Reflection: Intrinsic Motivation Lunar Eclipse Lesson for 9/28/2015 or 9/16/2016 - Section 3: Proposed Activities


Sometimes I need to remind myself that my students are not always excited about astronomy as I am. I can't think of a better evening than watching the night sky. To get my students motivated and excited about a lunar eclipse I start talking about the eclipse well before its occurrence. 

I try to stress the rarity of the event and how they don't always happen during convenient hours. If I can make the event special than I'll motivate more students to experience the event. The key is that they need to understand what is occurring in the sky. I encourage my students to act as a teacher to their parents and explain what is occurring.

As the date gets closer I become more animated and excited. Offering extra credit to the students if they are able to view the eclipse is a good idea. To receive extra credit in my class they need to record the event somehow (pictures, video, social media posts, drawings, etc). I don't think it's fair to make viewing a lunar eclipse mandatory. Students don't have full control over their schedule and their parents may not see this as important. 

I also make a big deal about those students who were able to watch it. We trade stories the next day about what the eclipse looked like. I also hang their pictures of the eclipse on my bulletin board for everyone to admire. One of my new favorite ways to interact with my students during a lunar eclipse is through Instagram. I make a common hashtag for the event (#vanguardlunareclipse) and have my student post to this. This way I get a log of who was able to see it and engage my students with social media.

  Kids need to be motivated to watch a lunar eclipse
  Intrinsic Motivation: Kids need to be motivated to watch a lunar eclipse
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Lunar Eclipse Lesson for 9/28/2015 or 9/16/2016

Unit 11: Solar System
Lesson 8 of 8

Objective: Students will be able to observe a lunar eclipse on September 28, 2015 or September 16, 2016.

Big Idea: A Lunar Eclipse is arriving to North America on September 28, 2015 and September 16, 2016. What a great way to start out the year! Will your students be ready?

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