I am ecstatic to share with you a science unit to kick off the school year! This unit is designed around a rare occurrence in the U.S. A Solar Eclipse! If you are looking for ways to teach your children about the solar eclipse before it happens, THIS is the science unit for you!
Here are the skills addressed in this unit: Eclipse and Patterns of the Sun, Moon, and Earth
- Realize the Sun is our nearest star and that it’s position seems to change throughout the day
- Observe and make data on the Sun’s position throughout the day
- Make observations of changes in the Moon’s appearance over time
- Draw and record changes in the Moon over time
- Analyze patterns, relationships, relative movements among the Earth, Moon, and Stars
- Develop an explanation for the phases of the moon and for lunar and solar eclipes
- Organize the order of the moon phases in the correct sequence
- Infer that the moon’s phases are caused by the revolution of the Earth
Get ready to get in-indepth with SCIENCE! Teaching tools, different types of activities, and experiments will get your kids fascinated with SCIENCE!
HOW IS THE UNIT COVERED?
Each topic of study includes an anchor poster, reading passage and vocabulary activities. The lessons can be taught as a whole group, with a small group or as individual activities. The teacher can choose to hit on concepts previously learned for review, or to use the reading passages to challenge students ready to move on to a tougher concept.
HOW TO TEACH THE UNIT
The grade level standards are in line with 2nd-4th grade. Each concept builds on the other, which makes it easy to teach to multiple age levels. It is a relief to know that ALL of the space standards are covered for kids ages 2nd to 4th grade. These lessons can be used as a whole curriculum for your space lessons, or can be used to supplement your current curriculum.
This unit is very flexible in a way to teach in any way the teacher sees fit. Below you will find an example of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity for students who are ready to relate a little physics to the eclipse. There are also basic anchor posters for students who are just beginning their exploration of our universe.
COMPONENT NUMBER 1
Anchor Charts and Reading Passages- We all know children need visuals to help understand tough concepts such as our universe. This is why I made sure to create anchor charts for every concept covered. These anchor charts and reading passages will allow students to practice reading text features such as illustrations and captions. The reading passages are written to help students understand the basic concepts of the patterns of our universe. Best of all, are the activities and experiments to solidify the learning.
COMPONENT NUMBER TWO
Activities- There are different activities to help students demonstrate their knowledge. These activities are fun and creative for those kids who love to create! The activities provided are beneficial because:
***It provides a way for kids to review and remember what was learned.
***It helps students keep track of progress on what is learned.
***It teaches multiple skills such as writing, researching, and presenting.
***Students take pride in something they have created.
A Quick Overview of the Activities
This comprehensive and full science unit ensures that all space topic standards are taught and practiced in multiple ways. This unit provides critical thinking, use of manipulatives, colorful and insightful teaching tools, and interactive activities to keep the kids’ minds active!
HERE IT IS IN ACTION
Activity Number 1: Eclipse Lapbook
You can use either a regular file folder, or a 9 X 12 piece of construction paper. There are multiple activities to fill up your lap book. Eclipse drawings, eclipse facts, facts about Einstein, acrostic poem, and a map to color in the path of the eclipse.
Activity Number 2: Vocabulary Notebooking
This activity allows students to play a game with their vocabulary words. A little like the game Scattergories, students write clue words on the outside of the their vocabulary words and a friend has to guess the word before they open the whole vocabulary word.
Activity Number 3: Vocabulary Cards
There are countless ways to use these cards. The phases of the moon are labeled on these cards which would make a great sequencing game. Memory could also be played with these cards or a simple matching game. There is a list of ideas provided in the unit.
Activity Number 4: Moon Phase Sequencing Wheel
This activity can be used in two ways: either as a way to study the moon phases, or to use as an assessment. Either way, younger kids will like putting together the wheel to see the next phase of the moon as it orbits the Earth.
There is also a matching moon phase assessment that can be used in place of this activity for students who would rather just take the test.
Activity #5 Chart the Sun and Moon
This is our experiment activity. Students will be required to measure an object to see how it’s shadow shows our rotation. Also, the students will draw the moon each night to show another example of the moon’s phases.
ORGANIZING THE UNIT
I like to print the whole unit off and then place in page protectors in a 3 ring binder. I laminate the anchor charts and the vocabulary words.
I keep the vocabulary words in a ziplock baggie and the anchor charts go into an accordion style file folder.
I love having my space unit all ready to go before the eclipse begins August 21st. That will give us two whole weeks to work on the unit before we actually see a solar eclipse!
If you have any questions about the unit, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you enjoy studying about our universe with your kids and hope this helps enhance your eclipse watching this summer!