Check out some of the activities below to host your own mini "eclipse camp" at home:
- Oreo Phases of the Eclipse: We put a twist on a well-known cookie-based moon activity! Before creating your own Oreo phases of the eclipse, discuss what the terms "partial" and "total" mean. Use this template to practice using these two vocabulary words in context. If you are working with an older child, you may also want to discuss the four points of contact that happen during an eclipse!
- Myth Telling: Add in a literary component to a scientific topic! There are a number of myths that deal with solar and lunar eclipses. Many of these myths involve an animal that attempts to eat the sun. (Check out this "Reader's Theatre" script we created to see what we mean.) Ultimately, this giant creature is frightened away by the noisy people of Earth who cry loudly in fear, bang on drums, set off fireworks, etc. We read three myths and then completed a three-part Venn diagram to compare and contrast them. After realizing that all three myths involved loud noises, we decided to make our own drums for the upcoming eclipse in Jackson. We also wrote our own myths and decorated our tin-can drums with pictographs symbolizing these stories.
- Vocabulary Development: Use bubble-lettered words, like these, to practice visually depicting what new terms mean. We colored in the word "solar" so that it looked like a sun. We then fully colored in the word "total", but left some letters in "partial" white to illustrate the difference between totality and partiality. Beyond this, we made the words "solar eclipse" look eclipsed themselves.
- Spin Art: Use watered-down paint to create your very own sun and moon. See this blog entry for more information on using salad spinners to do this. Add in an Earth to demonstrate the concept of syzygy.