Learning About the Phases of the Moon With Oreo Cookies

The boys were getting very antsy to start science!  For almost a week now I've planned on teaching them about the phases of the moon using Oreo cookies.

We've seen several lessons abound on Pinterest and I bought Oreos last week, but we've been busy and I was waiting for a few books on the phases of the moon to come in from the library.  We sat down to read The Moon Seems to Change and learned all the names of the phases of the moon.

There was a hands on activity in the back of the book too that we decided to do at the spur of the moment.
  • We took an orange, a pencil, a marker and a flashlight and they each took a turn playing the sun and the Earth. 
  •  We took a pencil and inserted it into the orange deep enough that the orange would not fall off (if you don't want to waste an orange I think it would work well with a nice big ball of play dough).  
  • We then used the marker to make a black line around the orange from where the pencil met the orange to the other side so we ended up with two hemispheres and drew an x on one side. 
  •  It was time to head up to Ian's room, where it was still nice and dark) and start our demonstration.  

Evan got to be the Earth first and he held the "moon" with the x- side facing himself, slightly above his head.  Alec, who was our first "sun", stood facing Evan and turned on the flashlight.  Evan could only see a black circle where he was holding the moon.  As he rotated slowly on the spot (and while Alec held the flashlight super still) he could see the crescent appear and slowly grow bigger until his back was to Alec and the moon appeared in full (remember he's holding it above his head so the flashlight shines directly on the whole moon).  As Evan continued to turn the full moon slowly got smaller and smaller until there was just a crescent left and then it was back to a black spot.

 Alec then got to be the Earth while Ian was the sun and then Ian was the Earth while Evan was the sun.  It was a fun quick, easy explanation about how the sun, moon and Earth make the phases of the moon.

Once downstairs they were eager to open the Oreo packages and get to work.

I helped them open the Oreos and pull them apart.  I made sure they all had at least 8 full sides of Oreos to work with (since they tended to break I wanted to make sure they had extra).

Using a plastic knife they scraped off part of the filling to make the various moon shapes.

This project proved way to hard for Evan and I ended up making his and lining them up for him then asking him to point to each phase of the moon as I called them out (not in order)

Ian had the easiest time and quickly labeled his phases.  Once everyone was done they got to eat the Oreos and I gave them some milk.  While they were eating we also read I Took the Moon for a Walk.

Ian's finished project

Alec's project
It was a delicious and fun science lesson.  


  1. This is such a fun idea! I love this. :)


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Favorite TV Shows Growing Up in the 80's and early 90's

Throwing a Fabulous 70th Birthday Party at the Last Minute

Things That Make Me Laugh