Phases of the Moon

Author Sa D
Grade Level Pre-K

Lesson Plan Description
This lesson will allow students to understand the phases of the moon using oreo cookies

Primary Learning Objective(s):

The learning objective of this lesson for the elementary grades is to identify the phases of the moon.  Students will learn how the movement of the earth around the moon creates different shapes of the moon.  Such shapes will be indentified as the representation the different phases of the moon.  They will learn that the different phases of the moon have particular scientific names.  Also, they will learn how some societies use the moon to calculate the number of days in the year instead of using the sun.  They will learn that the number of days in the lunar calendar differs from the solar calendar.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

  • Start by asking the children some things that they see in the night sky. Once the answer "the moon" is given, begin to tell them how the moon rotates around the Earth. Use the moon resources appendix for further explanation.  Also, if time permits use a video to show the moon’s movements.
  • Then place the globe in the center of the table, take the Styrofoam ball, which will signify the moon and rotate it around the Earth, showing how the moon has different phases as it  moves around the Earth, using the black side to show the New moon, only a slight bit of white to show the Crescent, half of the black and half of the white to show the Half moon,  and the entire white side to show the New moon.
  • Have them do an activity sheet where they have cut outs of each phase and put them in order.
  • give them a chance to re-enact the phases with the Styrofoam and globe.
  • tidy up
  • The below section may have to be done next class, as time is needed for the video if shown and tidying up.
  • After discussing the idea of the moon and its rotation and phases with them, give them each a paper plate and four Oreo cookies. Instruct them to twist the Oreo cookies apart. For the younger kids, place four drops of frosting above the labels so that they would know where to "glue" their cookies. Have an example ready to show them where to put the New moon (the top part of the Oreo), Crescent moon (has little icing), Half moon (has half the amount of icing), and New moon (has all icing on one side). After they were all done gluing their Oreo’s down, allow them to eat the extra pieces they had left.
  • Go over the phases again and ask them a phase. Have them point it out. Put the plates in zip‐lock bags to take home to eat later.

  • Oreo Cookies
  • Paper Plates
  • Frosting
  • Plastic Knives
  • Styrofoam Ball half painted black
  • Globe

Assessment Guidelines:
  • Observational notes on observing students participate in class group work. Activity sheet, I
  • how well they were able to demonstrate the phase with the cookie and whether or not they knew where to glue it down at printed off able to tell and show me that the moon rotates around the Earth, going through various stages.

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