After completing the "Eclipse:
An Introduction" lesson, students should have
an emerging understanding of how rotation, revolution and
the position of the Sun, Earth and Moon can result in a solar
eclipse. This activity reinforces what students have learned
in the previous lesson.
globe (approximately 14" to 16" in diameter)
or ceiling hook (from which to hang the globe)
or monofilament line
with a 200 watt bulb, shade removed and extension cord
20 minutes to locate and prepare materials, and set up the
eclipse demonstration model and copy work sheets.
Eclipse" Work Sheets
View Completed Student Work Sheets
will understand that during a total solar eclipse:
Moon is between the Earth and the Sun.
Moon blocks the Suns light from reaching the surface
of the Earth.
shadow cast by the Moon covers only part of the Earths
Moons shadow moves across the Earth.
becomes dark during the day.
darkness only lasts a few minutes.
a location in the classroom with ample room (approximately
10 x 10) to demonstrate the eclipse model. Students
may want to sit in a circle or semicircle with the model
in the middle.
the Earth globe from the ceiling or framework, so that it
hangs about 24" to 30" above the floor. A paperclip
with one side bent into an "L" shape will support
the globe. Tie string to the paper clip loop, and insert
the "L" into the globes small hole at top
(North Pole point).
a chair or other sturdy object, tape a yardstick so it extends
parallel to the floor.
a short length of thread or monofilament and attach the
3-inch Styrofoam "Moon" ball to one end of the
thread. Tie the other end to the yardstick.
the suspended Moon ball 12" - 15" away from the
the lamp near the hanging "Moon" ball and globe
so that the "Moon" casts a shadow on the Earth
with the model
on the lamp and turn off the classroom lights to make the
shadow more visible.
turn the Earth globe counterclockwise and begin your discussion
of the model by asking students to identify the Sun, the
Earth and the Moon.
students to use the model to explain how an eclipse takes
the globe so that the "Moons" shadow is
covering your city. Remind students never to look at the
Sun, but ask them to describe how things might look in their
city during a total solar eclipse.
to the KWL chart used in the previous introductory lesson
and review what students contributed. Ask if students have
learned anything new to add the chart.
points to elicit in your discussion of what happens during
Moon is between the Earth and the Sun.
Moon blocks the Suns light from reaching the Earths
Suns corona remains visible.
the daytime it becomes dark on a small part of the Earth.
shadow cast by the Moon only covers part of the daytime
side of the Earths surface.
Moons shadow moves across the Earth as it spins.
Moon continues to move in its orbit too.
darkness of the eclipse only lasts a few minutes.
animals respond as if it were night.
Distribute the work sheets. The model can be left in the
classroom to help students complete the work sheets.
model provides an opportunity to explore how lunar eclipses
occur. Ask students what they think happens when the Earth
gets between the Sun and the Moon.
a lunar eclipse by reversing the positions of the Styrofoam
balls representing the Earth and the Moon so that the "Earth"
is between the "Sun" and the "Moon."
students where the Earths shadow is cast when the
Earth is between the Sun and the Moon.
students to describe how the Moon would look to them from
the Earth during a lunar eclipse.
students to explain why the moon appears dark to us during
a lunar eclipse.
students that this is a model to help us learn, but the
size and distance are not to scale. At this point in the
unit, engage students in a discussion of scientific models
and their limitations.
if students can identify any discrepancies with the model.
Ask if there is something about the model that isnt
students to describe a more accurate model and how they
would construct it.
Solar Eclipse work sheet will show your students' understanding
of how eclipses occur.
related books and websites.