Girls Get STEM: Moon Observations

Next time you see the Moon in the night sky, take a moment to observe it as a family. Wrap up your Moon exploration with a discussion about why the Moon has different phases.

Grades K – 2

Help Them Lead at Home
Talk: Your child has learned about the Moon’s craters in school, as well as the meteorites (or space rocks) that
formed these craters. Next time you can see the Moon in the night sky, take a moment to observe it together.
Do some sections of the Moon appear darker or more sunken than other sections? Can your child explain why
this may be? Try to make out the face in the Moon and point out any other shapes or images that you may see.

Do: Craters aren’t the only interesting fact about the Moon’s shape! One evening, discuss other
observations that you have about the Moon’s overall shape with your child.
Then look at the Phases of the Moon sheet together. Explain that a Moon phase is how the Moon looks
to us at any given time. Write today’s date on the first line and take a moment to look up at the Moon.
Once you have observed its phase in the night sky, record what the Moon looks like in the first circle.
Your child may use a black marker to draw the night sky, a cotton ball and a glue stick to form the
shape of the Moon, or even half of an Oreo to transform the first circle into what the Moon looks like!

Over the next month, continue to observe the Moon every three or four nights. Each time, work together
to record the date and an image of what you see.

Once the month is complete, take a look at the Moon Phase
Chart and try to match each phase with one of the images that
you and your child recorded. Did you catch all eight phases of
the Moon over the past month?

Finally, wrap up your Moon exploration with a discussion about
why the Moon has different phases. Be sure your child understands that the Moon doesn’t actually change
shape! It takes about one month for the Moon to travel around Earth one time. As the Moon changes its
position in the night sky, the Sun lights up different sections of it. This lit-up portion of the Moon is what
you see when you look at the sky. The rest of the Moon is still there…It’s just too dark to see!


Science Topics
Astronomy
K-6
Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade
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