Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Total eclipse of Room 5

My kids are smack dab in the middle of their study of the moon and its phases.  In our district, we don't have a science book.  Well, that's a lie.  We do, but it's copyright date is somewhere in the early 80's.  In fact, I think it's the exact same one I used when I was in elementary school.   So, we don't really have a science book. 

I have compiled a bunch of materials from online, print, and created activities to  make a unit on the moon.  Today, we did one of my favorite interactive science lesson to teach eclipses.  

So, here's a refresher: 
Lunar eclipse:  The earth casts a shadow on the moon.

Solar eclipse: The moon casts a shadow on the earth.

Ok you're up to date.

So to do this experiment, my kids needed a pencil, a "moon" and a flashlight.  Their head was the earth.

Basically, their partner shined a light on the other partner's face.

The partner's face becomes the earth, and they have to manipulate the moon (a styrofoam ball on a pencil tip) to show a lunar and solar eclipse.  

So here, he was trying to show a lunar eclipse, using his head (the earth) to block part/the whole moon.  They have to keep their arm straight out and witness a complete eclipse to be successful in this activity.

The pictures of the boys above are great because you can see exactly half of the "moon" lit up right before he moves it in the shadow of his face.  

In this picture, she is lining up her moon to come across her face to show a solar eclipse.  

I love when I can get the students up and moving, and it's so neat to see those "lightbulb" moments when they really see something in action.

Today my students continued by playing a matching game with the phases of the moon (matching the name and the picture).  AND, coming soon, we're going to do an amazingly yummy and fun moon activity with Oreos (if I don't eat all them first).

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