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Solar Eclipse Experience

Monday, August 21, 2017 was a day for the books at Milford Elementary. The elementary students participated in day-long activities to celebrate the acclaimed “Great American Eclipse” that spanned the country from coast to coast with the path of totality traveling directly over Milford, Nebraska. In grades 3-6, students participated in hour-long rotations that included art, writing, science, and technology that all centered around the eclipse.


During our writing session, students discussed the difference between an annual, total, and partial eclipse. Students were given a packet where they drew a diagram of the solar eclipse. They then wrote a reflection on their experience after the eclipse by describing how they felt and what they saw. They also enjoyed a quick Bill Nye the Science guy video describing the solar eclipse in more detail!


The 4th grade teachers taught an eclipse art lesson.  We showed a video about warm and cool colors and then after discussing examples of colors, created a sun/moon picture that had warm colors on the sun side and cool colors on the moon side.  


Mrs. Jakub and Mrs. Piening had the students work through a science experiment  In this experiment, students were given a flashlight (sun), small ball (Earth), and a smaller ball (moon) to demonstrate what happens when the solar eclipse occurs. When the students moved the moon between the Sun and Earth it blocked the Sun's light from the Earth, and cast a shadow on Earth. The darker, middle part of the shadow is called the umbra. The lighter shadow on the outer rim is called the penumbra.


Students also created eclipse cootie catchers. These are a great way for students to have fun while learning about the solar eclipse. The cootie catchers identify vocabulary terms about eclipses (with pictures) based on their definition.


In 6th grade classrooms, students participated in several activities. They first watched an explanatory video made by The Weather Channel of what would happen and what to expect during the eclipse. The discussions surrounding this were especially vivacious AFTER the eclipse when students were able to reflect on what they actually saw during the total eclipse - whether it exactly the same, or closely compared to the video explanation. Students also had the chance to use the i-nigma app on iPads to scan QR codes on papers posted around the classrooms and hallways to find answers to questions about solar eclipses. Questions included: What are Baily’s beads? What are the 5 phases of a total eclipse? Why is The Great American Eclipse such a big deal? It was a fun day of learning for all involved.


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