Don’t miss the Great American Eclipse on April 8, 2024!


The Great American Eclipse is happening on April 8, 2024. It’s the only solar eclipse to cross the United States for the next seven years, and it’s a fantastic teachable moment. The eclipse will hit North America in Mexico and travel through northern Mexico into the United States. First, watch a video of the path of the eclipse to learn if you are in its direct path. Then, whether you’re in the path of the eclipse or not, here are 15 solar eclipse activities to get kids excited and learning.

1. DIY eclipse viewer

Eye protection is key when looking at a solar eclipse. Teach students about the eclipse as you make your own viewer. Watch the video and follow along with the step-by-step instructions and a free printable observation worksheet for students.

Get the tutorial and printable: How To Make a Solar Eclipse Viewer

map of the great american solar  eclipse of 2024 from NASA

2. Map the path of the solar eclipse

Get a U.S. map printable and use NASA’s map to create your own map of exactly where the eclipse will pass.

Learn more: NASA Eclipse Map

model of the eclipse using styrofoam ball and picture of the sun for a solar eclipse activity

3. Create a model of the eclipse

Help students answer the question of how the small moon hides the huge sun by modeling what happens during an eclipse with a Styrofoam ball moon and larger sun.

Get tutorial: Model of the Eclipse

student with props for a solar eclipse photo shoot
Thrifty in Third Grade

4. Create an eclipse photo shoot

Make silly and educational props for students to mark the occasion and capture images for the yearbook.

Get tutorial: Eclipse Photo Shoot

hand with a bracelet of a solar eclipse on it for a solar eclipse activity
The Science Penguin

5. Make solar eclipse bracelets

Create bracelets that students can reference while working on eclipse projects or on the day of the eclipse.

Get tutorial: Solar eclipse bracelet

straws and objects on paper in the sun for a solar print project for the solar eclipse activity
The Science Penguin

6. Make solar prints

Use everyday objects to create solar prints on colored paper. Put the objects on paper and leave them in the sun. At the end of the day, check to see how the sun created designs on the paper.

Get tutorial: Solar Prints

eclipse diagram drawn on the sidewalk with chalk
The Science Penguin

7. Create a chalk diagram

Show students how the sun, moon, and Earth line up, and draw the system in chalk. The sidewalk or playground turns into a teaching tool while you’re outside waiting for the eclipse.

Get tutorial: Chalk-drawing model

Students measuring each others' shadows for a solar eclipse activity
The First Grade Roundup

8. Shadow experiment

Have students go outside on a sunny morning and record how long their shadows are. Then, have them predict if their shadows will change, and how, as the day goes on. In the afternoon, go back outside and record how their shadows changed. It’s the entire scientific process all in one school day!

Get tutorial: Shadow Experiment

sun dial with stick and rocks for a solar eclipse activity
KC Edventures

9. DIY sundial

Teach students how the sun moves and how to track time using shadows. Find a sunny space in your garden or playground, and create a sun dial using sticks and stones.

Get tutorial: DIY Sundial

pages from a solar eclipse booklet
Happy Days in First Grade

10. Solar eclipse booklet

Have students record their learning and observations in a cute solar eclipse booklet.

Get tutorial: Solar eclipse booklet

small earth picture and person standing far away from them to show the sun

11. Create a model to scale

Teach students about the size of the sun compared to Earth by creating a model to scale. Cut out the sun and Earth, then stand apart to show how far the Earth is from the sun.

Get tutorial: Sun-earth model

shaving cream on a paper with orange and yellow paint to show the sun for a solar eclipse activity

12. Create a shaving cream sun

Use paint and shaving cream to create an image of the sun as part of a lesson about what the sun is made of and why it’s so powerful.

Get tutorial: Shaving cream sun

diagram of a spot mirror projection experiment

13. Make a spot mirror projection

Project an image of the sun using mirrors and angle it with a spot mirror projection project.

Get tutorial: Spot mirror projection

papers and model with a bear and shadow
NISE Network

14. Create shadows with Little Bear

Read the book Moonbear’s Shadow and use a flashlight and other objects to show how shadows change as they move around things, like the moon. This is a great introduction to shadows and the eclipse for younger students.

Get tutorial: Moonbear’s Shadow activity

child holding a ball far from another child holding a ball
NISE Network

15. Become the eclipse

Another way to model the eclipse is to use a beach ball and baseball to show what happens when an eclipse happens.

Get tutorial: Model the eclipse

More Solar Eclipse Resources

Fill April 8 with sun-and-moon fun with these resources:

Want more time among the stars? Check out Galactic Solar System Projects.

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