Objective: Children will explore and document Moon changes over a period of 1 week.‹ Return to Theme
Note: Part of this activity needs to be done at home. This lesson involves the children drawing pictures to keep track of how the Moon looks each night for 1 week. The pictures will be compared at the end of 1 week to note the difference in the Moon.
From earth, we always see only one side of the Moon, but the shape of the Moon changes. The Moon does not emit any light by itself; all parts of the Moon are lit by the Sun. When we see the Moon we are actually seeing the sunlight reflected from the Moon. The Moon travels around the Earth in a small circle called an orbit. The Moon orbits the Earth about every 29½ days; this is called a “lunar month.” As the Moon rotates around the Earth, we see different parts of the sunlit half. These parts are known as the phases of the Moon.
There are eight phases of the Moon. When we see a whole circle of Moon illuminated, it is called a full Moon. When we cannot see any of the lit-up side of the Moon, it is called a new Moon. Other phases of the Moon are named based on how much of the Moon we see. A waxing Moon means the part of the Moon we see is increasing each day. A waning Moon means the part of the Moon we see is decreasing each day.
These lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards ("CCSS"). The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of the concepts and skills children are expected to learn and guide teachers to provide their students with opportunities to gain these important skills and foundational knowledge.
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There are currently no Common Core Standards for pre-k, but these lessons are aligned as closely as possible to capture the requirements and meet the goals of Common Core Standards. However, these lessons were neither reviewed or approved by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices or the Council of Chief State School Officers, which together are the owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards.