Rosh Chodesh, which literally means “head of the month,” is based on the lunar cycle and occurs when there is a new moon (hence the new month!) Therefore, the moon is central to the Jewish calendar, and Jewish tradition even includes a blessing for the new moon. Though students might be familiar with the holiday of Rosh Chodesh marking each new month on the Jewish calendar, they might not fully understand its connection to the lunar cycle and the phases of the moon. We’ve found great moon science resources you can use to supplement your Rosh Chodesh curriculum, teach from both the Judaic and scientific perspectives, and help students understand the bigger picture behind this special monthly holiday.
How Does the Moon Shine?
This simple animated video will introduce young students to the moon and why it shines.
Lunar Cycle Challenge
This matching game will teach students about the waning and waxing of the moon. There are three increasingly difficult levels for students to master.
Phases of the Moon
This resource has short cartoon animation video explaining why the moon has phases, a picture and terminology matching game, a moon phases quiz, and a photos section that has a moon phases slideshow.
Here students will be able to work their way through a series of lessons and increasingly complex interactive activities that build on what is learned previously.
This animated video will teach students basic concepts and terminology of the lunar cycle and would be a great introductory lesson for the other resources listed here.
Lunar Phase Simulator
With this simulator, students can experiment with the phases of the moon and discover some basic math principles behind moon calculations.
Phases of the Moon Calendar
Students can learn about the phases of the moon and phase terminology from this interactive calendar, which also includes text to speech and moon images from NASA.
Moon Phases Demonstration
This video would be great for a flipped classroom. Students could watch the video at home and then replicate the moon phase demonstration in class. Teachers might even want to tie this lesson in with a math project on angles.
Crash Course Astronomy: Moon Phases
This fast-moving video will provide students with a basic understanding of moon phases and lunar cycle terminology.
Flocabulary: Moon Phases Video
Get students excited to learn about the moon with this fun, animated hip-hop music video, and then have them create their own!
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