Are you looking for exciting and interactive fun solar eclipse activities to teach your elementary school students about the upcoming 2024 Great American TOTAL Solar Eclipse?
Today, I’m going to share several fun solar eclipse activities with you to help you celebrate the 2024 total eclipse in your classroom.
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Introduce Solar Eclipse Vocabulary
You can use these vocabulary cards to teach your students solar eclipse terms. For lower grades students, you can use the picture cards to match with the vocabulary terms. For older students, you can use the definitions.
Create Shadows to Demonstrate the Positions of the Sun, Earth, and Moon
One way to visually demonstrate the positions of the sun, Earth, and moon during a solar eclipse is by creating shadows. This hands-on activity allows students to understand the alignment and movements of the sun, moon, and Earth. Set up a simple experiment using a light source (representing the Sun), a globe (representing the Earth), and a smaller object like a tennis ball or ping pong ball (representing the Moon). By moving the smaller object slowly, students can observe how the shadow changes, representing the different stages of a solar eclipse.
Once you’ve demonstrated this, you can put your students in groups of 3 and have them act out the solar eclipse with their partners.
Students can show their understanding by writing about what happens during a solar eclipse.
Create Solar Eclipse 2024 Wearables and Have a Photo Shoot
Use the photo props included in my 2024 Great American Solar Eclipse resource to have a fun and memorable photoshoot with your class! Your students will love to color the solar eclipse crowns and pose with the different photo props. I’ve also included silly TOTAL glasses your students can make!
Teach your students more about solar eclipses using videos. Here are two of my favorites from the 2017 Great American Solar Eclipse.
Read Alouds to Teach About Solar Eclipses
Other Fun Solar Eclipse Activities
My Great American Solar Eclipse resource includes many fun activities that you can use with both upper and lower grades students. You can also use the different options to differentiate for your students based on their abilities. Here are some of the activities included!
Students can color the path of totality and list all of the states in the path. They can also put a star on the map to show where they live in relation to the path. Use the link I included in the resource to determine what the eclipse will look like where your school is!
Students can create mini books that teach them about solar eclipses. There are two versions, upper and lower grades versions. The upper grades version teaches about solar eclipses, while the lower grades version uses sequencing words and pictures for students to color the phases of a solar eclipse.
Students can read a reading passage about the 2024 eclipse and answer written response reading comprehension questions.
Here Are a Few More Ways to Incorporate the Solar Eclipse Into Your Lessons
Eclipse-themed Poetry: After viewing the eclipse, have your students write eclipse-themed poems. Encourage them to use descriptive language and imagery to capture the feelings and imagery associated with a solar eclipse. Students can experiment with different types of poems, such as haikus or acrostic poems, to express their thoughts and feelings about this special event.
Design Solar Eclipse Posters: Have students design posters that educate others about the upcoming solar eclipse. Provide them with information about the eclipse, including the science behind it and safety precautions. (NOTE–always use authentic safety glasses if you plan to let your students view the eclipse!!) Let your students make eye-catching posters using markers, colored pencils, and images related to the Sun, Moon, and Earth. Display these posters around the school to raise awareness and excitement about the upcoming eclipse!
Creative Writing: Have students write about what the solar eclipse would look like if you experienced it from the moon! Students can write a short story about standing on the moon and what they witness!
I hope all of these ideas help you have a memorable day with your students. Check out my unit for more fun solar eclipse activities!