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Moon Phases Collage Lesson Plan

Author: Katie Cook-Zamora

Year: 2015

Artform: Music, Visual Art

Subjects: Science, Language Arts

Grade: 2nd

Duration: 3.5 hours

Overview: In this lesson, the students will learn about the Earth, the moon and the moon phases. They will learn the names of the phases, create each phase with bubble paper and collage and label each phase on a long strip of paper.

Standards and Objectives

The feel, appearance, or consistency of a surface or a substance.

Geometric shapes - circle, triangles, or squares have perfect, uniform measurements and don’t often appear in nature. Organic shapes - are associated with things from the natural world, like plants and animals.
The student will describe the appearance of the Earth and the Moon. The student will describe the movement of Earth and the moon and the apparent movement of other bodies through the sky.

The student will develop language through listening and speaking. The student will identify specific purposes for listening (e.g., to gain information, to be entertained.)

The student will learn new words through listening and reading widely. The student will use new vocabulary learned by listening, reading and discussing a variety of genres.
The students will learn about the Earth, the moon and the sun, their places in the solar system and how they move through space. They will learn how to create the texture of the moon with bubbles and then how to create a collage displaying the phases of the moon.



To begin this lesson, read a book to the students about the moon phases. You could read either Faces of the Moon by Boy Crelin or So That’s How The Moon Changes Shape by Allan Fowler. Give the students a paper to take notes and sketch the different phases as you read.

A fun way to help students picture the information about the Earth, the moon and the sun is to have them act it out. A group of 4 or 5 people could be the sun, and stay in one place in the middle holding hands in a circle. A pair of 2 holding hands could be the Earth and slowly rotate on their axis as they circle the sun, and the last person would be the moon rotating around the Earth as it rotates around the sun. This can be fun and quite difficult for the students.

After this activity, tell the students that they will be illustrating the phases of the moon, and let them look at a poster that displays the phases. Discuss the texture on the surface of the moon, and ask the students to describe it to a partner and then share with the class.


The next step will require 4-6 tables covered with newspaper. Fill the square dishes with water and a few drops of dish soap, then add several big squeezes of black food coloring (more can be added if needed as you work.)

Gather students around one of the tables and demonstrate how to stir the water bowl with the straw and then get down and blow bubbles until the bubbles come up over the edge of the water. Then show them how to place their paper over the bubbles and allow the bubbles to pop, leaving the bubble texture on the surface of the paper, so that it resembles craters.

This process will need to be repeated in order to cover the whole paper with the bubbles. Have the students work at the tables in groups of 4 or 6, pairing them with another student and using enough bowls of water to have each pair share a bowl.


When the paper is finished, have the students trace four circles on top of the paper, using a paper or plastic cup. The circles should be of uniform size. After they have traced four circles, have them cut the circles out and then show them how to create the rest of the phases, using only the four circles.

  • One circle will remain whole and be the full moon.
  • The next circle will be folded in half down the middle and then cut in half to be the first and last quarter moons.
  • On the other two circles, draw a crescent moon, one on the left side of one circle and one on the right side of one circle. If you pair these up opposite, you get the waxing and waning crescents and the waxing and waning gibbous moons.
  • The only phase that is left is the new moon, and that can be traced on the background paper.

After all of the moon phases have been drawn and cut out, have students lay them out in order. Provide them with a black or purple paper that is four or five inches tall and about 22-24 inches long and have them lay the moons out over that paper evenly spaced. They can trace a new moon at the beginning and again at the end using the cup and a white colored pencil directly on their background paper. The last step is to have the students label the phases with white colored pencil on the background paper. (They can use their notes page from the book for this process.)


Something else you might do to finish this project would be to have the students compose their own song about the phases of the moon to the tune of a familiar song like “The Wheels on the Bus.” This could be set up as a whole group activity, or parts could be assigned to smaller groups, and then they could come together as a whole group to finish. Movement could also be added to this song.

This lesson is integrated with language arts and science. The students learn about the phases of the moon through literature and they take notes and sketch as the book is read. Then, they apply that knowledge of the science of the solar system as they create their collage.
  • How many phases does the moon go through?
  • How many days does it take to go through all of the phases?
  • How do you create the visual texture of the moon?
This lesson is differentiated through using the body to act out the placement and rotation of the sun, moon and Earth in the solar system, modeling the process of using bubbles to create texture, working in pairs and composing songs about what has been learned.
  • Texture
  • Moon phases
  • Orbit
  • Solar System
You may want to share a little of the history of ancient civilizations and their relationship with the heavens.
Take a look at the strips of moon phases the students have created and figure out which students might need extra help understanding this process.

You could assign them a peer tutor, or give them some extra individual attention.


  • Water basins
  • 9x12” white drawing paper
  • Glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Circle templates to trace or small cups or bowls of equal size
  • White pencils
  • Long strips black poster board
  • Square plastic bowls
  • Dish soap
  • Stars
  • Black food coloring