Educator How-To: Making the Moon out of Cheese (and Crackers!)

Teach your students about the phases of the moon with this awesome Solar System snacking activity.

I created this lesson plan as an alternative to the Oreo™ phases of the moon activity that we think is so clever. This science snack is a healthier alternative and will satisfy hungry students without the sugar rush.

Educator How-To: Making the Moon out of Cheese (and Crackers!)

Moon worksheet

Materials:

  • Ritz™ Crackers
  • American cheese slices
  • 1.5 inch round “cookie” cutter
  • Phases of the moon chart
  • Phases of the Moon worksheet
  • Markers
  • Waxed paper
  • Plastic knives

Educator How-To: Making the Moon out of Cheese (and Crackers!)

Moon phases

Procedure:

  1. Give each child a copy of the phases of the moon chart.  Go over the different phases, and consider using our Educator How-To: We’ll See You on the Dark (and Light and Far) Side of the Moon to demonstrate the phases in an active, hands-on fashion.
    2.    Distribute one slice of American cheese to each student.
    3.    Instruct students to carefully use the circular cutter to cut four circles from the cheese. With careful placement, one slice of cheese will be sufficient.
    4.    Using a plastic knife, students will then cut one circle of cheese in half.
    5.    The second circle will be cut using the circular “cookie” cutter.  Place the cutter carefully on the circle of cheese so that a crescent-shaped piece of cheese is cut from one side.
    6.    The same procedure should be used to cut an additional crescent-shaped piece from the third circle of cheese.
    7.    The fourth circle will remain whole.
    8.    Now you are ready to go! Distribute the Phases of the Moon worksheets and have students place a Ritz™ cracker on each “moon”.
    9.    Students will now arrange the cheese on the crackers to reflect each phase of the moon.
    10.    When finished, students may eat the tasty moon snack!
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About Kat

Kat has been both the spokesperson for the CSI: The Experience exhibit and project manager for the Imperial Rome exhibit and has a love of all things historical and cultural. She is responsible for the Xplorations summer camp program, coordinating weekday labs during the school year, writing department curriculum and presenting at teacher trainings. Kat has worked at the Museum since 1996.

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