Science Activities

1) Grades K-2    A collection of month-by-month activities for primary students in pdf format: k-2 SolarEclipseActivities and K-2 LessonswithResources. These resources were collected and organized by Cathy Lindner, who has taught Kindergarten for many years and Meteicha Green, an experienced primary teacher. The list will be updated periodically.
  • The slideshow below features Trico 3rd to 5th grade science students participating in a variety of space science activities – many featured in the resources linked above –  as they learn about Earth’s place in the Universe.  
  • They measure shadows hourly, collect data, then graph the results on the 21st of each month.  Thanks to Mrs. Witt-ski, they were able to hold disks containing real moon rock and meteorite samples as they learned about NASA’s space missions.  
  • Students were amazed that their paper plate shadow clocks really did work, and have plans to install a human shadow clock on school grounds this year.  
  • As we learn about the phases of the moon and why we see the moon as we do, they were able to recreate an orbiting moon model in a dark room with flashlights and ping-pong balls on sticks.  
  • To help learn the terminology of the changing phases, they used chocolate sandwich cookies to fashion moon phases from the cream centers.  As each group successfully completed and described their lunar cookie cycle, they got to eat their success!  I love hearing students come in each day and say things like, “Did you see the moon last night, Mrs. Hepp?  I saw it and it was a waxing crescent!”  They are learning the cycle well as they predict what the moon will look like night after night.  Space science is fascinating!   – Oreo Moon Phase Activity

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2) Grades K-8 More resources from Michelle at Adler Planetarium, Chicago!  Michelle has prepared a PowerPoint with an accompanying script/read me that teachers can use. She has included inexpensive activities that teachers can use to help students understand the eclipse.   Both are pdf files. Inexpensive_eclipse_activities_FINAL_small (2)READ_ME_Inexpensive_eclipse_activities_FINAL (1)

3) All Ages Here’s a free download of the song – The Day the Day Became Night – A song used to teach students about solar eclipses. Written in 1998 for the full solar eclipse in Maracaibo, Venezuela. When the sun was completely blocked by the moon and the birds stopped singing, the students around me broke out into song; the song I’d written for them. It was probably my best teaching moment ever! Recorded quickly during the fun and excitement leading up to the eclipse 🙂
Easy to learn. Difficult vocabulary made easy. The author also has the mp3 with lyrics sheet to download for a nominal fee.

4)  Grades 3-8 Students may wonder why eclipses don’t happen all the time.  Here’s a great way to let students model eclipses using hula hoops.  The linked file is from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.  A4_Modeling_Eclipses

5)  Grades 3-5 Make Your Own Eclipse from Universe Awareness

6) Grades 1-4 NASA Wavelength – Eye on the Sky, Project FIRST – Fostering Reading Through Science & Technology.  This is an activity introducing the topic of eclipses with a focus on solar eclipses. Learners will first identify what they already know about eclipses. They will also vocalize any questions they may have concerning eclipses. Next, a book is read out loud in class and students are asked to identify related vocabulary words for a Science Reading Wall as well as determine if any answers have been found for their initial questions. Lastly, learners will complete journal prompts to better identify concepts learned. This activity will require the acquisition of one of two listed books. This is Activity 10 of a larger resource, entitled Eye on the Sky.

7) Grades 1-4  Making a Solar Eclipse Book: The Sun and Moon During Solar Eclipse

This is an activity about how to model and label a solar eclipse. Learners will paint and label an illustration of the Sun and Moon as they appear during a solar eclipse. Learners will also use their illustrations of the Sun to write a descriptive paragraph of solar characteristics and features. These illustrations are meant to be used as covers for their portfolio book which will contain the work sheets and student writings compiled throughout the entire Eye on the Sky suite of lessons. This is Activity 13 of a larger resource entitled Eye on the Sky.

8) Grades 1-4  The entire suite of Eye on the Sky lessons 

9) Grades 4 and up  Just click on the photo below to read about where and how it was taken.  This is another amazing eclipse photo, and one that can be a springboard to a great activity for your students.  After introducing them to solar eclipses, how they occur, and what happens during an eclipse, pose the question: What else will you be able to see in the sky during the eclipse?  We are accustomed to seeing constellations, planets, the moon, and sometimes meteors and comets in the night sky. But when the eclipse occurs, Earth will be facing its normal “daytime” view for the summer month of August.  What will the view be like during totality?  This is a great research/predict/cite evidence activity that will really get your students thinking!druckmueller-2

10)  Grades 2-5  Summary of Activity:  How Big is the Sun? Exploring the Size and Scale of the Sun, Earth and Moon Students will explore the relative sizes of the Sun, Earth and Moon as they make an impressive large-scale model for classroom use throughout the unit. Bring art, science, and math together with this activity!


11)  ORBIT: The Open Resource Bank for Interactive Teaching – Complete lesson plans, downloadable files, and related links are included on the website.

Solar and Lunar Eclipse To show and explain how a Solar and Lunar eclipse occurs

Lesson idea. Researching and creating a simulation of an eclipse from two points of view, with sliders that enable the users to interact with the simulation.

Teaching approach. This lesson features a ‘real life’ example for students to explore using visualisation via GeoGebra. The focus on ‘real life’ increases student motivation.  The activity engages pupils in group talk mathematical thinkingand vocabulary. This open ended task encourages higher orderthinking, and encourages whole classdiscussion/questioning and inquiry projects.

12)  Make a Moon Phase Box

13)  Moon Phases Demonstration

14)   Sun Cookies Activity

15)   Shaving Cream Sun Paper

16)  Eclipse: How can the little Moon hide the giant Sun?

17)  Scale Model of Sun and Earth

18)  Modeling Meaningful Eclipses: Use Questions to Deepen Eclipse Understanding

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