Phases of the Moon with Preschoolers

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This week, I introduced the phases of the Moon to our Future Scientists.  We covered the New, First Quarter, Full, and Last Quarter Moon phases.

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We started off by looking through several books on the Moon.  I showed the children how the position of the Earth and the Moon creates the different phases.  We talked about how the phases are a cycle (I wanted to touch on this because we will soon be learning about life cycles).

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Next, we made a reference guide for the children to take home and review what they learned.  I bought the guide at the “Teachers Pay Teachers” website here.  Besides the inevitable overuse of glue, these guides were useful and fun to use.  I hope that the preschoolers are able to use them at home.  The hardest part of putting the books together was making sure that the lines on the “number moon” part lined up with the lines on the “labeled moon part.”  The guide has two circles.  The bottom have the labels of the different phases and pictures of each phase.  The top page has the numbers.  When the child lifts up the number, they see a picture of the corresponding page.  As long as they go in number order, the phases will be in correct order.

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After all of this learning, these preschoolers needed a review- and a SNACK!  I seperated some cookies before class began and I also labeled paper plates with the different phases that we covered in class.  The cookies were a bit more fragile than I expected, so I was very glad that I had extra.  I first passed out the New Moon and Full Moon cookies.  I believe that every child was able to place these two cookies in the correct location.  I love being able to see clear evidence of learning!!!

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Next, were the quarter moons.  Some of the seperated cookies had the correct amount of filling, however, some required a bit of eating, but the children didn’t seem to mind.  The top picture in the post shows the final product.  They were so cute!  When finished, the preschoolers were able to eat their “moons” if they wanted to.

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While enjoying their “moons,” the children completed their science journals.  A lot of the children drew full moons, complete with craters.  Some of the reflections involved a man or woman on the moon.  Maybe some day one of those astronauts will be one of my Future Scientists!!

This was a perfect introduction lesson on the phases of the moon.  I hope that it encourages the children to start observing the sky and asking questions!

Enjoy!!

~Miss Jenny

PS- I was hesitant to involve cookies (junk food) in my lesson.  However, the children that ate all of their “moons,” ate a total of two cookies.  I figured that two cookies was okay in the name of science 🙂

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