Lunar and Planetary Institute

EXPLORE! To the Moon and Beyond with NASA's LRO Mission

Further Activities and Lessons

Explore! To the Moon and Beyond!
Today's children are the next generation of lunar explorers! The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, is in orbit around our Moon right now, collecting detailed information about the lunar environment. Children, ages 8 to 13, are introduced to our Moon and the LRO through nine hands-on activities designed for use in the library or other out-of-classroom setting.

Jack and Jill on the Moon
Engage young children (age 5) with observations of the Moon and the nursery rhyme Jack and Jill. The activity includes a printable story book and game.

The Moon: A Resource Guide
The Astronomical Society of the Pacific offers this guide for educators, amateur astronomers, and other inquisitive adults. This one-stop shop offers a brief selection of web resources (including podcasts and videos), books, and articles.

Exploring Lunar Phases with a Daytime Moon
Originally developed by Marni Berendsen for Night Sky Network
Adapted by Suzanne Gurton and Anna Hurst
©2006, Astronomy from the Ground Up • Astronomical Society of the Pacific,
390 Ashton Ave., San Francisco, CA 94112 •


Fruit for Phases
Children use a flashlight and a round object, such as a large round fruit or ball, to model lunar phases. This activity follows the demonstration in the SkyTellers: "Moon Phases" chapter, but can also be used independently. Appropriate for ages 8–14.

Paper Plate Education: Moon Finder
Use paper plates to construct a wheel showing when to look for the Moon, where it is in the sky, and its phase. Free streaming videos give detailed instructions. Appropriate for the facilitator and parents.

Paper Plate Education: Bad Moon Rising
Explore the representation — and often the misrepresentation — of the phases of the Moon in a variety of children’s books. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown passes muster with accurate depictions of the full moon rising over time in the illustrations by Clement Hurd. Click on "What's wrong with this picture?" to reveal the errors found in other popular books. Appropriate for the facilitator and parents.

Space Science Sequence for Grades 3–5
Carolyn Willard et al., published by GEMS: Great Explorations in Math and Science, 2009, ISBN 9781435004658
This GEMS unit includes inquiry-based classroom sessions that investigate the scale of objects in space; "journey" to the Moon to explore the concept of gravity; model the motions of the Earth; and observe and explain lunar phases and eclipses.

Earth Moon and Stars: Teacher's Guide
Cary L. Sneider, published by GEMS: Great Explorations in Math and Science, 1986, ISBN 0924886056
Designed for ages 10 to 14, this GEMS unit includes inquiry-based classroom sessions that focus on Earth’s shape and gravity; lunar phases and eclipses; and the stars.

The Real Reason for the Seasons: Sun-Earth Connections — Unraveling Misconceptions About the Earth and Sun
Alan Gould, Carolyn Willard, and Stephen Pompea, published by GEMS: Great Explorations in Math and Science, 2000, ISBN 0924886455
Designed for ages 11 to 14, this GEMS unit includes inquiry-based classroom sessions designed to address misconceptions about the Sun-Earth connection.

Last updated
May 4, 2011

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