Moon Watch Expedition
What to Pack
- Paper or calendar
Now Get Exploring!
- Record your findings. Take crayons and paper to make a day-by-day chart or draw on a calendar. Observe and record the shape of the moon each night. See how it changes from a Cheshire Cat smile to a full circle? (Note: In July 2010, the new moon appears on July 11 and the full moon on July 26.)
- Name the moon shapes. As you watch the moon this month, can your child find a crescent, a half circle and a full circle?
- Look for the dark side. Can your child see the part of the moon in shadow? Show her that the moon doesn't change shape; it's always round. The part that is lit up changes shape.
- Watch the moon move. Look for the moon in early evening. Where is it on the horizon? Check back later. Has it moved? Explain that the moon moves around the earth.
- Investigate: Ask your child the following questions:
- Does the moon change shape or only appear to?
- Is there a man in the moon? Can you see a face?
- Where does the moon's light come from? (It seems as though the moon is shining, but the light is actually reflected from the sun.)
- Does the moon move?
- How many moons do we have? (Just one, although other planets like Jupiter and Uranus have more than a dozen.)
- What is the moon made of? (It's like a desert, with sand and rocks and big holes called craters. There is no air, no water and no wind.)
- Read all about it. Check out Comets, Stars, the Moon and Mars: Space Poems and Paintings by Douglas Florian, The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons, and Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca.
Bonus Explorer Activity To see how the sun's light is reflected off the moon, try this: Get a globe, a mirror and a flashlight. Hold up the globe in one hand and the flashlight in the other. Have your child hold the mirror in between. Explain that the flashlight is the sun, the mirror is the moon, and the globe is Earth. Shine the flashlight at the mirror. See how the light bounces off the mirror onto the globe? That's how moonlight works.
For more ways to explore together, play Dora's Great Big World game, find do-together Dora crafts, recipes, and activities, and print a personalized Explorer Kit for your child at DoraTheExplorer.com.
Thanks to Susan Hood
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