The Moon Seems to Change by Franklyn Branley Activities

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

The phases of the moon can be confusing to young students. Read 'The Moon Seems to Change,' then try these active and creative activities to help your students understand.

The Moon Seems to Change

The Moon Seems to Change by Franklyn M. Branley explains the phases of the moon in simple, clear language accompanied by diagrams and pictures. The text is suitable for younger students, who are often full of questions about the way things work. If you are studying the moon with your first and second graders, try reading this book. Then, use these activities to enhance their understanding of the moon.

Activity: Track the Moon's Phases

Objective: Observe the moon through an entire lunar cycle.

Materials: Camera and drawing materials

  • Tell students to look at the moon every night for four weeks.
  • Each night, students should go outside at the same time and place (such as their front yard) and look at the moon. Students should make a drawing of the moon each evening. If possible, students can also take a picture of the moon each night.
  • At the end of the month, students bring their drawings to class.
  • Students work with a partner to compare their drawings or photos and to make a chart reporting the moon's phases for the month.
    • For example: March 2--new moon, March 3--crescent moon, etc.
  • Discuss as a class how long each phase lasted as well as other observations students have about the moon based on their viewing and drawing.

Activity: Orange Experiment

Objective: Act out the phases of the moon.

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