This tool includes printable calendars where you can record your observations of the moon. In addition, it provides illustrations of the phases of the moon (a full lunar cycle) that can be printed and cut out for a hands-on activity where you can place the phases of the moon in the correct order on a calendar.
Although this tool doesn't highlight the scientific names of the phases of the moon, the names of the eight main phases (e.g., new moon, waxing crescent, waning gibbous) can be seen by rolling over their illustrations; as a result, the terms aren't distracting but are available for those who want to see them.
This tool can be used to complement instruction on the phases of the moon, patterns in nature, or patterns in general. It offers a nice variety of high- and low-tech options. For example, if you're using this tool in a classroom or lab where most students have access to computers, students can get online to view and print the materials directly; or if you're in a situation with a limited number of computers, you can print the calendars and moon illustrations ahead of time. Students can also do a mix of online and offline work, allowing various learning styles to be addressed.
It's recommended that you use this activity in conjunction with Lunar Cycle 2: The Challenge.