The Moon is our nearest neighbour in the Solar System. While the Moon is shaped like a ball, that is not how we always see it in the sky. The Moon changes shape over a month. Sometimes it looks like a circle, sometimes it looks other shapes. This activity helps children recognise and name the phases of the Moon.
This activity uses touch boxes to illustrate some important characteristics of some Solar System objects and the differences between them. Children will be able to sense the differences in materials between several solar system bodies using everyday items as an analogy. This activity uses simple, easy to source materials, but the boxes do need to be assembled in advance.
Long ago on the island of Hawaii, there lived an old woman, Heena. And Heena was so old, that no-one could rightly remember when she had been born. She herself had given birth to twenty-two children and now she spent her time cooking and cleaning for all her children’s children. And Heena felt old. She didn’t know how old she was, but she knew she was old. And she was tired. She was tired of all the cooking and cleaning, that had filled her days from dawn to dusk, for so many years. All she wanted was a rest.
Long ago, according to Korean legend, there were many, many worlds spinning across the sky. One those worlds was OUR world, the Planet Earth! The planet Earth was special because above our planet, the Sun shone, all through the day and the Moon was bright all through the night. And our planet was surrounded with shining, sparkling light day and night. And so our world, the planet Earth was called the World of Light.
Long ago, on an island in the Caribbean sea… There lived a King, in a magnificent palace that was built by the sea, so that he could sit at night on his throne and look out to sea. And the King sat and looked every night, and he noticed something very strange. The Moon in the sky, seemed to change shape. Every night, it looked different! How could this be?
Long ago in the part of the island that is now called Papua New Guinea…
At the edge of the island there was a village. And in that village there was a house. And in that house there lived two brothers, twins, identical twins. They looked alike, they talked alike and whatever they did, they did alike. And whatever they did, they always did together! They were fishermen, so they slept throughout the day. But, when the Sun began to set and the Moon began to rise…
The Moon is a spherical rocky body, like the Earth but significantly smaller. Throughout the month the Moon changes shape, from new Moon, through the crescent phase, to a half Moon, and then full Moon, before disappearing again back to New Moon. The Moon emits no light of its own, this effect is purely down to how we see the change in illumination from the Sun as the Moon slowly orbits the Earth.