks like (if you can see it) 

The date and time

The location of the moon in the sky (what direction is it, how high above the horizon is it) 

What is the weather like?

Name the phase of the moon

                                                           

Repeat

 

Observe and record your observations about the moon for a few nights.

After a few observations, think about: 

How has the appearance of the moon changed? 

Does the moon always appear in the same place in the sky? 

Can you guess what the moon will look like tomorrow night? 

 

Keep observing for a whole month to see all the moon phases!

What else do you wonder about the moon?

 

Wonderlog 

Share with the Wondernaut community your journal entries - you can take photos of them, or retype them.

 

Ready to share? Head here! 

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