There are many activities and resources to teach students about the moon in meaningful ways. Use the following activities to give students a simple lesson in moon science:
Moon Vocabulary: Let’s start with helping students understand a few lunar terms, such as apogee - the farthest point from the Earth in the moon’s orbit - and satellite - any object that revolves around another object in space. A word search puzzle is a fun way for students to discover new words. Try this handout* for a fun moon word search puzzle! *(link to PDF)
Moon Composition: Contrary to popular belief, the moon is not made of cheese. It has a crust, mantle and core, similar to the Earth. But, it’s surface is mostly rock and covered with craters, dead volcanoes and lunar regolith (powdery dust and rocky debris). After exploring what the moon is made of, allow students to create their own lunar regolith with these DIY moon rocks from Crafting Chicks!
Moon’s Orbit: The moon rotates on its own axis as it revolves around the Earth in a circle. It takes the moon about 27 days, or a sidereal month, to both rotate on its axis and to orbit the Earth. This activity from Tori’s Teacher Tips is a fun way to demonstrate how the moon orbits the Earth, plus how the Earth revolves around the sun. You can also show the video below to further help students understand the moon’s orbit.
Moon Phases: The phase of the moon is determined by how much of the moon we see on Earth as sunlight reflects off it. There are 4 primary and 4 intermediate phases and they make a complete cycle around once per month. From singing moon songs to creating foldables, these fun, hands-on activities from Teach Junkie are great for helping students understand the phases of the moon.
There are even more fun ways to learn about Earth’s only satellite. How do you plan on celebrating Moon Day?