Activities for Teaching the Moon Phases

This week we started learning about the Moon, and it's 8 phases!

Here are the 8 phases, in order:

New moon (no moon) > Waxing Crescent > First Quarter > Waxing Gibbous > Full moon > Waning Gibbous > Last (or 3rd) Quarter> and finally >Waning Crescent.

Teaching this can be a tad tricky for some, as it is hard to decipher the phase when looking at black and white diagrams. One thing that helped us is to realize that the moon is actually the lit or white part depicted in the pictures.

When the white part is getting bigger, the moon is Waxing.

When the white part is getting smaller, the moon is Waning.

(When the white is on the right, it is waxing

When the white is on the left it is waning)

You can also say,

When the black part is getting smaller, the moon is Waxing.

When the black part is getting bigger, the moon is Waning.

(When the black is on the left it is waxing

When the black is on the right it is waning)

Whichever way is easiest for your children to grasp works! (Typically noting the visible lit (white) part is the easiest.)

(See below for these free printables!)

Beautiful Moon Phase flashcards, you can get them here!

A great website to use to look up current moon phase is www.phasesmoon.com

The two DIY books pictured above are included with this free printable, you can download it here or by clicking the image below:

Ms. Jones' Junction has created a nice anchor chart that shows how the sun's relation to the earth is responsible for each moon phase:

If you want to start a log for the month, here is a great free printable!