Can I be honest with you? I had no idea that a solar eclipse existed until a few months before it happened? What ? I mean how could I have not known about this absolutely amazing phenomenon? Well, now that I’ve shared with you this embarrassing fact, I can explain why we were so excited to learn all about the solar eclipse.
We planned our trip to Oregon/Washington around the same time the solar eclipse was to occur. It was a mere coincidence that we were at the right place during the right time.
We watched a few videos and read about solar eclipse before we went to Oregon. We did not have too much time to actually do our unit study before so we did it afterwards.
If you’ve never seen a solar eclipse…please, please drive or fly the next time there is one. It is one of the coolest experiences ever.
We ordered solar eclipse glasses and a camera cover before we went. The funny thing was when we put on our glasses while not looking at the sun it was pitch black and silly us thought we must have gotten the wrong glasses but once we looked at the sun we were able to see the solar eclipse and it was one of the coolest things we have ever seen. It got really hot at first and the sun was so bright. We have never seen it so bright. Don’t worry we did not look at the sun but the warmth from the sun was very much felt. Then it was so cold. We wanted to put our jackets on because the weather had dropped so much. When totality happened we saw birds frantically flying. Poor things. We saw over 2 minutes of totality and that was by far the best lived 2 minutes. Everyone around us (including us) were shouting with joy. Then the sun came back out and it felt like we just woke up and it was the start of a new day. There was once again fog around us.
First thing we do when we start a unit study is paint, draw, read, and watch some education videos on you-tube. This is one of my favorite scenes.
Since we live in California we drove to Oregon to watch the solar eclipse. We wanted to see totality. On Aug 21, 2017, 14 states were able to witness total totality. I’m so glad that we traveled to see it. It is something my family will not forget.
So the math is a bit confusing but I wanted to share some really cool things about numbers and the solar eclipse. These are so it is easy for even a 6 year old to understand. The sun is 400 times larger than the diameter of a moon. The sun is 400 times away from the moon. This is why when we see them in the sky the moon and sun appear to be exactly the same size. That’s how we get to see total solar eclipse because the moon disc perfectly covers the sun disk.
Have you heard of ellipses? Well that’s a shape that looks like an oval. There are ellipses in nature. As the earth travels around the sun it travels in an ellipse path. The earth does around the sun and the moon around the earth. This all happens at the same time. Isn’t that cool? Elizabeth loved drawing ellipse faces.
Solar Eclipse Phases
There are 5 stages in a total solar eclipse. The first one is known as partial eclipse. In this phase you get to see the moon over the suns disk. The second stage is total eclipse occurs and this is when the entire disk of the sun is covered by the moon. It is in this stage when you can see the Baily’s beads and the diamond ring affect. This occurs just before totality or right after totality. The first stage is totality or maximum eclipse. In this stage the moon covers the disk of the sun. You can only see the suns corona. It becomes dark and cold during this stage. The fourth stage is total eclipse ends. Here the moon moves away and the sun appears. The last stage is the partial eclipse ends. The moon in this stage stops overlapping the suns disk.
For this we made crepes and added food coloring to whipped cream cheese.
If you happen to stop by while we are homeschooling you might be apart of our lesson. See that truck full of fruit and vegetables? Well my amazing parents just picked all of that goodness from an organic farm and were making their rounds delivering goodness to my sisters and I. They stopped by while we were playing solar eclipse history hopscotch. My mom learned all about the solar eclipse history with us.
Did you know that a solar eclipse is responsible for helium being discovered? Yes, it is true. During a total solar eclipse on August 16, 1868 astronomer Jules Janssen discovered the second lightest and most abundant element known as helium.
Imagine fighting in a battle and all of a sudden it becomes dark? Yeah, you would most likely not want to fight any longer because you would believe it was a sign from God. This happened in 585 BCE as Lydians and Medes were fighting amongs each other and darkness filled the sky. They put down their weapons and called it a day.
This game was so easy to make. I just went on-line gathered some information about the solar eclipse history and printed out pictures for the events we wanted to talk about. We drew a hopscotch on the cement and taped the pictures next to the numbers. I then had my kids hop until I told them to stop. The box that they land on they have to explain. This is such a fun way to learn.
It’s so easy to demonstrate how the alignment of earth, the moon, and the sun causes us to witness a solar eclipse. All you need is two round balls that are different sizes and a flashlight.
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How long have you known about the solar eclipse? Have you seen a total solar eclipse before?