Solar Eclipse- Part 2

8 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


Students will be able to explain what a solar eclipse is with a drawing and a written paragraph.

Big Idea

We will continue to learn about what happens during a solar eclipse as well as learn more about the different types of solar eclipses.

Lesson Overview

5 minutes

 5E Lesson Planning:

I plan most of my science lessons using the BSCS 5E Lesson Model: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate.For a quick overview of the model, take a look at this video.

I use this lesson model because it peaks the students' interest in the beginning during the "Engage" portion and allows for the students to actively participate in the investigations throughout the subsequent steps. The “Evaluate” component of the 5E Lesson Model can be used in many ways by the teacher and by the students.

A great resource for lesson plan frameworks and explanations is the Community Resources for Science.The 5E Lesson Planning Template and 5E Lesson Planning Prompts come from this website. 

Unit Overview:

In this Unit students will learn about the solar system by studying the sun, the moon, planets and stars. In the first three lessons the students will learn about the Sun. Lessons 4 through 7 focus on the movement of the Earth around the Sun. Lessons 8 and 9 are lessons about Orreries, lessons 10 and 11 cover solar eclipses, lessons 12 and 13 are about the moon, lesson 14 discusses the other planets in the Solar System, and the last 4 lessons (15-18) are about stars and constellations.  

Lesson Overview:

This is a continuation of Solar Eclipse- Part 1. This lesson will include a summative assessment of the investigation about solar eclipses through an expository writing assignment and a drawing of what happens during a solar eclipse.

I decide to focus part 1 of my lesson on the investigation by looking through a pinhole viewer at the partial eclipse. The students then draw about their experience in their science journals and we then read an article about what an eclipse is. We use the non-fiction article from NASA to learn more about eclipses and we write an outline, rough draft, and final paragraph to summarize our learning.

This lesson focused on the "Elaborate" and "Evaluate" steps of a 5 E lesson. 

Next Generation Science Standards:

This lesson does not cover a specific performane expectation of the NGSS, but it provide a background for the following standard:


Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky.

Disciplinary Core Ideas:  

This lesson aligns to the Disciplinary Core Ideas from the Earth and Space Science:

ESS1.B: Earth and the Solar System. The Earth’s orbit and rotation around the Sun,and the orbit of the moon around the Earth cause observable patterns. 

Crosscutting Concepts:


  • Similarities and differences in patterns can be used to sort, classify, communicate and analyze simple rates of change for natural phenomena. (5-ESS1-2)

Cause and Effect

  • Events have causes, sometimes simple, sometimes multifaceted. A major activity of science is investigating and explaining causal relationships and the mechanisms by which they are mediated. 





20 minutes

After our investigation about solar eclipses, I have the students re-read the article and make annotations  on the article using the marks developed by Susan Watanabe. Here is the link to her blog where she writes about close Reading and annotation. The Read with a Pen-Annotation is what my students use when they are reading and marking up an article or passage. Students also write notes in the margin of the article. Here are some Student annotation notes and Student #2 annotation notes.

After they read the article, I explain to the students that we are going to write a summary of the article and investigation. I tell them that we are going to focus on the information about solar eclipses since the article also included information about lunar eclipses. I give them an outline form to fill out. 

We use a writing curriculum called "Step Up to Writing" and the students are familiar with writing what we call a "T-Note". The outlines allow for students to organize their thoughts to prepare for writing the paragraph. This is one of the Informal Outline

After they write their "T-Note" or outline, I show the students the summary writing scoring rubric to let  them know how I will going to grade their papers. I also give them a copy of the rubric. We talk about the acronyms of CUPS (Capitalization, Usage, Punctuation and Spelling) and ARMS (Add, Remove, Move, Substitute) to use while they are writing. I have these acronyms as anchor charts and they have a copy in their writing notebooks. 

I tell the students to put away the Eclipse article and to write their Rough Draft of solar eclipse paragraph in their science notebooks. They use the outline to write their sentences and complete the rough draft.




30 minutes

After the students complete  the rough draft, the students meet with 2 others to do some peer editing based on the Summary Writing Rubric. The students also had me look over their paragraphs to give them feedback. They then write their final drafts. I want to have the students write a summary for a couple of reasons. First, I want them to show me that they understood the content of the article and second, I want them to practice writing a summary or expository paragraph. Here are students having a Peer Editing discussion. Here is a Student's final draft essay and another student's final draft

The other evaluative piece that I have the students complete for the solar eclipse investigation is to draw the solar eclipse and to label the components of the solar eclipse. Here is a student's Solar Eclipse drawing