A month can be determined by observing the phases of the Moon
To understand that the Moon orbits the Earth once every 28 days.
To understand that the Moon has no light of its own- it reflects light
from the Sun and looks lit.
The Moon reflects light from the Sun
A month can be determined by observing the Moon
knowledge: We call the changes of the Moon- phases. There are
actually 8 phases of the moon. But the major phases are the new moon,
the first quarter moon, the full moon, the last quarter moon. During the
new moon, the Moon is between the Sun and the Earth and so it does not
get any light from the Sun. It is from the new moon that the lunar cycle
begins. As the Moon revolves around the Earth, it seems to grow bigger,
but it is only a trick. As the Moon revolves around the Earth, it reflects
more light. When the Moon is half-lit (after a new moon), it is called
a first quarter moon because the Moon has finished one quarter of its
revolution around the Earth. As the Moon continues to revolve around the
Earth, it reflects even more light and becomes fully lit. This is called
a full moon because it is fully lit by the Sun. Now the Moon seems to
disappear, as it continues its orbit around the Earth. When the Moon is
half-lit again (after a full moon), it is called the last quarter moon
because the Moon is finishing the last quarter of its revolution. A new
Last quarter moon
First quarter moon
1. Each student will put a stick into a Styrofoam ball.
2. They will turn on the bare bulb lamp on the table.
3. They will hold the ball and stick in front and above their heads.
4. They will work cooperatively and their partner will stand to
5. They will stand where the ball is dark.
6. They will walk around one quarter of table and observe the half-lit
7. They will walk around another quarter of the table and observe
the fully lit ball.
8. They will walk around another quarter of the table and observe
the half-lit ball.
9. They will walk around another quarter of the table and observe
the dark ball again.
10. They will then record their observations on the observation
1. Why do we call it a new moon? A first quarter moon? A full moon?
A last quarter moon?
2. Where is the Moon during a new moon?
3. Does the Moon really get bigger and smaller?
4. What do we call the changes of the Moon?