Myths About the Moon: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

While there are many scientific facts to learn about the moon, there are also many legends and stories that are not necessarily true. Come and learn about some of these myths here.

What is a Myth?

Has anyone ever told you that if you roll your eyes they will get stuck that way? What about the story of Johnny Appleseed? Do you know anyone who won't go on the 13th floor because they think it is unlucky? These are examples of myths, which are stories that are passed down through history. Sometimes, myths are based on religious beliefs. Other times, they are simply reflective of a particular culture, like the Greeks, Romans or Egyptians.

Most of the time, myths are not based on anything factual. In other words, they are typically not true and should not be treated as fact. Myths are created in order to explain the unexplainable, like things in outer space. There are many myths about the moon, some of which have been told for hundreds of years. While there is little to no scientific evidence to support these myths, they are still fun to learn about.

How the Moon Affects Humans

Did you know that there are people who believe that they have a worse chance of surviving surgery if it is done on the night of a full moon? This is just one of many myths about how the moon affects us. In fact, there are many people who believe that the moon makes people go a little loony, especially in mental hospitals and emergency rooms. This is known as the lunar effect, which is where the word 'lunatic' comes from. For a long time, even doctors believed that there was a connection between craziness and a full moon.

Perhaps one of the most farfetched moon myths is the story of the werewolf. According to ancient legend, werewolves are creatures who are human during the day but turn into wolves at night during the full moon. The story says that werewolves can be heard howling at the moon at night.

A werewolf howling at the moon

The Moon's History

Sometimes, myths challenge things that have happened in history. If you haven't learned already, you will eventually learn that the United States and Russia competed in the Space Race to be the first country to send a man to the moon. The United States was victorious and sent a man to the moon in 1969. However, there is a myth that claims that NASA faked the entire thing! There is also a myth about Nazis going to the moon during World War II. While there is no factual evidence of this, the myth says that Hitler faked his own death and secretly lived on the moon for the rest of his life.

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