# Homeschool Eclipse

Created by Last updated 7/21/2017

The solar eclipse is the perfect opportunity to introduce a variety of science topics and connect to math, language arts, history, and social studies. Below is a collection of activities by subject and age level to engage your entire homeschool family or homeschool co-op in this fascinating astronomical event. Suggested age level and connections to other subjects are noted in the descriptions.

• ## Eclipse: An Introduction

[Ages 4-11, ECLIPSE, LANGUAGE ARTS] Part of a larger unit on the sun, this site includes lots of activities about the sun with language arts and math connections. Learners can construct a model of the sun, Earth, and moon motions, observe and manipulate the 3-D models, and simulate the movement of these bodies during an eclipse. Activities culminate with a book of all the student work – including wonderful art projects – great for portfolios. (University of California, Berkeley – Project FIRST)
AAAS Benchmarks: 4A/E4
• ## Big Sun, Small Moon?

[AGES 4-11, ECLIPSE] Use a plate and coin to illustrate a solar eclipse and investigate how a much smaller moon can eclipse the larger sun. This activity is one of the 13 activities in the DIY Sun Science app. The app allows families and educators to investigate and learn about the sun at home, at school, or anywhere you go! The app provides 13 free, easy to use, hands-on activities, plus images, videos, and much more! Each activity includes material lists, step-by-step instructions, and detailed explanations. (Lawrence Hall of Science)
• ## Measuring Angular Size and Distance

[Ages 10-14 ECLIPSE] Build a shoebox solar eclipse simulator. Explore distance and proportions between the Earth, moon, and sun and investigate angular size and paths of totality. Good math connections. (NASA CONNECT, Path of Totality)
AAAS Benchmarks: 9C/M9, 11B/E4, 1C/M1
• ## Eclipses and Moon Phases

[Ages 13-18, ECLIPSE] Investigate how Einstein needed a total eclipse in order to demonstrate how the sun's mass bends the light from a far away star. Good connection with physics and history with use of source documents – newspaper article from 1919.
AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/M5
• ## Ancient Eclipses and the Length of Day

[Ages 11-18, ECLIPSE MATH] Math activity comparing the track of a solar eclipse in Babylonian times to calculate the rate at which the day is lengthening over time. (SpaceMATH, page 24 of the PDF document).
AAAS Benchmarks: 2C/M1, 10F/M6, 2B/H3
• ## Earth's Orbit

[Ages 10-14, MATH] Build a pin-hole camera out of a shoe box to calculate the size of the sun (NASA's Eye on the Sun, page 21)
AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/H3, 12B/M5, 4A/M3
• ## Pinhole Camera: All the Sun Through the Eye of a Pinhole

[Ages 13-18, MATH] Construct a pinhole projector to project an image of the sun, observe and record the size of the projected image, and calculate the diameter of the sun using the measurements and a known distance to the Sun. (Touch the Sun, Chabot Space Science Center, pg 64)
AAAS Benchmarks: 9C/H1, 12B/M7b, 1B/M1b
• ## Modeling the Motions of Earth, Moon and Sun

[Ages 4-11, SCIENCE] This kinesthetic activity invites learners to use their bodies to model how these celestial bodies move relative to each other. Offers a 3D demonstration for understanding of the causes of the day/night cycle, the seasons and the cycle of lunar phases.
AAAS Benchmarks: 11C/E4, 4B/E2bc
• ## The Cause of the Phases of the Moon

[Ages 4-11, SCIENCE] This learner-centered activity invites the child to figure out the positioning of a ball (moon) to a light source (sun). The child constructs their knowledge of what causes the lunar phases. This activity can also be preceded with a month of Moon-watching and recording first hand observations.
AAAS Benchmarks: 11C/E4
• ## The Moon Orbits the Sun?!

[Ages 13-18, SCIENCE/MATH] Construct a model to demonstrate the moon’s orbit around the sun. Learners will also compare the strengths of the gravitational forces exerted on the Moon by the Sun and by the Earth.
AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/M5
• ## Golf Ball Phases

[Ages 13-18, SCIENCE] Explore the dynamics of lunar phases to develop an understanding of the relative positions of our moon, Earth, and sun that cause the phases of the moon as viewed from Earth. Using a golf ball glowing under the ultraviolet light (“blacklight”) makes it easier to see the phases of the moon. (Lunar and Planetary Institute)
AAAS Benchmarks: , 4B/M5
• ## Schoolyard Medicine Wheel

[Multiple ages, LANGUAGE ARTS, SOCIAL STUDIES, MATH] This collection from the Chabot Space Center offers great activities for the whole family- such as making an ancient calendar with sidewalk chalk. This resource introduces the basics of Earth and Sun motion and provides great connections to math, and Native American history (pages 15-30). Continue the activities throughout the year and track the equinox in September and March and the solstice in December. Additional activities include an Indoor Solar Calendar (pages 31-44) and Birthday Beam (pages 45-56). Both are great family activities for building a family birthday calendar.(Cabot Space and Science Center)
AAAS Benchmarks: 1B/M1b, 3A/E3, 1A/E2
• ## Scale Model of Sun and Earth

[Multiple Ages, SCIENCE] Introduce size and scale with cut out scaled images of the sun and Earth. Placing these approximately sixty-five feet apart will demonstrate the size scale and distance scale of the sun and Earth.
AAAS Benchmarks: 12B/M5
• ## DIY Sun Science

[Multiple Ages, SCIENCE] he DIY Sun Science app allows families and educators to investigate and learn about the sun at home, at school, or anywhere you go! It provides 13 free, easy to use, hands-on activities, plus images, videos, and much more. Each activity includes material lists, step-by-step instructions, and detailed explanations. (Lawrence Hall of Science)
• ## Mysteries of the Sun

[Multiple Ages, SCIENCE] This is a resource about the sun and its effects on the rest of the Solar System. Learners will watch movie clips and read a guidebook of information about space weather, solar variability, the heliosphere, Earth’s magnetosphere and upper atmosphere, as well as the solar mysteries that scientists are still studying. (NASA)
AAAS Benchmarks: 4A/H2cd, 4E/M2, 4F/M8, 4G/H7
• ## Plotting the Apparent Daily Motion of the Sun

[Ages 13-18, SCIENCE EXTENSION - Seasons] Learners will examine the location and height of the Sun relative to the seasons. (Astronomical Society of the Pacific)
AAAS Benchmarks: 12D/H1, 11C/M6
• ## Why is Summer Hot?

[Ages 10-14, SCIENCE EXTENSION - Seasons] This activity, effective outdoors or indoors, demonstrates how insolation is affected by latitude by using a pair of thermometers, each taped to some cardboard, placed outside on a sunny day. (PUMAS)
AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/H3
• ## Kinesthetic Astronomy

[Ages 10-14, SCIENCE EXTENSION - Seasons] Multiple activities exploring how the Earth’s tilt, orbit, and angle of the sun’s rays influence temperature between seasons and latitudes. Investigate how Earth’s orbit as an ellipse (p. 27), construct a sun angle analyzer (p. 33), and act out the rotation and revolution motions of Earth around the sun (p.51) in kinesthetic Astronomy (NASA, Science of the Sun)
AAAS Benchmarks: 4A/E4, 4B/E2bc, 4B/H3
• ## MY NASA DATA: Seasons

[Ages 8-11, SCIENCE EXTENSION - Seasons] In this data analysis activity, students connect the idea of the tilt and orbit of the earth (changing of seasons) with monthly snow/ice data. Children under 8 may need additional assistance.
AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/P1, 4B/P2, 4B/E3, 9B/E2
• ## Our Very Own Star: the Sun

[Ages 4-11, SCIENCE EXTENSION / LANGUAGE ARTS] This is a storybook about the Sun. Learners will read or hear about the Sun, its relationship to Earth, and how the Sun can affect Earth.
AAAS Benchmarks: 4A/E5, 4E/P1, 10A/M2
• ## Reasons for the Seasons

[Ages 4-11, SCIENCE EXTENSION - Seasons] Compare the seasons though identifying seasonal activities and drawing scenes in each season. Then, they compare the temperature on thermometers left under a lamp for different lengths of time to explore how Earth heats more when the sun is in the sky for longer periods of time. Finally, learners use a flashlight and a globe to investigate how the spherical shape of Earth causes the seasons to be opposite in each hemisphere. This hands-on activity is an additional lesson as part of the book, Adventures in the Attic (NASA)
AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/M13, 4B/H3, 12D/M1
• ## Think Scientifically: Adventures in the Attic

[Ages 4-11, SCIENCE EXTENSION - Seasons] Companion booklet for the "Reason for the Seasons" activity.
AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/H3, 11B/E4
• ## Think Scientifically: The Day Joshua Jumped Too Much

[Ages 4-11, SCIENCE EXTENSION / LANGUAGE ARTS] This is a book about the importance of the Sun's energy as it relates to its impact on the Earth’s environment.
AAAS Benchmarks: 4E/P1, 4E/M2, 5E/E2
• ## American Indian Starlore

[Multiple Ages, LANGUAGE ARTS, SOCIAL STUDIES] Explore folklore about the sky from native Americans as language arts and history connections. Those specific to the sun include Raven and the Sun, Three-legged Rabbit, Coyote and Eagle Steal the Sun and Moon, Boy and the Sun, Sun and Her Daughter, Spider and the Sun, Little Brother Snares the Sun, One Who Walks all Over the Sky, and Fifth World. (Western Washington University)
• ## Myths About The Moon - Windows to the Universe

[Multiple Ages, LANGUAGE ARTS, SOCIAL STUDIES] Many cultures around the world have interesting myths about the moon, reflecting its importance to daily life. Discover some of the interesting beliefs of early civilizations. Compare and find similarities between different myths and cultures.
• ## Sun Myths - Windows to the Universe

[Multiple Ages, LANGUAGE ARTS, SOCIAL STUDIES] Many cultures around the world have interesting myths about the sun, reflecting its importance to daily life. Discover some of the interesting beliefs of early civilizations. Compare and find similarities between different myths and cultures.