Phases of the Moon
Earth and Space

Phases of the Moon - an activity

Classroom Activity for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

What the Activity is for

Describing phases of the Moon.

The aim of this activity is to develop pupils' knowledge of the phases of the Moon, their correct sequence, and the terminology used to describe them.

What to Prepare

  • scissors
  • printed copies of the support sheet: Phases of the Moon (see below)


  • the interactive (see below)

What Happens During this Activity

The story to develop here is that the Moon has always fascinated people. Over the course of a month, its shape appears to change. Use this to tell a story about the need to get observations carefully recorded so that patterns to events in the natural world can be seen.

Then you'll know if you have constructed a worthwhile explanation of why we observe what we do – in this case, the changing phases of the Moon.

Hand out support sheet and ask the pupils to decide what sequence the pictures should go in. You could use the interactive to bring their ideas together.


Download the support sheet / student worksheet and interactive for this activity.

Phases of the Moon
can be exhibited by Moon
Limit Less Campaign

Support our manifesto for change

The IOP wants to support young people to fulfil their potential by doing physics. Please sign the manifesto today so that we can show our politicians there is widespread support for improving equity and inclusion across the education sector.

Sign today