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Solar and Lunar Eclipses

Objectives:

  • The students will learn about solar and lunar eclipses.  

  • The students will be able to explain what causes a solar eclipse and when they occur.

  • The students will be able to explain what causes a lunar eclipse and when they occur.

  • The students will be able to define the terms: umbra, antumbra, and penumbra.

Questions that encompasses the objective:

  • Have you ever heard about an eclipse? 

  • What happens during one?

Prepare the Learner: Activating Prior Knowledge. 

How will students prior knowledge be activated?

Warm up by asking students:

  • What do you know about solar and lunar eclipses?

Common Core State Standards:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1 B

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.4

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.2.2

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2 B

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.1

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.4

Materials and Free Resources to Download for this Lesson: 

  • Video: “Solar Eclipse of March 20, 2015” by File Jack 

  • "Solar System" Science Journal (Teacher Copy)

  • “Solar System” Science Journal (Student Copy)

    • Page 62: Words to Describe Eclipses

    • Pages 63-64: What is a Solar Eclipse?

    • Pages 65-66: What is a Lunar Eclipse?

  • “Notable Lunar Eclipses in History” Activity

    • NASA Website:  Lunar Eclipses of Historical Interest

    • Computers/Laptops/Tablets

    • **If the students do not have access to computers/laptops/tablets, the teacher can print out information sheets for the pairs to use**

    • “Historical Lunar Eclipse” Worksheet

    • "Historical Lunar Eclipse" Sample Worksheet

    • Picture: Map of the World (One for each group if a map is not available in the classroom)

  • “What I Know About Eclipses” worksheet

  • “What I Learned About Eclipses” worksheet

**When the unit is over, download the final assessment for all of the lessons on space for free.

**Here's the answer key.**

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Input:
What is the most important content in this lesson?
To reach this lesson’s objective, students need to understand:

  • What a solar and lunar eclipse is.

  • What causes a solar eclipse and when do they occur?

  • What causes a lunar eclipse and when do they occur?

  • The definitions to the terms: umbra, antumbra, and penumbra.

How will the learning of this content be facilitated?

  • For the first few minutes, the students will fill out the “What I Know About Eclipses” worksheet.

  • The teacher should begin class by showing the students the video “Solar Eclipse of March 20, 2015” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjT5p6UlBDI). The video is about two and a half minutes long and shows what a solar eclipse looks like. After the video is over, the teacher should begin a discussion. The teacher should ask the students if they have ever heard of a solar eclipse or a lunar eclipse. The teacher should explain that solar eclipses are more frequent than lunar eclipses.

  • After the video and discussion is done, the teacher will begin presenting the information on the Solar System. If it is possible, project each page of the teacher’s copy of the “All About the Solar System” Science Journal worksheet onto the board using a projector or put into a PowerPoint document and project.  The teacher’s copy of the journal has certain words/phrases that are bolded red and highlighted. It is important the teacher explain to the students those words/phrases are to be highlighted in their (students) journal. For this lesson, the teacher should review these pages:

  • Page 62:  Words to Describe Eclipses

**  This page reviews the key terms associated with eclipses**

  • Pages 63-64: What is a Solar Eclipse?

** These pages review solar eclipses, including why and when they occur**

  • Pages 65-66: What is a Lunar Eclipse?

** These pages review lunar eclipses, including why and when they occur**

  • After the information has been presented, the students will break into pairs. Each pair will get a “Historical Lunar Eclipse” worksheet. The students will use computers/laptops/tablets to access the NASA website: https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEhistory/LEhistory.html. (Refer to the “Materials” section if computers/laptops/tablets are not available). The students will choose two historical lunar eclipses to view. Then, on the worksheet, the students will fill out the date of the eclipse, significant event, and what each location saw.  (A sample worksheet is included following the lesson plan) Allow the students about 20 minutes to complete the activity.  

Closure,

  • The students should reconvene and the teacher should discuss the activities.

  • The students will then fill out the “What I Learned About Eclipses” worksheet.

  • They will then share with the class, or with a partner, some things they wrote down in their “What I Learned About Eclipses” page.

**The students should keep both of the "What I Know" and "What I Learned" sheets in a folder to put them all together into a book when the unit is finished.​*

Time/Application
3-5 minutes
Guided Introduction

Review the class/ agenda with the students:

  • "What I Know about Eclipses" worksheet

  • Introductory Activity: Video: “Solar Eclipse of March 20, 2015” by File Jack

  • Discussion: Science Journal (Pages 62-66)

  • Activity: “Notable Eclipses in History”

  • Discussion of Activity and "What I Learned about Eclipses" worksheet

20 minutes

Introductory Activity: Video: “Solar Eclipse of March 20, 2015”

  • After the video is over, the teacher should begin a discussion about the content.

15 Minutes

Eclipse Key Terms| What is a Solar Eclipse? | What is a Lunar Eclipse?

  • Instruct the students to open to page 62 in their science journals.

  • Project each page of the science journal onto the board either through a projector or PowerPoint presentation.

  • The teacher copy has bolded red and highlighted words. The students will highlight those words in their science journal.

  • Begin presenting the information. The pages that will be presented include: pages 62-66.

20 Minutes

Activity: “Notable Eclipses in History”

  • Have the students break into pairs.

  • Give each pair will get a “Historical Lunar Eclipse” worksheet.

  • The students will use computers/laptops/tablets to access the NASA website: https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEhistory/LEhistory.html. (Refer to the “Materials” section if computers/laptops/tablets are not available). T

  • The students will choose two historical eclipses to view. Then, on the worksheet, the students will fill out the date of the eclipse, significant event, and what each location saw. 

  • Allow the students about 20 minutes to complete the activity. 

  • Reconvene and review when the students are finished.

Closure/Assessment
10 minutes

  • The students should reconvene and the teacher should discuss the activities.

  • The students will then fill out the “What I Learned About Eclipses” worksheet.

  • They will then share with the class, or with a partner, some things they wrote down in their “What I Learned About Eclipses” page.

**The students should keep both of the "What I Know" and "What I Learned" sheets in a folder to put them all together into a book when the unit is finished.​**


Individualized Instruction/Scaffolding

English Language Learners will be supported in this lesson through data-based heterogeneous grouping, verbal and written repetition of new vocabulary words, and multiple representation of vocabulary words through printed images and video.