Why does the moon change shape throughout the month? through modeling a moon rotating roughly yourself together Earth, students discover moon phases in a kinesthetic fashion the for numerous will finally make sense.

You are watching: Phases of moon model

Support an debate that distinctions in the noticeable brightness that the sun contrasted to other stars is due to their relative ranges from Earth.

Earth and room Science. College student will get an expertise of earth and an are Science with the research of planet materials, celestial movement, and weather.

Describe the movement of Earth and also the moon and also the obvious movement of other bodies through the sky.


1 Styrofoam round for every student1 pencil because that every studentA lamp v shade removed to represent the sunLab paper if using (download below)

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Darken her room before the activity. The darker the room the betterIf working with younger students, placed the ball and also pencil together prior to the activity.With younger grades invite volunteer to help with the activity.Watch the teacher video clip on the video tab.Decide wether friend will usage the rap Sheet. Modify it to accomplish your classrooms needs. Review front moon knowledge with students. You may want to usage videos on the video clip tab and also / or fill out sheet 1 the the rap sheet before the activity as a class or individually.


Darken the room—the darker, the better. Provide each college student a pencil and also a foam ball. Define that the foam ball, stuck on the end of a pencil, is a model of the Moon; the lamp is a version of the Sun; and also the students’ heads represent Earth. Before the guided task below, provide students time to discover the model and test various ideas around what causes Moon phases. Next, guide students through the following activity to model exactly how the Moon transforms shape.With their faces toward the lamp, students hold the balls slightly above their top so that they need to look increase a tiny to see them. In this position, college student cannot see the lighted side of the ball. This is referred to as a new Moon.Tell student to rotate their bodies slightly to the left while still looking at the ball and holding it a small above their heads. They must turn until they view a small sliver of the lighted side—a crescent Moon.Ask- wherein does the Moon’s irradiate come from? (The light is coming from the Sun and is reflected turn off the Moon.) Some people think the the Moon phases are resulted in by the earth’s shadow. Exactly how does this version disprove that misconception? (The shadow of mine head, which represents the Earth, is nowhere close to the Moon in this position. The is behind me.)Instruct the students come keep transforming to the left and soon they will certainly see much more of the lighted half of the ball. This is called a quarter Moon. Have them turn a little more and almost all of the round will be lit. This is referred to as a gibbous Moon.Students have the right to keep transforming until they check out all the lighted half of the ball. This is a full Moon.As students continue to rotate in the same direction, castle will watch less and also less the the lighted part of the ball. An initial they will see a gibbous Moon, then a 4 minutes 1 Moon, then a slim crescent Moon, and finally they will be back to the brand-new Moon.Tell students the the forms they have observed in this activity are called the Moon phases.Have college student go v the orbit number of times. Questioning them to chorally respond with the surname of each phase together it is modeled.Point out that no matter where they space in the Moon’s orbit, fifty percent of the Moon is constantly lighted through the Sun. Periodically we check out the totality lighted half from earth (full Moon), sometimes we see almost all of the lighted half (Gibbous Moon), sometimes we see fifty percent of the lighted half (quarter Moon), sometimes we see only see a tiny sliver the the lighted next (crescent Moon), and also sometimes us can’t see any of the lighted half (new Moon). The part we watch from earth depends on where the Moon is in its orbit around the Earth.

See printable version for Extensions and Teacher elevator Information.

This lesson arrangement is adjusted from:

Moon Modeling- http://www.nsta.org/publications/press/extras/moon.aspx

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We very recommend you watch this video clip before law the activity with your students. This video clip is not for your students, it is a good demonstration of how the teacher will lead the activity.


This is a good introductory video clip to the task for younger grades. You may want to display this video and have students fill out page 1 that the rap sheet before doing the activity.


This is a great short video clip for older qualities specifically on moon phases and also follows the activity very well.


Another good video because that older qualities on moon phases and rotation.

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This video explains why we constantly see one next of the Moon. The is good for larger students and also the expansion activity.