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Oreo Moon Phases

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Looks Like a Moon But Tastes Like a Cookie, It's a Moon Phase Activity + ward ' s science Recommended Grade Level(s): Appropriate for: Elementary and Middle School Time Requirements: Activity Time: 55 minutes Teaching Topics & Concepts: • Astronomy, mathematics Materials: • Package of Oreo cookies or similar generic brand • Large paper plate (or construction paper) • Marker • Plastic knife, fork, or spoon (for carving out the moon phases) Safety • Do not eat the cookies if you have a food allergy to any of the product's ingredients. • Keep cookies on a clean surface. • Wash hands with soap and water before handling edible products. • Food should never be consumed in a science lab setting — although, feel free to enjoy a few (or more!) cookies before or after your experiment in the cafeteria, kitchen, or outside of the science lab. ! Background Have you ever noticed the changing shape of the Moon? During a month, the part of the Moon that we see in the sky changes. It passes through different phases, growing from New Moon to Crescent to First Quarter to Gibbous to Full, then decreasing in the amount that we see from Earth that is illuminated until it is back at New Moon again. Each of these stages is a "phase." Students can explore how the Moon's shape or Moon phases change throughout the month. What better way to learn the moon phases than with a fun activity using a tasty cookie sandwich? Students will model the eight common phases of the Moon as it cycles through the month, identify each of those phases by name as well as the Earth-Sun-Moon position. Procedure: 1. Open up a pack of cookies and twist eight cookies carefully apart. Ensure that one side of the cookie has ALL of the frosting and the other side has NO frosting. 2. Draw eight circles evenly around the perimeter of the paper plate. (or, if using construction paper draw eight small circles around a larger circle) 3. Draw in each moon phase on the eight circles. Label each moon phase with the correct name: full Moon, waning gibbous, last/third quarter, waning crescent, new, waxing crescent, and back to the first quarter. 4. Use the edge of a fork to draw a line down the center of the icing, carefully scrape off half the icing, and set onto the top of the paper plate to begin your first quarter Moon cycle. 5. Work from left to right on your cookie moon cycle, with next being waxing gibbous. Use the fork to draw the line, scrape off the icing, and set on the left of the first quarter moon. 6. Work your way around scraping off the cream to simulate the moon phases: full Moon, waning gibbous, third quarter, waning crescent, new, waning crescent, and back to the first quarter. 7. Once all the Moons are on the plate in a circle, carefully draw the Earth in the center with markers. For reference, use the NASA Moon Phases diagram: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/edu/images/activities/moonphases.jpg

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