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Waxing & Waning

Lunar Phases Curriculum

The Moon was created billions of years ago and has been moody ever since! This playlist includes lots of fascinating resources for teaching students about the 8 phases of the Moon. 

Plix Series: Lunar Phases | CK-12*

This interactive allows for students to manipulate a model to see what the Moon looks like at different phases.

Moon Phases | Crash Course Astronomy

Get a crash course on the Moon! This fascinating video explains why the Moon has phases by exploring each phase in detail.

The Phases of the Moon | CK-12*

Prefer a reading assignment to a video assignment? This CK-12 article provides a similar overview as the previous assignment and includes a video clip from the History channel at the end.

Lunar Photographer | Legends of Learning

Send your students on a special space mission. In this Legends of Learning game, they’ll assist The Space Agency in their quest to photograph various stages of the moon. They’ll receive a description and be tasked with photographing the correct phase of the moon based on that description. 

Identify phases of the moon | iXL*

This 5 question quiz tests your students’ ability to recognize what phase the moon is in by looking at visual clues and descriptions.  Like the Lunar Photographer game, this assignment provides visual support with each question. 

Lunar Phases Quiz | CK-12*

Here’s another 10 question practice quiz about lunar phases. This quiz features adaptive questions that get harder as students continue through the quiz. This assignment allows for students to practice without the visual support of the previous assignments. 

Birthday Moons | science-class.net

Ever wonder what phase the Moon was in on the day YOU were born? Invite your students to use a link in the activity to find out how to Moon appeared on their day of birth before using that information to answer questions about what phases the Moon was in on other dates. This activity allows students to put their knowledge to use in a different context by asking less direct questions so that they can explore the concept in a new way. 

Extension Activity: What Can Happen During a Full Moon? | Wonderopolis

Prepare to be moonstruck! This article explores the association between a full Moon and a variety of strange occurences. We suggest this as an extension if your students are interested in the mystical side of the lunar cycle.

Eboni Hogan

Content Specialist

Eboni has extensive experience in curriculum development, with a focus on culturally-responsive and arts-based approaches. Having spent years creating academic content and providing professional development to teachers, she now curates themed playlists meant to provide educators with valuable, time-saving resources.

Additional Teacher Resources

Teaching Moon Phases | Scholastic
Teacher, Angela Bunyi, shares some of her favorite activities for teaching lunar cycles in all grade groups.

Lunar Word Wall | science-class.net
If you’d like to keep visual reminders displayed in the class, this resource contains printable posters that explain each phase of the Moon’s cycle.

Next Generation Science Standard

MS-ESS1-1. Develop and use a model of the Earth-Sun-moon system to describe the cyclic patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the Sun and moon, and seasons.

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