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6th Grade Core
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It’s Just a Phase I'm Going Through!

Journal Entry - Take out your science journal and answer the following question (use drawings as appropriate):

What are shapes of the moon you have observed?

The moon’s phases follow a predictable pattern every month. It begins with the new moon and is followed by the waxing crescent. Look closely at the picture below. The first two pictures of the moon are in the correct order. Determine what order the rest of the pictures should be in. Draw your guess on a piece of paper. Now click on the picture of the moon phases to see if you are correct.
To understand more about the moon, visit the Pioneer Library and search for the e-Media video "A Closer Look at the Moon." It begins to discuss the phases of the moon about half-way through the video.
Extension Activity


  • Two-inch Styrofoam ball mounted on a bamboo skewer
  • Lamp


    1. Place lamp in the center of the room.
    2. Hold your “moon” on the side of you that is away from the lamp.
    3. Face the lamp (representing the sun).
    4. Turn off ALL other lights in the room.
    5. Observe how your moon looks.
      • It should be completely dark, representing the new moon phase.
    6. Make a quarter-turn to your left.
    7. Observe how your moon now looks.
      • It should have a portion now lit by the lamp representing a crescent moon.
    8. Make another quarter-turn to the left.
    9. Observe how your moon now looks.
      • Their moon should be half-shaded for the first quarter.
    10. Continue making quarter-turns and observing your moon until you have seen all of the moon’s phases.


solar_system_image size_motion_distance_image microorganism_image Heat_light_and_sound_image

Get the plug-ins: Get Adobe Acrobat Reader , and Get Quicktime Player. (The QuickTime plug-in is needed to play sounds and movies correctly.)

Want to share photos of you or your friends doing this activity? Send it in an e-mail with the following information:

  1. The title of the activity
  2. The URL (Internet address)
  3. Your name.

Remember that no pictures can be used that show student faces or student names on it. 

Teachers should view the Teacher Site Map to relate Sci-ber text and the USOE 6th grade science core.

Updated October 24, 2008 by: Glen Westbroek

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