Middle school Earth and space science - NGSS
Make science come alive in your classroom with this free hands-on investigative activity aligned to middle school NGSS standards.
Activity: what happens during a solar or lunar eclipse?
It’s a beautiful and sunny day outside—but all of a sudden, the sky becomes dark and the temperature drops! As you look up at the sky, carefully shielding your eyes, you notice that something is blocking the sun. It’s a solar eclipse!
In this hands-on activity, students explore the Earth-sun-moon system to learn about which conditions are necessary for a solar or lunar eclipse to occur. Students then apply their knowledge of the Earth-sun-moon system to debunk a common misconception about solar or lunar eclipses.
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This activity is designed to be completed in three 45-minute class periods, with additional time required for follow-up creative projects. The activity consists of the following parts:
- Setting the stage—Students read and demonstrate understanding that the alignment of the Earth, sun, and moon can result in a solar or lunar eclipse. Students also learn about the moon’s tilted orbit and how that affects the frequency of solar and lunar eclipses. (30 minutes)
- Investigation (Part 1)—Students sketch and plan a 3D model of the Earth-sun-moon system to demonstrate the necessary conditions for a solar or lunar eclipse. (15 minutes)
- Investigation (Part 2)—Students create a 3D model of the Earth-sun-moon system to demonstrate the necessary conditions for a solar or lunar eclipse. (45 minutes)
- Let's get creative!—Students are assigned a common misconception about solar or lunar eclipses. Students create a short presentation to address the flaw in the misconception and use their Earth-sun-moon model to demonstrate the correct explanation. (45 minutes)
- Keep creating!—Students can choose from additional project ideas. Each project encourages students to combine scientific knowledge with creativity to produce something new.
NGSS performance expectations
MS-ESS1-1. Develop and use a model of the Earth-sun-moon system to describe the cyclic patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons.
Want to join the conversation?
- im confused ;-;(3 votes)
- If u want to actually do it u have to PRINT IT 😭😭😭😡😡🤬(2 votes)
- when is the next solar eclipse ?(2 votes)
- search up when will a solar eclipse happen then right you state or town you live in on google then it should say the date . for example when will a solar eclipse happen in texas(1 vote)
- When is the next solar eclipse in California?(2 votes)
- In 2024 most parts of California should be able to see a partial solar eclipse, only about half the sun. Idk when the next total one is. Hope this helps!(1 vote)