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Lunar Phases: Addressing Misconceptions
This exercise was designed to address student misconceptions about why the Moon exhibits phases. Using a sketchbook, digital camera, or flex cam, a student sits at the center of a darkened room illuminated by a single light source in a stationary position. Stools are set up surrounding the student in the center and other students take those positions, always keeping their faces toward the center. The center student sketches or take pictures of the faces at each of the positions. Substituting a sphere (such as a ball) for the students' faces provides an even more vivid illustration of the shadowing of the sphere and connects directly to the rationale for lunar phases.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Classroom activity
  • Space science
Technical requirements:
Lesson requires Microsoft Word
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright 2005, Philip M. Childs.
DLESE Catalog ID: NYIC-000-000-000-055
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Author: Philip M Childs
Union Endicott Central School District

Contact: Steve Kluge
No institutional affiliation