Lesson Plan

Moon Phases

This lesson has students modeling the phases of the Moon.
Bethany L.
Technolgy Integration Specialist
Apache Junction High School
Apache Junction, United States
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies

Students will be able to...Explain the phases of the Moon in terms of the relative positions of the Earth, Sun, and Moon.

This lesson aligns with Arizona's seventh grade state standards for science.

Grades 7
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Teachers will model the student steps by using their own birthdays as an example. 

Student Instructions

Click on the link to the Moon Phase Calendar.

Examine the pattern of the Moon for this month and answer the following questions in your science notebook.

  1. How would you describe what you see to someone who isn't looking at the calendar?
  2. Make a prediction and justify your thinking about how you think the Moon will look on the first day of next month?
  3. Change the calendar to show the month/year of your NEXT birthday. Draw and describe what you see.
  4. Change the calendar to show the month/year of the day you were born. Draw and describe how it is similar or different to the moon you'll see on your next birthday.

2 Direct Instruction

Free, Paid

Teacher will use Nearpod to provide students with content information related to Moon phases. 

Student Instructions

Student will input Nearpod pin and wait for teacher instructions.

3 Guided Practice - Part 1

Activity: Other — Modeling

I've used this link: Moon Pops

Moon Pops are constructed out of 1-2 inch Styrofoam balls on wooden skewers. It's nice to have one Moon pop for every student. I also have found it helpful to have a larger sized Moon pop for myself to model the procedure.  

This activity is successful with large or small groups. It is helpful to have a standing lamp with the shade removed in the center of the room with all windows darkened.

Student Instructions

Students will follow the teacher's directions to model the various phases of the moon in the correct sequence.

4 Guided Practice - Part 2

Free, Free to try, Paid
Free, Paid

Using any one of the website/apps listed, the teacher will direct the students to complete a 3-2-1 reflection from the Moon Pop activity

Student Instructions

Students will collaborate to complete a 3-2-1 activity following the given prompts:

  • 3  Observations from the Moon Pop activity
  • 2  Connections of how this activity connects with what you already knew. 
  • 1 Question based on the Moon Pop activity

5 Independent Practice

Google Drive
Free, Paid
Free, Free to try, Paid

If using the Google Drive option, access Google Draw.

Students will create an infographic that include illustrations/images of the moon phases along with details for each phase.

Student Instructions

Create an infographic that details what you have learned about the phases of the moon. Your infographic should include illustrations or images along with brief details for each phase. 

6 Wrap Up

Use either one of these tools to create questions that check for comprehension. If you choose the Google Drive option, I recommend using Forms.

Student Instructions

Student will input code and wait for teacher instructions.