Education and Public Outreach

Around and Round: Lunar Phases, Planetary Orbits, and Seasons

Preliminary Concepts

Misconceptions are very common for both seasons and lunar phases; both topics require well-developed spatial abilities as well as a firm understanding of the relationships between the Sun, Earth, and Moon in order to be able to conceptualize the causes.  Elementary students can focus on the changing appearance of the Moon and discover the cyclical nature of the phases over time; they can also discover the changing position of the Sun in the sky, both during the day and over the seasons. 

Activities Modeling the Solar System

Activities for Teaching Seasons

Activities for Teaching Lunar Phases