Fun and Engaging Solar Eclipses Activities and Lessons

Let’s Go! The 2024 total solar eclipse is happening April 8, 2024! Here are some fun teaching ideas, lessons, and activities for teaching the 2024 total solar eclipse to use in your classroom!

I am so excited for the total solar eclipse! They have always intrigued me, evoking a sense of wonder and excitement as the sun, moon, and Earth perfectly align. As a teacher, introducing my students to solar eclipses offers a fantastic chance to spark their curiosity about the solar system and deepen their understanding of celestial events. In this blog post, let’s explore what solar eclipses are and some fun and effective activities to teach about this incredible phenomenon in a way that’s both engaging and informative.

WHAT IS A TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE?

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly between the sun and Earth, blocking out the sun’s light and casting a shadow on Earth. This alignment only happens during a new moon when the sun, moon, and Earth are perfectly in line. As the moon slowly moves across the face of the sun, it gradually covers it entirely, creating a temporary darkness during the day. This phenomenon allows us to see the Sun’s outer atmosphere, known as the solar corona, which is usually not visible due to the Sun’s intense brightness.

The process of a total solar eclipse begins with the partial phases, where the moon starts to overlap the sun’s disc, creating a partial blockage of sunlight. As the alignment continues, the moon fully covers the sun, leading to the moment of totality when the sky darkens, temperatures drop, and stars become visible. This remarkable event is fleeting, lasting only a few minutes in any given location along the eclipse path. Observers within the path of totality have the unique opportunity to witness this incredible occurrence.

SOlar Eclipse LEssons and activities

Build a solar eclipse viewer

All you need are a few materials (cereal box or card stock, foil, copy paper, and a pushpin) to build an awesome pinhole projector to safely view a solar eclipse or the sun.

This resource is great because it comes with handouts and a presentation (with pictures!) with step-by-step directions to build an eclipse viewer. It also includes a short background reading and questions, rubric, and a lesson plan for you!

Let Students Explore on their own with an Eclipses Webquest

In this no-prep and ready to go lunar and solar eclipses webquest, students will explore, learn, simulate, and apply knowledge about solar eclipses, lunar eclipses, penumbra, umbra, and types of lunar and solar eclipses. Highly interactive and students love it!

No-Prep ECLIPSES POWERPOINT PACKAGE

This lunar and solar eclipses powerpoint package includes engaging informative slides, student notes, eclipses assessment questions, and a Kahoot. Designed for teachers seeking to enrich their students’ understanding of key concepts such as lunar eclipses, solar eclipses, penumbras, umbras, and more, this resource is a must-have for your classroom.

Practice science literacy with an eclipses reading comprehension

This lunar and solar eclipses reading comprehension and worksheets teach your students about solar eclipses, lunar eclipses, the umbra and penumbra, and types of eclipses. After this guided reading comprehension, students will know and apply how the Earth, moon, and sun align to create the various types of eclipses as seen from Earth.

Encourage student practice with eclipses boom cards

This 32-card interactive eclipses Boom cards deck will challenge your students to learn about lunar and solar eclipses in a fun and interactive new way! This digital resource is hosted on Boom Learning™. Boom Cards™ do not require, laminating, cutting, or even grading! Everything is done for you!

MORE FUN WAYS TO TEACH ABOUT LUNAR AND SOLAR ECLIPSES

Below are some links to quality eclipses resources found around the web for free!

Eclipses Interactive – In this activity, students simulate eclipses by manipulated the moon’s orbit

Viewing Solar Eclipses – Eclipse safety and ways to view a solar eclipse

NASA’s Tour of the 2024 Solar Eclipse – Includes a video and map of the path of totality of the North American 2024 solar eclipse

Solar Eclipses 101 by Nat Geo – A favorite of mine (and my students!)

Modeling Solar Eclipses Lesson Plan – by JPL, this is a great and comprehensive way to model eclipses in your classroom!

Looking for more Earth-Moon-SUN Activities? Check out this growing DISCOUNT ASTRONOMY Bundle!

This is a heavily discounted growing collection of all my seasons, equinoxes, solstices, eclipses, and tides resources at a steep discount! Students will love learning about the earth-moon-sun system with this growing collection of engaging activities. Activities include presentations with notes and games, webquests, graphic organizers, assessments, reading comprehensions, and more!

Interested in a free solar eclipse activity? Click here for a free webquest just in time for the 2024 solar eclipse!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post about solar eclipses! I hope you found it informative and engaging. Exploring the wonders of celestial phenomena like solar eclipses is always an exciting journey, and I’m grateful share these eclipses teaching strategies and activities. If you have any questions or thoughts to share, feel free to leave a comment below. Happy stargazing!