August 30, 2012

Once in a Blue Moon

You've undoubtedly heard the term, "once in a blue moon," but do you know what a blue moon is? I found out that tomorrow, August 31, 2012 will be a blue moon, and that we haven't had one since March 31, 2010.

I did a little research and discovered that there are actually two different definitions for the term blue moon. According to Wikipedia.org, the traditional meaning is the third full moon in a season with four full moons. However, the explanation of why there would be a special name for that event is a bit complicated and not one you would want to explain to your students.

Fortunately, the more widely-accepted meaning is that a blue moon is the 2nd full moon in a calendar month with two full moons. It's a fairly rare event that happens only once every few years. No one knows exactly how the phrase "once in a blue moon" came into existence, but it makes sense because blue moons are so infrequent.

Blue Moon Writing
Since a blue moon will occur tomorrow, I thought you might enjoy teaching your students about blue moons and having them explore the topic in writing. I created this Blue Moon Writing printable for you to use in conjunction with that lesson.

When you teach the lesson tomorrow, I would suggest starting with an announcement that today is a special day that happens "once in a blue moon." Then share some basic information about blue moons and discuss the meaning of the phrase, "once in a blue moon." Ask them if they've heard this phrase before and how it was used. Then brainstorm ideas for things that might happen "once in a blue moon" in their personal lives, such as staying up past midnight or traveling to a theme park. The writing topic is presented as a sort of "free write" expository assignment that can be used as a part of a science, social studies, or writing lesson. You can download this freebie from the Writing file cabinet page on Teaching Resources. I hope you enjoy it!

7 comments:

  1. Great idea! Thank you so much!!! Jen

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  2. Love, love, LOVE this idea Laura! Thank you for sharing. :)

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    1. Glad you like it! I hope that your students enjoy it tomorrow!

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  3. Love it Laura! Thank you! (and this also explains why the kids were a little crazy today-haha!)

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    1. If you think they were crazy today, wait until tomorrow!

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  4. Blue Moon on my birthday :)
    Nice post thank you.

    Michelle

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