Teachers regularly seek innovative ways to engage their students. For a number of curriculum standards, it’s much easier said than done; however, once in a while, events come along that make …
Teachers regularly seek innovative ways to engage their students. For a number of curriculum standards, it’s much easier said than done; however, once in a while, events come along that make learning much more exciting, relevant and engaging. Monday’s “Great American Eclipse” is one of these dream opportunities for teachers that perfectly lends itself to student learning, be it in a typical classroom, in a field on a blanket on a day off school or both.
Students in Cleveland City Schools received their eclipse glasses on Friday. Teachers from all core subjects at Cleveland Middle School (CMS) planned creative lessons this past week to take full advantage of the students’ curiosity about this likely once in a lifetime event.
For science teachers, this eclipse is a like gift falling in their lap. Not only have the students been hearing about it on tv, social media and from friends, it is directly related to a number of Tennessee academic standards including the following:
SPI 0607.6.2 Explain how the relative distance of objects from the earth affects how they appear.
SPI 0607.6.3 Distinguish among a day, lunar cycle, and year based on the movements of the earth, sun, and moon.
SPI 0607.6.4 Explain the different phases of the moon using a model of the earth, moon, and sun.
SPI 0607.6.7 Explain the difference between a solar and a lunar eclipse.
In Mr. Rodante’s sixth grade class at CMS, students shared everything they knew about eclipses, researched what they didn’t know, drew diagrams of solar and lunar eclipses and watched a short video about the Great American Eclipse.
Then with the windows blacked out, the lights went off.
A flashlight clicked on as the sun. A globe rotated as Earth at the front of the class. Finally, an improvised “moon,” suspended by paperclips, orbited in front of the globe casting its shadow on “Earth.”
As students whispered, “Cooooool!” one could almost see the light bulbs coming on above their heads.
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