Everyone has been looking forward to today ever since the two packages of chocolate sandwich cookies with creamy filling came home from the grocery store. And what did we do with these cookies? Learned about the phases of the moon, of course.
We are beginning to learn about the travels of Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery. Before they ever set out, Meriweather Lewis spent a couple of years learning the different sciences he would need to complete his tasks successfully. Astronomy was one of those sciences and was just related enough to the phases of the moon to make use of the cool activity. (Because when you find a cool educational activity, you really want to use it.) So this morning found everyone at the table with a globe, a lamp (for the sun), a tennis ball (for the moon), paper plates and stacks of chocolate cookies.
Here is D.'s completed project to show you what we did. On the paper plate everyone drew the sun (on the edge) and the earth (in the center). We then used our globe, lamp, and tennis ball to see why we see the section of the moon illuminated that we do during the month. As we learned about each phase, the cookie eaters would take apart their cookie, eat the portion of cookie/filling that were not needed and add them to the plate. The new moon phase (without any stuffing) was their favorite since it required the most eating.
For those who are curious, the phases of the moon go new moon (between the earth and the sun, with no stuffing), and continuing counter-clockwise around the circle, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full moon, waning gibbous, third quarter, waning crescent, and back to new moon.
(I completely stole this from a picture on Pinterest. There was only a photograph and no link to any other webpage, so I can't give credit where credit is due.)
Everyone enjoyed it and were able to really understand the phases and why we see what we see. When we were reading in our history book a little later and read about the lunar eclipse which played a part in the fall on Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks, we had a brief discussion about how eclipse work and they were easily able to understand what was being talked about because of our earlier discussions and demonstrations. Homeschool win!)
The biggest hit of the morning was that I was telling them to eat cookies and I wonder if they will all have vague cravings for chocolate sandwich cookies when the look at the moon.
G. (no she doesn't seem cold even though it is 15 degrees outside)
K. and D.
L. and K.
H. and L.
Oh, and here's your bonus vocabulary lesson for the day. I had no idea, so I looked it up, the word 'gibbous' refers to the shape of a circle which is left if you take a crescent shape out of it. I pretty much is only used to refer to certain phases of the moon because it's not a shape that we really need to describe at any other time. Now you know.