Wednesday 18 March 2015

Learning about the solar eclipse


This Friday we will see the first total solar eclipse for 16 years! It's all very exciting and we are eagerly awaiting this rare event. I remember watching the last solar eclipse in 1999. We were all anticipating a spectacular sight of the solar corona surrounding the hidden sun but, unfortunately, we did not get a chance to witness this due to the cloudy weather. Still, it was an unusual occurrence, seeing the sky blacken for a few minutes in the daytime, which has stayed with me. Although I don't remember much, I was quite young, I do remember hundreds of camera flashes during the blackness when people were trying to catch a shot of the sun's sensational corona.


As we will be watching the eclipse on Friday, I thought it would be a good idea to brief the children on what will be happening and why it happens. First, I explained how an eclipse occurs. They seemed very interested in this. I told them about partial eclipses and total eclipses and we filled in the above worksheet which I downloaded from the twinkl website.


Next, we made some solar eclipse artwork. This piece of art aims to capture the magnificence of the sun's corona. It is very simple to do. Simply take some black card or paper, a circular piece of card and some chalks in colours such as red, orange and yellow. 


Stick the circular piece of card in the middle of the black paper using blu tac. Then, use the chalks to draw the corona round the edge of the sun. Use your fingers to smudge the chalk to create an amazing effect. When you have finished, remove the circular card.


Here is D's finished piece, I think it looks really effective!


This is R's artwork.


Next,, the kids asked to do some painting so I thought we could paint the different types of eclipses. I got some white paper and drew two circles onto it. Then, the children used orange and black paint to paint a partial eclipse and a total eclipse.


Here they are getting stuck in.


They were using orange and black paint.


Here is D's finished work. She really enjoyed doing this and I believe it has helped her to understand what an eclipse is.


R got bored quite quickly so this is all he did. He did, however, help me draw the circles.

Have you done anything to prepare for the upcoming solar eclipse?



  1. What a great idea, I would have loved to have done this when the last eclipse happened x

  2. I must admit I am looking forward to this and hoping to get some great photographs. I love the work you are doing with the children.


    1. Thank you Emma :) It would be great to get some photos this time!

  3. What a fab idea and post. if I have time tonight after work we'll be doing this. xx #twinklytuesday

    1. Thanks :) gotta make the most of it when these things only happen once every 16 years or so! Hope you enjoy doing the crafts :)

  4. Wow, how fab do these look? Great job :D

    I remember the last solar eclipse. We were on a camping holiday in Great Yarmouth at the time and we got a great view of it. I'm excited for it again tomorrow but gutted that Stacey will be at school so we won't get to see it together.

    Louise x

    With love from Lou

    1. What a shame you didn't get to see it with your daughter :( hope you both managed to see it though even if not together.

  5. Such a great and creative idea to get them involved, I wish I had done something like this when it was happening!

    Olivia Jade

  6. I must admit I've not thought about the soar eclipse at all, this is a lovely idea to help teach the children about it. Our school will have someone there with a telescope tomorrow for people to have a look, that should be interesting.
    Thanks for sharing #LetKidsBeKids

    1. Hope you managed to see it with the telescope. We used a telescope and a colander. It was fab :)


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