teaching resource

Moon Phases – Instructional Slide Deck

Teach Starter Publishing
Google Slide | 1 page | Grades: 3 - 4

Learn about the different phases of the moon and how its appearance changes over time with this instructional slide deck.

Moon Phases for Kids

Students probably recognize how the moon looks different during the month from a pretty young age. They may recognize when the moon is full and round and other times when only a small portion can be seen. 

Moon phases are the different appearances of the moon as seen from the Earth due to its changing position relative to the Sun and Earth. The main phases of the moon are:

New Moon: The Moon is not visible from the Earth as it is between the Sun and Earth.

Waxing Crescent: The Moon appears as a thin crescent, just as it becomes visible again after the New Moon.

First Quarter: Half of the Moon is illuminated and visible in the sky.

Waxing Gibbous: The Moon appears more than half but less than fully illuminated.

Full Moon: The Moon is fully illuminated and visible in the night sky.

Waning Gibbous: The Moon appears more than half but less than fully illuminated.

Third Quarter: Half of the Moon is illuminated, but the opposite half from the First Quarter.

Waning Crescent: The Moon appears as a thin crescent, and the lit portion becomes smaller before changing to a New Moon.

If you are looking for a ready-to-go slide deck to teach your students about the different moon phases, you have come to the right place! Teach Starter has put together a 15-slide presentation to use during your solar system unit.

Tips for Differentiation + Scaffolding 

A team of dedicated, experienced educators created this resource to support your science lessons. 

If you have a mixture of above and below-level learners, check out these suggestions for keeping students on track with the concepts: 

🆘 Support Struggling Students

Help students who need help understanding the concepts by 

  • Complete the instructional slides in short, 10-15 minute “chunks” to allow for processing.
  • Provide students with a printout of the slides to refer to during the lesson.

Make sure to check out additional resources that cover rotation and revolution!

Easily Prepare This Resource for Your Students

Use the Download button to access this resource’s editable Google Slides version.

This resource was created by Bellamy Taylor-Pines, a teacher in Illinois and a Teach Starter Collaborator. 

Don’t stop there! We’ve got more activities and resources that cut down on lesson planning time: 


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Reinforce science vocabulary with a set of 15 vocabulary cards covering the different phases of the moon and related terms.

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