The Moon changes shape every day. Sometimes you can see only part of the Moon. Other times, you can see the entire Moon. Why does this happen?

The purpose of this WebQuest is to help you learn why we see phases of the Moon.


Your task is to explain why the Moon changes appearance throughout the month. You will complete six tasks.     It will help you understand why the Moon's appearance changes.

The First Task

Complete the Task One on your worksheet. Draw and name eight important phases of the Moon. You will...


Watch these videos to help you.

 Here are some websites you can use to complete Task One.

How Do the Phases Get Their Names?

Phases of the Moon

Phases of the Moon – What Can You See Tonight?

The Second Task

Science has special terms. You need to know what these terms mean. For Task Two, define the following terms: gibbous, waning, and waxing. You will identify which phases are waxing and waning.


Get the definitions of the terms at this webpage.

Glossary of Lunar Terms

The Third Task

For Task Three, draw your birthday Moon. What phase was it on the day you were born? Find out and fill in the circle. Also, draw a picture of the phase of the Moon on your 2016 birthday


Use this website. Select your birthdate.

StarDate Online – Phases of the Moon Calendar

The Fourth Task

How does the Moon change during the month? For Task Four, complete the Task Four worksheet. See how the Moon changes each day. Complete the worksheet for September 2013.


Go the website below.  Select the current month and year.

StarDate Online – Phases of the Moon Calendar

Don't forget to answer the questions!

The Fifth Task

During the evening (and daytime), the Moon, stars, and Sun appear to move through the sky. For Task Five, explain why this happens.


Use these websites to find out why.

Do Stars Move?

Do Stars Move in the Sky?

Motions in the Sky

Paths of the Stars

The Sixth Task

For Task Six, show the position of the Earth, Moon, and Sun at each of the eight phases. Complete the worksheet identifying the correct phase and draw a picture of that phase of the Moon.

Process - use this video to help you
The websites below will help you complete Task Six.

Lunar Phases (Highly Recommended!)

Lunar Phases Interactive

Lunar Phases Simulator

The Earth/Moon System

The Moon’s Phases

Phases of the Moon