How does the Moon’s appearance change?

In this three-part science inquiry, students will engage with and explore concepts related to the phases of the Moon. They will make multiple observations of the appearance and position of the Moon over the course of approximately a month and share their observations with others working in a collaborative team. Students will then develop an explanation for their observations, generating a hypothesis regarding the relationship between the appearance and position of the moon as they relate to the phases of the Moon as viewed from Earth. Finally, students will evaluate their inquiry and suggest improvements.

Carefully scaffolded, this activity will motivate students, and engage them in critical and creative thinking. Working collaboratively with their peers, students will identify patterns of changes to the observable appearance and position of the Moon. Students will evaluate their inquiry skills and capabilities and reflect on their collaboration skills.

CREST Snapshot: Constructing explanations outlines the Claim – Evidence – Reasoning framework, which may be a useful scaffold for students in developing their explanations.


Teacher notes

Student notes

Full Moon

Full Moon. Credit: NASA