Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Eclipse, and supports the standard of analyzing the Earth-Sun-Moon system to describe the cyclic patterns of Sun and Moon eclipses. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Display an image of a solar eclipse, such as the one shown below:

Ask students:

  • What do you observe about the image?
  • Do you know what it is called when the Moon blocks the Sun? Explain. 


  • Read the description on the Eclipse topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the three Related Reading articles. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Students take the Eclipse Challenge and Quiz, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about eclipses while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a video journal from the perspective of an astrologist viewing a lunar or solar eclipse. In your movie, answer this question: What can you infer about the Earth-Sun-Moon positions from your observations? 
  • Make-a-Map: Make a cycle map identifying and explaining the Earth-Sun-Moon positions leading up to and following a solar and moon eclipse. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a newscast about an upcoming solar eclipse. Share details about how to safely view the event. 
  • Primary Source Activity: Analyze an image of a solar eclipse and cite evidence to answer the accompanying questions.

More to Explore

Space Unit: Continue to build understanding around Earth’s place in the universe by exploring more BrainPOP space topics.

Teacher Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments