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When can you see the full moon?
Moon & Stars Unit | Lesson 1 of 3

When can you see the full moon?

Moon & Stars Unit | Lesson 1 of 3
Lesson narration:
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DISCUSS (1 of 2):

How can you show the shape of the full moon with your arms?

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This is what we thought. But the Moon doesn't always look like this.
Sometimes, the Moon DOESN'T look like a circle.
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DISCUSS (2 of 2):

What OTHER shapes can the Moon look like?

Try making one of those shapes with your arms.

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DISCUSS:

What events happen over and over again on the same schedule?

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DISCUSS:

Suppose we watched the Moon night after night.

Do you think you'd see the Moon's shape change in a cycle?

Why or why not?

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Step
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Find a partner. You and your partner will help each other make your
Moon Books.
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Cut on the solid black line on your Moon Book sheet.
When you’re done, you’ll have two equal pieces.
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Flip both pieces of your Moon Book over. Fold each piece in half, like
this, so that the words are on the outside. Make sure to line up the
corners and edges before you fold.
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One folded paper has a TRIANGLE on it. The other one has a STAR.
Turn the papers so you can see the triangle and and the star. Set the
papers on your table, like this.
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Fold each paper in half like a book. Be sure to match up the corners
and run your finger over the fold. After you have folded them, unfold
them both, like this.
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Find the paper that has a STAR on it.
Set it on top of the paper that has a TRIANGLE on it.
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Bring the ends of your pipe cleaner together to make a loop.
Then squeeze the sides of the loop together, like this.
You’ve folded your pipe cleaner in half.
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Have your partner hold your book open. Slide one half of the pipe
cleaner into the middle of the book. The other half is on the outside.
Twist the ends of the pipe cleaner together.
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Write your name on the front of your book. Now you can watch the
Moon and draw pictures of its shape in your book. Those pictures will
help you remember all the moon shapes and when they appear!
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If you need a natural stopping point!

Teachers: If you are short on time, this is a good stopping point.

You can come back and finish your Moon Book later.

If you’re continuing right now, advance to the next slide.

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The full moon is round and bright. Look at the white circle on page 1
of your Moon Book. Let’s outline the shape of the full moon. With
your pencil, draw a line on the edge of the circle.
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Turn to page 2. Use your pencil to outline where you see the bright
part of the Moon, like this. Then shade in the part of the Moon that’s
dark.
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On page 3, use your pencil to outline where you see the bright part
of the Moon, like this. Then shade in the part of the Moon that’s dark.
When you’re done, make sure it looks like the Moon in our photo.
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On page 4, use your pencil to outline where you see the bright part
of the Moon, like this. Then shade in the part of the Moon that’s dark.
Make sure the Moon in your book matches the Moon in our photo.
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A few days later, the Moon is dark. The Moon is still there, but it looks
like it’s gone! On page 5, use your pencil to shade in the whole Moon
so it looks like our photo.
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Use your Moon Book to see what’s happened with the Moon so far.
Start on page 1 where you drew the full Moon. Then look at the
Moon’s shape on page 2, page 3, page 4, and page 5. Discuss:
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Here’s what we noticed. The bright part of the Moon got smaller and
smaller as the days went by. The Moon went from a bright circle, to
a half moon, to a crescent, and now it’s completely dark! Discuss:
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Here’s what happened next. It’s a crescent moon again! But wait a
minute — compare this moon shape to the one on page 4. Discuss:
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On page 6, use your pencil to outline where you see the bright part
of the Moon, like this. Then shade in the part of the Moon that’s dark.
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On page 7, use your pencil to outline where you see the bright part of
the Moon, like this. Then shade in the part of the Moon that’s dark.
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Turn to page 8. Use your pencil to outline where you see the bright
part of the Moon, like this. Then shade in the part of the Moon that’s
dark.
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We took our last photo a few days later. That’s FOUR weeks after we
started taking pictures. Here’s what the Moon looked like. Discuss:
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Now let’s look at what happened after the Moon was completely
dark. Start with page 5. Look at the Moon’s shape on page 6, page 7,
page 8, and page 1. Discuss:
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Here’s what we noticed. The bright part of the Moon got bigger and
bigger as the days went by. The Moon went from completely dark, to
a crescent, to a half moon, and now it’s full again. Discuss:
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🎉 That’s it for this lesson! How did it go?
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# Extensions
Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the activity and exploration you just completed.
• Activity: Surprise your students by showing them the Moon in the middle of the afternoon!
• Activity: Now that each student has a Moon Book, encourage them to use it and become a moon-watcher.
• Activity: Learn about the names that Native Americans gave to the full moon at different times of year.
• Credits
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These readings are free with registration on ReadWorks. All readings include comprehension questions and vocabulary words.

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# Activity: Find the Afternoon Moon

Surprise your students by showing them the Moon in the middle of the afternoon! All you have to do to choose the right day (and hope it’s not cloudy).

Here’s how to find the day to look for the afternoon Moon:

1. Go to the Moon Phases Calendar and set it to your month.
2. Look for the day on which the Moon is a half moon that’s bright on the right side.
3. On that day, look for the Moon in the eastern sky in the afternoon.

If you want to know the exact time of moonrise and moonset that day, you can get it from the Farmer’s Almanac by entering your date and location.

The time of moonrise and moonset changes with the shape of the Moon. Like the Moon’s appearance, the time of moonrise and moonset has a cycle. Every night, the Moon looks different – and it rises later than it did the night before.

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# Activity: Moon-Watching with your Moon Book

Now that each student has a Moon Book, encourage them to use it!

Tell students there’s a secret to finding the Moon each night — you need to know WHEN to look for it. The full moon is up all night — it rises at sunset and sets at sunrise. But every night, the moon rises later than it did the night before. The time the Moon rises changes in a cycle.

Check this Moon Phases Calendar and find out what the Moon looks like today.

Then, print these instructions on the best times to look for each moon shape.

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# Activity: Name That Moon!

Over the course of the year, the moon is full at least twelve times. Many Native American cultures gave each full moon a name that linked it to natural events that happen at the same time as that full moon. You may have heard of the Wolf Moon (January) and the Snow Moon (February), named by the Algonquin peoples. Our favorite Moon name is Someone’s Ears are Freezing Moon, a name that comes from the Oneida people in upstate New York.

Ask your students: If you were going to name the full moon this month, what would you call it? If you need inspiration, check out this list of moon names, compiled by the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA).

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Moon

1 of 8

a large round object that you can usually see in the night sky
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full moon

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when the Moon looks like a big, round circle
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crescent moon

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when the Moon looks like a tiny sliver
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half moon

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when the Moon looks like half of a circle
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observe

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to pay close attention to something
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cycle

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a set of events that repeats in the same order over and over
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pattern

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something that happens again and again and again in a way that can be predicted
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predict

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to guess what will happen based on things you know
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Lesson narration:

Night Patterns

Moon Phases & Patterns

1-ESS1-1

Activity Prep

Print Prep

In this lesson, students explore all of the different shapes of the Moon that can appear on different nights. In the activity, My Moon Book, students observe photos of the Moon taken over the course of four weeks and draw pictures of the Moon's phases in their book. They use these observations to discover patterns in how the Moon’s shape changes and predict when the next full moon will appear.

Preview activity
Exploration

15 mins

Hands-On Activity

Wrap-Up