teaching resource

Moon Phases Tic-Tac-Toe (Small Group)

Teach Starter Publishing
Google Slide, PDF | 1 page | Grades: 2 - 4

Identify and remember the different phases of the moon with this small group tic-tac-toe game.

Moon Phases Game

Have your students been studying the different phases of the moon? If so, you may be looking for an activity to help your students retain and remember each of the phases. Teach Starter has put together a small group tic-tac-toe game for you to use with your students when studying how the appearance of the moon changes over time.

To play, provide each player with a tic-tac-toe board card and counters. The caller should choose a moon phase card and show it to the players. The players will need to identify which moon phase is on the card and cover the corresponding moon phase name on their board with a counter. Continue playing until someone gets 3 in a row. You could also choose to add additional rules to the game, such as students must cover 3 spaces vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.

Through this activity, students will correctly identify the different phases of the moon.

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

If there are students who need additional support, invite them to reference previous assignments, posters, or anchor charts while completing this activity.

➕ Challenge Fast Finishers

For students who need a bit of a challenge, consider swapping roles with the student and allow the student to check their classmates’ tic-tac-toe boards to ensure the correct answer was covered with each calling card.

🏃 Relay Race

Divide students into two team lines and show a moon flashcard to the students at the front of each line. The student that identifies the correct moon phase first wins the flashcard. The team with the most flashcards at the end of the game wins!

✋ Show Me!

Give each student a mini dry-erase board and a dry-erase marker. Project a moon phase card and when everyone has written down their answer, say, “Show Me.” Students will flip their boards, allowing you to see who needs extra support.

Plan lessons for all ability levels with our 10 Best Scaffolding Strategies! 

Easily Prepare This Resource for Your Students

Use the dropdown icon on the Download button to choose between the PDF or editable Google Slides version of this resource. An answer key is also included with this download. 

Print on cardstock for added durability and longevity. Place all pieces in a folder or large envelope for easy access. 


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

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