This is a 5E-style, active-learning lesson developed to help students better understand the relationship between Earth, the Moon, and the Sun. Students are required to physically model how the phases of the Moon are created. Extensions include developing an understanding of eclipses. Although many curricula include phases of the Moon at the elementary level, many students still maintain many pre- and misconceptions about this topic. It is very worthwhile to revisit this topic at a higher level.
The students individually observe the moon (phases) for about one month. They write down dates, times, how much of the moon was visible, and any other comments they have about their observations. From there, they have to write up what patterns they observed and research why these patterns occur. They also must have a visual to go along with their observations. The idea is to get them to discover that there are phases of the moon, why there are phases, and how long a revolution takes.
You can find the RubiStar rubric for this project at