Phases and Eclipses of the Moon

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Hunter's Moon during a Lunar Eclipse

ERN Item Type: 

  • Classroom Activities


Science Education Resource Center (SERC), Carleton College


In this activity, students use a light source, a polystyrene ball, and their bodies to model solar and lunar eclipses, the phases of the moon, and the revolution and rotation of the moon. By observing their models of these phenomena in three dimensions, reality-checking with their notes of their observations of the real moon, drawing simple diagrams and completing complex partial diagrams, students "discover" the causes of phases and eclipses and the period of the moon's revolution and rotation.

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