Coding or connecting the phases of the moon is a great way for children to learn them. After all, coding is simply connecting the steps need to complete a task. This moon phases activity will walk your children through moon phases in order.
Before you start this moon phases activity, you may want to read your children a book like Many Moons: Learn about the different phases of the moon by Remi Courgeon or Gail Gibbons’ Moon Book. It will help your children remember the moon phases in order.
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You can purchase either of these books using our Amazon Affiliate Links or from your local book shop - Many Moons: Learn about the different phases of the moon by Remi Courgeon and The Moon Book by Gal Gibbons
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Materials for Exploring Moon Phases in Order
Exploring Moon Phases in Order
The first thing you will need to do is print out a copy of the Moon Phases in Order Coding Activity. While you can print it out in black and white, the shading in some of the phases will stand out more when it is printed out in color. You can get your copy of the Moon Phases sheet by Signing up for our Hands-on Learning Newsletter.
Children will need to start by drawing arrows in the boxes that will lead them from the word start to the new moon. That will mean drawing an arrow pointing upwards in both the boxes between them.
Next, they will need to decide if they need to draw arrows pointing up, down, left or right in the boxes that lead from the new moon to the crescent moon.
Children will continue the process of connecting one moon phases to another until they get to the full moon. There is often more than one way that one moon phase can be connected to the next. I try to encourage children to take the shortest path available. They are also encouraged to use each box only once.
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Hint One: My students sometimes need to point their fingers or arms in various directions to decide which direction they think they will need to go.
Hint Two: It helps children to walk the path they plan to take between the stages with their fingers before drawing the arrows. Some children don’t like having to erase the arrows they have created.
Make your own Moon with our DIY Puffy Paint Moon
Recommended Resources for Learning about the Moon
These are products that I have found useful when teaching about the phases of the moon within a classroom but would work just as well using them in the home for afterschooling or homeschooling.
This Earth Moon Model Kit was one of the best investments I made in teaching about how the moon phases work. I have used it with Elementary Age through to Secondary Age and because it's compact it never took up a lot of space in my classroom.
The moon is fascinating not just because of how it changes but also because of the features or it. A telescope is a great tool to use with kids - on a clear winters night you can see the moon quite easily straight after school in the UK or at home let the kids stay up late and view the moon on a summers evening.
You can't help it but when you start studying the moon the constellations and the night sky draw you in. Learning about them as well as the different myths and stories behind their names and features is great and although you can learn through a book something like this Space Theatre Planetarium is great as it gives you the opportunity to learn as well.
Don't forget to sign up and download your Moon Phase Activity Sheet and get coding the phases of the moon.