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Solar Eclipse Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Students will enjoy learning about a solar eclipse in this hands-on lesson plan. After defining a solar eclipse, students will learn how and why these rare astronomical events occur. They will then apply these concepts and create an art project that illustrates a total and partial solar eclipse.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define the term 'solar eclipse'
  • identify when solar eclipses can occur during the lunar cycle
  • define and describe two different types of solar eclipses

Length

  • 45 - 60 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.1

Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.2

Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.3

Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.

Materials

  • Copies of the text lesson Solar Eclipse Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts and the printable worksheet, one copy per student
  • Yellow, black, and gray construction paper
  • Pencils
  • Scissors
  • Circles already cut for students to use as tracers (one larger, one smaller)
  • White crayons, one per student (or students can share if needed)
  • Glue sticks, one per student (or students can share if needed)
  • Images of partial and total solar eclipses

Instructions

  • Ask students to share with a partner what they think the word 'solar' means. Allow students to share their responses. If students do not refer to the sun, guide them to this response.
  • Now pose the question, 'If solar means sun, what is a solar eclipse?' Allow students to discuss, and then share their responses.
  • Distribute the text lesson Solar Eclipse Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts to students.
  • Have students read the section 'What is a Solar Eclipse?'.
    • Based on the text, what is a solar eclipse?
    • Are solar eclipses common or rare?
  • Before continuing with the lesson, tell students to discuss with a partner when and how they think solar eclipses occur. Allow students to share their responses.
  • Have students read the 'When Does a Solar Eclipse Occur?' section.
    • What is the main idea of this section we just read?
    • What are details that support this main idea?

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