The Phases of the Moon

Science WebQuest by: Rachel Bissette

4.E.1.2 Explain the monthly changes in the appearance of the moon, based on the moon's orbit around the Earth.


Students will begin analyzing the moon each night, journaling their observations in order to gain more background knowledge to prepare for this upcoming lesson.

Class you will be amazed at the natural patterns the moon partakes in throughout the months of the year. You will act like scientist for the next few weeks recording the data you are observing each night. Take a look at the moon and copy down on the journal linked below what exactly you see.

Moon Journal

Print out this sheet to record your data.


Students will draw exactly how they see the moon each night for a month, recording the date and time.


Step 1:

Students will print out moon journal and begin recording data for the next 28 days.

Step 2:

Students will bring in their journal sheets at the end of their studies, they will come prepared to discuss their findings with their peers.

Step 3:

Students will write a one paragraph response on the observations they have recorded and data they have collected over the past month.

Step 4:

Students will watch the video below to see if their recorded data matches the science behind the phases of the moon.


You have done an awesome job preparing yourself for what we are going to learn about the phases of the moon. I hope you have enjoyed your scientific observations! Below are a few links that have some more information about the moon that you might be interested in.

Teacher Notepage

This is a lesson designed for fourth graders (in North Carolina) who are about the begin learning about the moon. It is designed to cause scientific thinking and processing, and also incorporates a few of the scientific method processes (observing, recording, & communicating). You'll need to give this assignment approximately one month prior to teaching your lesson on the moon. Students are required to record the moon for a month and write a one paragraph response on their findings, as well as prepare for a class discussion of the video along with their data.

~Hope you enjoy the WebQuest that gets your students to act like scientist!