Most children are often curious about the moon, stars, and anything space related. Being one of the most recognized things in the night sky, teaching your kids about the moon and its phases can be both exciting and intriguing especially with these Moon Phases Worksheets.
Regardless of your kids age and grade, we’ll look at different ways you can teach about this amazing subject. I also have a cool worksheet pack for you too!
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Making a Moon Phases Unit Study
Anytime you find yourself studying a particular concept or subject, chances are you’re sitting on a unit study gold mine. When it comes to learning about the moon and its phases, you can create a unit study out of this world (literally).
Using the ideas below, you can piece together a week’s (or longer) full of learning opportunities and experiences.
From printables and projects to books and videos, there are many resources you can pull to help your children learn about the moon. Before planning your unit study, be sure to consider how long you want to do it.
Then pull together the resources you want to use. After that, you’re all set to get started teaching and learning!
How do I teach the Moon’s phases?
This is a question that most homeschooling moms ask themselves, and rightfully so. One of the easiest ways to introduce the moon phases is visually. While you may not be able to catch every single phase of the moon in the night’s sky, you can introduce them through printables, flashcards and pictures.
From an informational perspective, consider teaching them by sharing scientific information and facts.
There are many phases to the moon, but the top eight most commonly taught are:
- New Moon
- Waxing Crescent
- First Quarter
- Waxing Gibbous
- Full Moon
- Waning Gibbous
- Third Quarter
- Waning Crescent
Within the moon phase names themselves is a slightly deeper study. Consider teaching the following vocabulary words and definitions:
It has a progressively larger part of its visible surface illuminated, increasing its apparent size.
The moon at any stage between new moon and first quarter and between last quarter and the succeeding new moon when less than half of the illuminated hemisphere is visible.
Occurs when we see the Moon half illuminated by the Sun, and half enshrouded in darkness.
It has the observable illuminated part greater than a semicircle and less than a circle.
Occurs when it is in the phase in which its visible surface area is getting smaller.
Phases of the Moon Facts for Kids
Providing moon facts is another great way to teach about the moon and its phases. Here are some of the most interesting ones:
- Man’s first visit to the Moon happened on July 20, 1969.
- The moon is the reason that we have tides on Earth.
- It is considered a terrestrial body like Venus, Earth, and Mars.
- The moon is the 5th largest moon in the solar system.
- It’s less than 1/3 of the width of Earth.
- The moon’s location is always next to Earth.
- It has 3 layers that consist of a core, a mantle and a crust.
- The name of the moon’s atmosphere is called the exosphere.
For more interesting moon facts, visit Moon Information and Facts on the National Geographic website!
Other Resources to Teach about the Moon
One of the biggest benefits of homeschooling is the ability to use a variety of resources, and when it comes to learning about the moon – there isn’t a shortage! Below are a few videos and books I highly recommend looking into when teaching your kids about the moon.
Videos about the Moon
Consider bookmarking the videos below, your creating an easy-to-access playlist:
- All About the Moon: Astronomy and Space for Kids
- Moon Phases for Kids
- Why Does the Moon Change Its Shape?
- Moon Phases Explanation for Kids
- Day and Night Explanation
Books about the Moon
What’s a good “unit study” without a few good books? Here are some books to add to your moon (and moon phases) study:
- Everything Moon
- The Moon Book
- Moon! Earth’s Best Friend
- The Faces, Err Phases, of the Moon
- My First Book of Planets
Teaching your children about the moon has many educational benefits, especially if you have little astronomer’s on your hands. Use the tips and resources in this post to help you create a moon phase unit study to remember.
Don’t forget to download my free moon phases worksheet pack. It will give you lots of activities for your kids to do that are both fun and educational!