Dave Dave

Winter Camp-Phases of Moon


Students learn the phases of the moon and why they happen through fun demos, and then design a craft project


Main Aims

  • Kids learn to talk about the moon in English, and learn some science

Subsidiary Aims

  • They learn about lunar new year


Introduction • excite interest in topic

Explain how the moon has phases. Play the video (one for younger kids, one for older)

vocab and facts 1 (8-10 minutes) • students learn about the moon, and words about it in English

vocab is sun, earth, moon (for little ones), phase, and the phases of the moon themselves (use the common language terms, e.g. half moon and not first quarter). Elicit and drill this as it comes up. Only go as far as the names of the phases (in real life English, not the scientific ones) and then do the first activity.

controlled practice 1 (6-8 minutes) • review the names of phases with a game

Play "pictionary" with the phases. Give a kid a word or picture for little kids, and the kid must draw it. The rest of the class must guess. You can throw in sun and Earth to make it harder.

vocab and facts 2 (12-16 minutes) • students learn why the moon has phases

Teach "orbit". concept check by making kids orbit each other. They should do a replica of the sun/earth/moon (one stands still, one orbits the "sun", one orbits the "earth") This will get the third kid crazily trying to keep up. Teach the science slides and then give a demo with a flashlight and ball. The flashlight is the sun and one kid must hold it staedy. The ball is the moon. Everyone else clusters in the middle. They are Earth. Shine the light on the ball and put the moon in full moon position. ("earth", flashlight, ball in a line in that order, flashlight pointed exactly away from "earth"). Then the kids with flashlight and ball orbit the rest, keeping their arrangement exactly the same (i.e. they should not move with respect to one another). Pause them at each phase and ask the kids what they see in the ball. The lit part should appear to go through phases.

vocab and facts 3 (6-8 minutes) • students learn about lunar new year

Do the last slides. On the last kids must find Chinese new year. Then ask, what's the phase of the moon today? They can use the chart to find out.

free practice (12-16 minutes) • students review by making art

In groups or as a class, make a stand-up model of the Earth/sun/moon with foam balls and sticks, if available, or a moon chart. Label each of the phases with scientific name and normal person name. (the young kids don't need scientific names).

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