As you may have known, we will be experiencing a partial eclipse this Monday in San Francisco. What we probably haven’t noticed is that we are not going to experience a total eclipse from where we are at. If you want to see it live, click on the following NASA link (https://www.nasa.gov/eclipselive-info) We have be at specific location to see this phenomenon in full. But that shouldn’t stop you from experiencing it.
I personally don’t have any eclipse glasses hanging around for myself and my student, I love to get my 6th grade homeroom learners involved in some inquiry around this phenomenon. So I’m sharing a couple tactics at our disposal so that your students can engage and explore in this phenomenon even if you are not a science teacher. Just get out of the classroom and explore. Below is a Inquiry Based lesson plan that you can use on your first day of school.
Walk outside and find a shady area underneath a tree with a little bit of sun peaking through. Have your student look at the ground and ask them,
- WHAT DO YOU NOTICE?
- DESCRIBE THE SHAPE OF THE LIGHT PROJECTION AND SHADOWS.
- WHY DO YOU THINK THIS PROJECTION SHAPED THIS WAY ON THE DAY OF THE ECLIPSE?
- HOW WOULD THIS PROJECTION LOOK LIKE IF IT WAS A NON-ECLIPSE DAY?
- WHY ARE SOME LIGHT PROJECTIONS, FUZZY AND OTHERS NOT?
- Also don’t forget to illicit questions from your curious kids.
Below is a picture of what you should see:
The methods below are safe methods that don’t required you to look up. Make sure to go over safety. Below is video by Paul Doherty from the Exploratorium going over the consequences of looking at the Eclipse.
The following methods are safe methods that don’t require you to look at the sun.
Option 1- Pinhole Method (SAFE)
Option 2- Box Method- *** HIGHLY RECOMMENDED AND FUN***
Explain why some area will experience a total solar eclipse while other areas experience a partial eclipse.
Pick a variety of areas away from eclipse totality. Predict what the maximum eclipse coverage that area would experience. Explain why.
Have your kids draw a model of how an eclipse works. Make sure they label their drawing and have them write a brief explanation of their drawing
If students need help creating this model, show this video.