Here’s a quick idea for making a model of the phases of the moon using Oreo cookies. Other cookies might work too, but the combination of black biscuit and white cream makes this work really well.

Carefully remove the top of each of the cookies to reveal the cream layer. You can then scrape away the cream to show the different moon phases. Place them in a circle, then annotate with labels to explain the different phases.

Like this:

Oreo Cookie Moon Phase Model

I know this isn’t a perfect model, but as a plenary task it can be a fun way to revise the phases. It can still be confusing for some children to see exactly how the phases of the moon are formed. So as well as producing this diagram, I’d suggest you still produce some different models to demonstrate the phases.

Put a white football in the middle of the classroom and shine a bright torch on it to illuminate one side. Move around the classroom to observe the ball from different positions to see the different phases.

Use a golf ball or tennis ball and shade one side black with a sharpie. Hold the ball at arm’s length, and decide on a point in the classroom to be the Sun, turn the ball in your hand until the dark side points away from the sun. Now turn slowly on the spot, while looking at the ball. As you turn, keep turning the ball slowly in your hand so the dark side is always pointing away from the Sun. You should see all the moon phases as you turn. Alternatively, build this!

You could combine both models above into something like this:

Also do check out computer simulations such as this Lunar Phase Simulator. Or the Three Views Simulator.

So how else do you model moon phases? Share your ideas in the comments!