The 50th Anniversary for the Apollo 11 moon landing is coming up, so it was the perfect excuse to create a moon study. The moon is no longer a mystery to us since space exploration has given us an inside look. Here are some books, a STEM project, and moon phases activities to add to your moon study lessons!
Unit Study About the Moon
The moon. It is something I’ve always loved to look at every night, to see what phase it is in, how bright it is, and if the full moon has a special name. I’ve passed down this love of the moon to my kids, so they were pretty gung-ho when I laid out the materials to start our moon study. (I also have an awesome constellation study you can find here -with another free printable-so you can explore more of space!)
Books About the Moon
What is a unit study without some amazing books?! We wanted to read a balance of books about the moon itself and about the Apollo 11 moon landing that happened 50 years ago. My kids helped me pick out the books and here are our choices:
This book gives facts all about the moon. It is laid out in a very easy to understand way for kids get the information they need and often ask about the moon themselves. They will find out things like why the moon causes tides, why the same side of the moon always faces the earth, and so much more. The illustrations are cute and colorful, perfect for kids!
Where are my ladies shouting, “Girl power!”? Because reading about Margaret Hamilton gets me all excited to raise a girl and to teach her that she can do anything- even create code to make the first moon landing possible. My boys loved reading about her story, too. Margaret and the Moon brings you back to Margaret’s childhood and how her math skills led her to MIT, then to NASA to be a pioneer in her field.
This book is super fun because it is written in second person, like the author is giving you the directions on what will happen if you go to the moon. My boys really, really loved this book. The illustrations are gorgeous and you’ll be ready to count down to blast off while you’re reading with the bright colors leading the way.
One Giant Leap will give you an inside look on the first moon landing. See what Buzz and Neil went through as they traveled into space and what it was like taking that adventurous and heroic trip to the moon.
My kids are obsessed with STEM activities! I knew I needed to include one when we looked into doing this moon study. NASA has all kinds of hands on activities for kids, and this is one that will be sure to please. This STEM activity is designed for grades 3-8, although you could do it with lots of assistance with younger kids, too. My kids were able to work together to make their own shock absorbing system for their spacecraft out of some household materials and marshmallows.
This is an oldie but goodie for us in our homeschool, but we were happy to do it again to introduce the concept to my seven year old who was too young to remember seeing his brother do this in the past. Using a simple light, a stick, and a ball to show how the moon goes through it’s phases is a quick hands on activity that really helps kids understand the concept. This is another NASA freebie- such an awesome resource!
Free Moon Phases Printables!
We can’t talk about the moon and moon phases without…OREOS! Our very favorite activity (for obvious reasons) is to create the moon phases out of Oreos. My kids were more than willing to sacrifice their cookies for science. My friend even scored the special Moon Landing edition Oreos for us! Woot woot!
I created these free printables for you that show the moon phases, definitions of these moon phases so your kids know what the phases mean, and a page for you to make your own Oreo Moon Phases! You can grab them by signing up for my e-mails, where I share my other free printables, awesome homeschooling events, resources, and so much more.
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