Phases of the Moon and The Night the Moon Fell

This video was the way I introduced our new Science Unit on Phases of the Moon. Our weekly Reading Streets story; The Night the Moon Fell was our literature story. It is a cute myth that describes changes in the moon.  It is a very beautifully illustrated story but maybe a bit hard for the kids to understand since it is a myth.

I also do a class choral reading of the story How the Moon Regained Her Shape legend. Both are literary stories that deal with how the moon changes shape.  Here are some other books we read throughout the week. Some are fiction, others are non fiction. I also have an Uncle Milty’s Moon in my Room. That’s fun to light up.

I have about 5 more moon books I use to teach the science. We just read one each day during the unit. Kids ask lots of questions in my class and we have good discussions. Lots of kids already have a broad knowledge of space since it interests them. HERE is a link that shows a calendar with pictures of each phase of the night moon in a given month. A fun oreo cookie activity with worksheets is a free download at the TPT store of Hilary Lewis HERE. It takes 8 cookies per kid. That’s a lot of cookies!

 I have a flashcard game I give out where one kid has the set with phase names in words, the other kid has the pictures. He picks up a picture, tries to name the phase and the other kid checks his card for accuracy. It’s a fun partner game and only 2 pieces of paper per partnership!  Laminate them with black paper on the back to keep them nice for next year. Moon Phase Flashcards are here.

I just leave these books out at our “Science Investigation Center” with 3D glasses and kids read the books after seatwork is done as a fast finisher activity.

 PLUTO ROCKS is a cool website I found where the guy who discovered Pluto’s 2 new moons will let anybody help him name the 2 moons! So we went online in the lab and voted to name the moons. There were about 12 names to choose from. Some kids got their 1st choice!! What a neat thing to say you have been a part of (about 450,000 around the world participated in the vote, as did our class)! Woo Hoo! And it coincides with the Moon story in our Reading Streets Literature series.

A really nice Moon Phases freebie  at is a great project for teaching kids the different phases of the noon.  Scholastic has a great little mini book to copy too. But the thing the kids loved best was a flip book find it HERE at Utah Ed Network. It was fun to cut, staple and flip to see the changes in the moon in 29 days.

I have the MOON IN MY ROOM above that I bought to go with this science unit. I turn out the lights and have the kids all sit around in a circle and look at the ceiling. It is a lot of fun but not so easy to store.

In my classroom I also have MOONSAND I bought years ago. The kids LOVE it. Recently I found a recipe to make your own moonsand. It is kind of a waxy sand that you can pinch into shapes and use molds and it stays that way. Lots of fun!


4 cups of fine play sand (You can buy a bag at Home Depot)
2 cups cornstarch 
3/4 to 1 cup water (less is better for spongier moonsand)
drops of food coloring to desired color

Or just buy it like I did I think at Target or else Steve Spangler Science. I get a lot of my fun things there. He has so many great ideas to make learning more fun.

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