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.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

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. 

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • 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: ENGAGE 

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. Describe your observations and what you can infer about the Earth-Sun-Moon positions. (Essential Literacy Skill: Cite evidence to support analysis of what is explicitly said as well as inferences drawn)
  • 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. (Essential  Literacy Skill: Determine central ideas and summarize key details)
  • Creative Coding: Code a newscast about an upcoming solar eclipse. Share details about how to safely view the event. (Essential Literacy Skill: Determine central ideas and summarize key details)
  • Primary Source Activity: Examine and analyze an image of a solar eclipse. (Essential Literacy Skill: Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media) 

Step 4: APPLY & ASSESS 

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

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Eclipse Quiz.

Step 5: EXTEND LEARNING

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

Additional Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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