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 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?
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.
Long ago, when the world began, according to Chinese legend.
There was one earth, spinning in the sky! There was one moon, spinning in the sky!
But, but, but – was there just one sun – No!
There was … One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six!
Six suns that rose in the sky above China.
And it was hot! Very, very, very, very, very, very hot!
It was so hot! It was just too hot for any food to grow!
It was just too hot for any water to flow!
What could the people of China do? There was nothing, nothing, nothing they could do!
Long ago in the country called Bolivia, there was a mountain, a big mountain, that went up and up and up and up and up and up into the sky. And, at the bottom of the mountain there is a tiny hole.
And in this hole, there lives a very special animal called Skunk.
Now Skunk, he has black and white stripes and a long bushy tail,
And when he is scared, Euw, he lets out a very bad smell!
Long ago in the country called Bolivia …
There was a mountain, a big mountain that went up and up and up and up into the sky. And at the bottom of the mountain there was a tiny hole.
And in that hole, there lived a very special animal, Skunk.
Now Skunk, he has black and white stripes and a long bushy tail
And when he is scared … Eugh! he lets out a very bad smell!
Now Skunk, he sleeps all day., But – when the Moon rises at night, whoosh,
The light shines into his hole and wakes him up.
He climbs out of his hole, climb, climb, climb, climb, climb!
And looks up at the Moon “Hello Moon!”.