Eclipses introduces students to the concept of blocked sunlight or moonlight and how each one happens. Students will discover that an eclipse doesn’t last very long. They will also learn how often they occur and where to find information on upcoming eclipses.

There are several suggestions in the “Options for Lesson” section of the classroom procedure page that you can take advantage of if you want or have extra time. One suggestion is to review when an eclipse may occur in the area and schedule to present your lesson around that time.

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What our Eclipses lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Eclipses explores what happens when a planet or the moon blocks the light of the moon or sun respectively. Students will discover the differences between a solar and lunar eclipse and learn how each one can occur. This lesson is for students in 3rd grade and 4th grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. This lesson requires construction paper, scratch paper, and markers or colored pencils for the activity.

Options for Lesson

The “Options for Lesson” section of the classroom procedure page lists several ideas for additional activities or alternate ways to go about the lesson. A couple relate specifically to the activity portion. Instead of in pairs, students could work alone or in groups for the activity. They could use images from online or other sources instead of drawing their own. You could also eliminate the voting part for best drawing or myth. Another option is to review when an eclipse will happen in your area and plan to deliver the lesson at that time so students can see it. You could also discuss how eclipses work on other planets that have multiple moons. One more idea is to have students meet outside to see a lunar eclipse if possible.

Teacher Notes

The paragraph on this page gives you some extra information regarding what to expect from the lesson. It suggests you incorporate a hands-on activity using a flashlight and various objects to demonstrate how eclipses work. It also mentions that you can teach this lesson in conjunction with others about the solar system or space. Use the blank lines to write out whatever ideas or thoughts come to mind as you prepare.


The Eclipses lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. Each one will help students demonstrate what they learned in different ways and solidify their grasp of the material. Use the guide on the classroom procedure page to determine when to hand out each worksheet to the class throughout the lesson.


With a partner, students will create two stories or myths, one about the solar eclipse and one about the lunar eclipse. The worksheet outlines the steps students should follow as they work to complete their myths. As part of the activity, students should draw a picture to accompany each story. They can use rough drafts initially and then write the final draft on the pieces of construction paper you provide them. After all the students complete both myths, the class can vote on best, most creative, etc.


The practice worksheet divides into two parts. The first part requires students to review 10 descriptions and decide which type of eclipse it relates to. The word bank lists the five possible options for them to choose from. For the second part, students will read 10 statements and determine whether each one is true (T) or false (F).


For the homework assignment, students will explain in their own words how a lunar eclipse and then a solar eclipse works to a family member. Then they will write down some of the things they talked about and label the images on the worksheet.

Worksheet Answer Keys

The last pages of the PDF are answer keys for the practice and homework worksheets. All the answers are in red to make it easy to compare them to students’ work. For the practice worksheet, students’ responses should mirror the answer key exactly. However, given the nature of the homework assignment, students’ answers will vary but should include accurate descriptions and correct labeling. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


3rd Grade, 4th Grade



State Educational Standards

NGSS.1-ESS1-1, NGSS.5-ESS1-1, NGSS.5-ESS1-2

Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.

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L W.


Thank you for your amazing resources. These are just what we needed to consolidate what we have learned.