|The waning crescent moon in our front yard, 3-16-12|
Barb at The Handbook of Nature Study challenged us this month to do a moon observation study. She gave lots of options of ways we could accomplish this. For my children, it seems to work best to observe the moon nightly for a period of time.
3-4-12: Three-quarter moon. Since my children are only 7, 5, and 2, we didn't go into the name "Gibbous". We did talk about the terms "waxing" and "waning". I had the kids guess whether the moon was waxing or waning. My son's guess, "waxing". My middle daughter's guess, "waxing." The two year old said, "Moon!" They were right.
3-5-12: A really clear night. Three-quarter moon. I pointed out the Big Dipper to the children.
3-6-12: We did a Bird Experiment during the day, and later saw a swallow tail kite swooping and soaring. When we observed the moon, my middle daughter said, "It's full." I told her that it wasn't quite full. (The eighth was the full moon this month.) I showed my children how to see that there was a flat place on one side of the circle. When I showed them this, they saw that it wasn't quite full.
3-7-12: We did a second bird experiment during the day. When we did the moon observation, the moon was almost full and was going behind and coming out of fast moving clouds. My middle daughter said, "I didn't know the moon moved so fast." I explained that the clouds were moving, making the moon look like it moved. They again thought the moon was full.
3-8-12: We read some from Handbook of Nature Study about the moon. "...as the beginning of the study of astronomy, it appears as the largest and brightest object seen in the sky at night; and since it lies nearest us, it is the first natural step from our world to outer space." and "The moon is a member of the sun's family, his granddaughter we might call her if the earth be his daughter." on page 855. I loved those lines.
Later, we did the Oreo Moon Phases, as Barb had suggested in her original post. I am not sure we did it quite right, but the kids learned a lot about how the moon changes from waxing to waning and back again. (We are still practicing our vocabulary words.)
|You can see that I ended up with my new moon by my full moon.|
I may attempt it again with them and place these opposite
each other, but they did learn a great deal from this activity.
3-9-12: No moon siting. It was too cloudy.
3-10-12: My son was on an overnight event with Cub Scouts, but my middle daughter, my youngest and I looked for the moon.
3-11-12 and 3-12-12: We forgot to do the moon observation.
3-13-12: We tried to see the moon, but it was too cloudy.
3-14-12 and 3-15-12: We were unable to see the moon before the children had to go to bed, because of Daylight Savings Time.
3-16-12: My son and youngest daughter arose early enough to see the moon in the morning. My son's only comment was that he could hear the cheer-up, cheerie-up of the robins. (We learned about them in a children's book.) Once he pointed it out, I could hear them saying that, too. My middle daughter got up a little later and saw the moon. Her comment:"Waning!":)
3-17-12 to 3-19-12 We were unable to see the moon, because of the time change and the children slept too late in the mornings.
3-20-12: We went outside at 8:34 PM to look for the moon. The children were unable to see the moon, but they did spot two very bright "stars". These are Jupiter and Mercury. They are closer to the earth than they will be again for 24 years. Celestial Almanack was posted by Kate Kessler on Facebook, and this has helped me very much in explaining to the children what they spot in the night skies. My middle daughter was interested to hear the crickets singing.
All in all, it has been a wonderful month of moon observations. I am so grateful for the moon study challenge we were offered by Barb at the Handbook of Nature Study Blog. The children have learned so much about the moon, and have had several other nature experiences because of this study. This is not a study I would have thought of doing at this time had we not received the challenge.
This article was submitted to the Outdoor Hour Challenge Blog Carnival. Please go to Barb's site to see what other people did with their families this month.