Our entire school system received eclipse viewing glasses, so August 21st it was game on! We only saw a 90% eclipse, but it was still exciting. Students in grades 2-5 went outside, while K-gr.1 stayed inside watching live feeds and eating Moon Pies and drinking Capri Suns! I really enjoyed seeing the students’ amazement and surprise as they watched the progression of the eclipse. I had practiced with nearly all of the classes in the 2 weeks leading up to the eclipse. They used glasses and pin hole cameras made of cereal boxes. We also practiced directing the sun through binoculars onto paper for a different view. They used all of these methods on the day.
Nothing says “solar eclipse” like a t-shirt and a special eclipse doughnut from Krispy Kreme! Chocolate glazed…mmmm.
It was very hot and humid so standing around in black t-shirts was a questionable decision, but hey, it’s only a once in a life time event for many.
I like the expression on their faces!
One 5th grade class made eclipse t-shirts for the occation.
Students used the cereal box pin hole cameras they made to get a different view of the sun.
We also used binoculars to get a glimpse of the eclipse.
I used white paper to show the eclipse shaped projected through the leaves of the tree.
I showed students how to create the sun’s image through their crossed fingers.
We will be gathering students and staff reaction to the solar eclipse experience using Flipgrid and will share the link as more responses are ready.
We, in Albany, Georgia, are not in the path of totality of the August 21st solar eclipse, but the sun will be 90% eclipsed here. Our school system has decided to extend the school day for students from 2:30 to 3:30 to avoid children being transported on buses during the eclipse. I wanted to get the students excited now!
I’ve adapted this lesson for the different grade levels and varying amounts of time I have with a class. I’ve now decided that all classes grades 1-5 will practice viewing the sun safely up until the day of the eclipse.
I started out with a fifth grade class on Monday and they used my Livebinder to access a online dictionary to look up the word eclipse and view a brief video from USA Today. They recorded one fact they learned from the video. I did this as a whole group activity (using the projector and screen) for the younger grades or if I didn’t have sufficient time with the older students.
One student made a cereal box eclipse viewer, which we then used to view the sun.
I’ve adapted this lesson through out the week and of course some days we couldn’t practice because it got cloudy! But hopefully all the classes will have the opportunity to practice with the eclipse glasses (which they will all have on the 21st), a cereal box viewer, and binocular viewing before eclipse day.
Almost every time they see the sun through the glasses, they say “Wow,” “Cool,” or “Whoa!” (By the way the boys not using the glasses are swatting away gnats….it’s a south Georgia phenomenon).
We experimented to see if you could take a photo of the projection of the sun inside the cereal box viewer and you can! We’ll be ready to record the different shapes of the sun as it makes it way to 90% of being obscured.The binocular projection method is trickier, but they all loved it when we were successfully in projecting the sun on the paper.
I can’t wait!
I am repeating this project for the third year with 3rd grade students. We start out reading the biography of Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, illustrated by Marian Azarian and follow (the next week) with the students researching snow using atlases, dictionaries and encyclopedias (online). The third week we review the information they gathered about snow and go on to cutting out paper snowflakes.
Cutting Paper Snowflakes
The first time I did this activity with students I was amazed that not one student had ever cut out paper snow flakes. I spent hours as a child cutting snowflakes out of white paper, pages from magazines, any kind of paper I could get my hands on. So it is so much fun watching them unfold their snowflakes and almost universally gasp when they see their creation!
Exploring Websites with Thinglink
I revised my Thinglink image and attempted to have the students use their tablets (we are a 1:1 device school). https://www.thinglink.com/scene/479319938847211522I tried out the Thinglink on a tablet and the links all worked, so I had the first class bring their tablets. However, the best laid plans…only 2 out of 21 tablets displayed the website correctly! So, plan B was to use the 8 desktops in the library. This meant the students had to share, but otherwise it was smooth. I figured out that I could use Livebinders as I have used it successfully in the past; it’s just doesn’t look as cool as Thinglink!
I designed a graphic organizer to guide the students as they used the Thinglink (or Livebinder) and explored the various websites. I think it helped the students stay on task. It also gave the students a way to think about what they were watching, reading or exploring.
Students creating digital snowflakes! It’s very addictive.