Ohio Standards Lesson Summary:
Students will discover that the moon goes through eight different phases in a
Grade 5 month's time and that it is cyclic in nature.
Space Sciences Duration:
Benchmark A. Allow one month for this activity.
Explain the Commentary:
cycles and In the lesson, students will discover that the moon goes through a series of eight
patterns phases in a month's time. At first, they may be able to state the different shapes,
involving Earth but they may not be able to recognize a pattern in the order or be able to
and its place in correctly identify them. They may not recognize that the event is cyclic in
the solar system. nature.
Grade 5, Grade Pre-Assessment:
Initiate a discussion of the moon by reading the book, "Fox and Bear Look at
2. Explain that the Moon". After reading the story, ask the students if the moon is the same
Earth is one shape each night. Discuss what they have seen. Have students draw some of the
of several shapes that they have seen.
orbit the sun, Scoring Guidelines:
and that the
moon orbits This is an informal assessment and does not require scoring.
Students will be given a worksheet with pictures denoting the eight phases of
the moon. Students will be requested to identify the phases of the moon by
matching a picture with the correct label.
A rubric will be used for assessment.
A 4 on the rubric will denote a student who correctly identifies all 8 phases of
A 3 on the rubric will denote a student who correctly identifies 6 to 7 phases
A 2 on the rubric will denote a student who correctly identifies 4 to 5 phases
A 1 on the rubric will denote a student who correctly identifies less than 4
1. Using the overhead, show the new moon phase. Have students draw what
they are seeing. Have them label the phase.
2. Continue to show the phases of the moon (crescent, half-first quarter,
gibbous, full, gibbous, half-third quarter, and crescent) and have the
students draw and label each phase.
3. As students progress from one phase to the next, compare the
shape of the previous phase.
1. Review phases of the moon again using the overhead to depict each phase.
2. Give students Blackline Master I showing the different phases. Ask the
students to identify them.
1. Discuss that each phase lasts 3 to 4 days and that it follows a definite
2. Give each student 8 strips of paper. Have the students select a strip and
write a phase name on it. Continue until they have written a different phase
name on each strip of paper. Begin with the new moon phase. Have
students arrange the strips in order beginning with the new moon phase and
ending with the crescent phase. Have students turn the strips over and
number them I to 8, making sure that they keep them in order.
3. Students will mix up the strips and put them in the correct order. They can
self check their accuracy. Have them do the activity several times.
1. Students will be given Blackline Master 2. They will cut out eight pictures
of the phases of the moon.
2. The students will be asked to arrange the pictures in the correct order
beginning with the new moon phase. They will be instructed to glue the
circles on construction paper in the correct order and label them.
1. Students will be given Blackline Master 3. They will be asked to check the
phases of the moon nightly for 30 days. They will draw and label the phase
of the moon in the appropriate date box.
Teacher Note: Be sure to send a note home along with the activity. Inform
the parents of what the activity involves. Stress that safety is important.
Students will require adult supervision to complete this activity. Make
parents aware that when they are checking the moon phase, if it is not
visible, check for it one more time at a later hour in the evening. After the
second check, if the moon is still not visible, assume that it is a cloudy night
and we will note that on the calendar.
Check each phase daily and discuss the results the next day in class.
Have a student pick the picture of the correct phase and hold it -up for the class
to see. Continue this process until 30 days have elapsed.
When a month has elapsed, have students count how many days each phase
Differentiated Instructional Support
Some students may require help shading the correct side of the moon. Some
students may require extended time to put the phases in the correct order.
Some students may need to partner with a peer or with the teacher to correctly
place the phases in the correct order.
Some students may need to implement a visual aid, such as a picture depicting
the 8 phases, in order to place the pictures in the correct
Students can discover that the shading of the moon varies due to the waxing and
waning stages. They can discover why the moon changes shapes due to the
revolution of the moon around the Earth. Students will create each phase of the
moon using a lamp, globe, and ball.
Homework Options and Home Connections
Students will be checking the phases of the moon for thirty days.
Some of the key vocabulary words could be integrated in the weekly spelling
list. The repeated pattern of the phases can be correlated with patterning in
Materials and Resources
Overhead, overhead transparencies, Blackline masters 1,2, and 3, pictures of the
8 phases of the moon, and an introductory book, such as "Fox and Bear Look at
Pencils, scissors, crayons, construction paper, 8 strips of paper per student, and
Use the overhead to demonstrate the eight phases of the moon.
See items listed under Differentiated Instructional Support
Blackline masters 1, 2, and 3. Transparency depicting the 8 phases.
Transparency to demonstrate the phases.