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Year level:

Level 8

Foamy waves rolling onto a beach under a golden sunrise.

Inquiry-based learning questions

This activity is a part of the Mathematics, moon phases, and tides resource.

Breaking Waves at Sunrise, Killarney Beach, Gunditjmara country. Tiffany Garvie. Source: Ngarrngga. © Tiffany Garvie 2023. Used under licence

These inquiry-based questions are provided for flexible classroom use, allowing teachers to tailor discussion and reflections specific to their classroom needs

Inquiry questions

  • How do the phases of the Moon relate to the angle between the Earth/Sun/Moon system? 

  • How do Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples measure the light-coverage of the Moon (as a percentage) to determine phase type? 

  • How do observations of lunar phases inform datasets of tidal amplitude measurements? 

  • How can knowledge of tides be applied to real world scenarios? 

Related activities within this resources:

Scorpius featuring Mars and Saturn in the night sky

What is Stellarium?

Discover Stellarium, a digital planetarium that offers a vivid depiction of the night sky worldwide, showcasing the celestial dance of the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars in real-time.

Foamy waves rolling onto a beach under a golden sunrise.

Activity 1 - Measuring lunar phase angle and percentage illumination

In this activity, students estimate the illuminated lunar surface area during different phases, calculate phase angles, and explore the Moon's changing appearance throughout a lunar cycle.

Suggested timing:

30-45 minutes

Foamy waves rolling onto a beach under a golden sunrise.

Activity 2 - Establishing the link between moon phases and tides

In this activity, students analyse tide data from Murray Island to establish a link between lunar phases and tide amplitudes. Students then use this information to determine optimal fishing days based on Meriam knowledge of fishing, Moon phases, and tides.

Suggested timing:

30 minutes

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