Monday, 20 May 2013

Visualising the phases of the Moon

Trying to visualise the phases of the Moon is very difficult. To make it easier, try the latest Earthlearningidea, 'Polystyrene moon; visualising the phases of the Moon using a ball on a stick'.
This activity uses a ball and stick to simulate the Moon and a light beam to simulate the Sun to see what the phases of the Moon look like from the ‘Earth’.
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3 comments:

virginia malone said...

Be sure the students do not come away with the common misconception that the phases of the moon are due to the rotation of the moon on its axis.

virginia malone said...

You may ask students how is this like and how it differs from the phases of the moon. Phases are not caused by the rotation of the moon. The phases do look like the phases of the ball.

Chris, Earthlearningidea Team said...

Many thanks for pointing this out, Virginia - which is what people might think if they just saw the photos as of the phases of the moon, rather than as photos of what you would see if you were the 'Earth' and were looking at the simulated polystyrene moon held in the light of the 'Sun'. I hope the text makes this clear - but also hope others will let us know if this is unclear. It is great to have a critical audience - since the last thing we would want to do would be to mislead. Chris.