Grown-up Moon: What Do You See in Today's Moon?
What's the Point?
The following materials are for one What Do You See in the Moon? activity set and will serve approximately 10 children working in teams of two to three.
- Books or other media that share stories about the Moon and what different cultures see when they look at the Moon. For example:
- World Tales of the Moon
This site offers links to several stories from across the globe, including "Rabbit on the Moon" (Mexico), "Drummer on the Moon" (Ivory Coast), "Tears on the Moon" (Algeria), "Rabbit and Frog on the Moon" (China), and "Boy on the Moon" (North America).
- Hina Moves to the Moon: A Hawaiian Story about Our Moon
- World Tales of the Moon
- Optional: Computer, speakers, and access to the Internet for listening to online cultural stories
- Optional: A live storyteller reading or performing Moon myths
- Optional: Images of features that different cultures see in the Moon
- Optional: 1 sample each of anorthosite, basalt, and breccia, ordered from a natural science catalog (optional):
- 1 sample of Earth basalt ordered from a natural science catalog; a flood basalt hand specimen is available from WARD'S Natural Science
- 1 sample of Earth anorthosite, ordered from a natural science catalog; an anorthosite hand specimen is available from WARD'S Natural Science
- 1 sample of breccia, ordered from a natural science catalog; a volcanic breccia hand specimen is available from WARD'S Natural Science
- Moon Map
- Grown-up Moon: What Do You See in Today's Moon? station sign
- Grown-up Moon: What Do You See in Today's Moon? children's guide
- Art materials such as crayons, colored pencils, and markers
- Grown-up Moon: What do you see in Today's Moon? comic panel
- His/her Marvel Moon comic book and binder clip
- 1 pencil or pen
The children may recognize their own patterns in the Moon or they may identify those described in cultural stories. By comparing fun shapes and personal stories to the actual topographical features in the Moon, they should recognize that the Moon has a science story to tell, as well. Younger children should be able to recognize that the large dark circles are maria or "seas" after their mistaken identification by early astronomers.
A Little Background for the Facilitator
Many cultures through time have developed stories about the features they observed on our Moon. One is the story that rabbits live on the Moon with a Katsura tree. Some people see an outline of a rabbit on the Moon, others see a dog, and still others see a man in the Moon, a crab, a lady knitting or reading a book, a man resting under a tree, a frog, a lizard...
The Moon is covered with light and dark areas. The light colored areas are the oldest part of the Moon's surface — they have many craters and are called the "cratered highlands." This part of the Moon's crust formed from a cooling magma ocean soon after the Moon formed 4.5 billion years ago! The basins were formed by BIG impacts early in the Moon's history. Later, lava filled these basins and cooled. The dark-colored plains (maria) we see are made of a fine-grained, dark, volcanic rock called basalt — the same rock type as found on Earth's ocean floors and the same type that makes up the islands of Hawaii.