Middle School Education

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Middle School resources delve deeper into the scientific, historical, and cultural aspects of eclipses. This section offers a more detailed exploration, suitable for the developing minds of middle schoolers. Interactive modules, project-based learning activities, and multimedia resources are used to explain the mechanics of eclipses, their significance in different cultures, and their impact on the environment. The content is designed to challenge students' critical thinking skills and encourage in-depth inquiry, while still being accessible and engaging.

Missouri Botanical Garden

This lesson plan, tailored for grades 6-8, provides a rich and educational exploration of eclipses and their impact on the natural world. It begins with an introduction to the science of eclipses, using visual aids to explain the phenomenon. Students then delve into researching how eclipses might influence insect and plant behavior. They form small field study teams, assume specific roles, and engage in hypothesis formulation about insect reactions to the eclipse. This is followed by observational activities during the eclipse, where they record changes in insect behavior and environmental factors. The lesson concludes with data analysis, creative writing prompts, and discussions, combining scientific study with creative expression to deepen understanding of this natural event.

Missouri History Museum

In this enhanced lesson plan, middle schoolers become time travelers, delving into historical documents and photographs related to eclipses. They'll first dissect a historical note to unearth the details recorded during an 1806 eclipse. Then, they'll shift gears to creative writing, using vintage eclipse photos to inspire a caption contest that transitions into crafting their own short stories, blending history with imagination.

Rockwood School District

On April 8th, 2024, middle school students will witness a total solar eclipse, where the moon completely blocks the sun for several minutes! This incredible occurrence offers a unique opportunity to explore Earth's place in the universe and understand the gravity driven system between our planet, the moon, and the sun.

But the eclipse is more than just a cool spectacle. It's a chance to think about Earth's position in the solar system. We are just one planet, orbiting a single star among billions in the Milky Way galaxy. This awe-inspiring event reminds us of our place in the grand scheme of things, igniting curiosity and wonder about the dynamic universe around us.

Key Learning:

  • Scale, Proportion, and Quantity: By analyzing data on the relative sizes and distances of the sun, moon, and Earth, students can grasp the incredible alignment that creates a total eclipse. This reinforces the concept of scale and its impact on observable phenomena.

  • Data Analysis: Utilize eclipse data to create engaging activities and discussions. Ask students to calculate the size difference between the sun and moon, compare their distances from Earth, and predict the eclipse duration based on these values.

    • Did you know the moon is about 400 times smaller than the sun, but also about 400 times closer to Earth? This incredible coincidence allows the moon to perfectly block the sun during a total eclipse, creating a breathtaking display!

St. Louis Public Library

The St. Louis Public Library's "Eclipse Reads" offers a diverse collection of books tailored for teens, providing insightful and engaging materials on solar eclipses and related topics. This list is an excellent resource for both middle and high school educators, offering age-appropriate content that delves deeper into the scientific, historical, and cultural aspects of eclipses. The books range from scientific explorations to fictional narratives, catering to the varied interests of adolescent learners.

Our Goal

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The Missouri Eclipse Task Force is a Missouri state-wide collaboration working together to promote the 2023 and 2024 Solar Eclipses. Treasury functions for the Task Force are handled by the Astronomical Association of Southeast Missouri, a 501(c)3.

Task Force