Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Moon

We are crazy about moon phases!  The boys worked with quite a few moon-related materials today.  Almost all of the presentations and materials you will see are thanks to the Karen Tyler Astronomy Album.

We looked at images of the moon and its surface.  The boys learned how craters are made and then made their own cratered moon surfaces with a marble and a cake tin full of flour.

Next the Orbiter made another appearance to help us talk about why the moon looks different from night to night.  Kal-El took advantage of this opportunity a little later in our work session to also review the positions of the Earth as it rotates around the sun over the course of one year.  The months of the year are printed on the base of the orbiter.  For my relatives' listening enjoyment, here is Kal-El using the orbiter while singing the months of the year:

While Kal-El was singing the months of the year Me Too completed the three-part cards of the moon's phases (Northern Hemisphere).  You can hear him getting impatient during the video because he is telling me that he finished and I am ignoring him.  

The biggest hit of the day were the cutouts that can be used to construct any phase of the moon.  The pictures following are a little project that Kal-El asked to do.  He constructed each of the phases of the moon in order and asked me to take  a picture of each one so he can make a flip book of himself.  Again, these are Northern Hemisphere.  He knows that the Southern Hemisphere would be the reverse.  That's why he wants to make a flip book.  He says he can change hemispheres by changing the direction he flips the book.

New Moon

Waxing Crescent

First Quarter

Waxing Gibbous

Full Moon

Waning Gibbous

Last Quarter

Waning Crescent

New Moon again!

The boys can't wait to go outside tonight.  We are hoping it is clear enough to see the moon and note its phase!


  1. Until I did the research for a key lesson last term I always thought that it was the shadow of the earth that created the different phases of the moon. We used a torch and a sphere to show how the phases are actually made. Even now, When I see the moon I have to talk myself through the key lesson to understand!!

  2. I LOVE that knee hole! My son's are getting pretty close to that! ;)

  3. Annicles - I thought that too for SO long, even after I learned it was really about the sun shining on it - I think I thought it was some combination??? But when I had to teach it to a child the first time, it finally clicked. Wow. And yes, I too sometimes still have to talk myself through it - first impressions die HARD! :)

  4. I pinned this. I think we're going to study astronomy next year and this looks like a great lesson.

  5. LOVE IT!!! LOVE this post and of course the model with the moon phases!!!!

  6. Wow! What great work Kal-El! Your book looks like it will be awesome! I love it! Happy Schooling!

  7. Love the phases of the moon cut outs! I am so jealous of the cool stuff you have at your place, the orbiter and the planets stuff! Really cool!

  8. What a great moon unit! Thanks so much for linking up with Montessori Monday. I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page and pinned it to my Astronomy Unit Study Board at