With this very unique opportunity I wanted to share some eclipse related resources.
The Geography And Science Of It AllAs a former Middle School Science Teacher I enjoyed teaching students about Earth and Space. Here are some resources that discuss the science behind eclipses, why seeing a total solar eclipse is rare, and what you need to do to keep yourself and students safe during a solar eclipse.
Check out their other VOX articles on the solar eclipse:
- Total Solar Eclipse 2017: Everything You Need To Know
- Solar Eclipse 2017: The Best Places to see the rare phenomenon this August
- What's so awe-inspiring about solar eclipses, in one paragraph
Why a total solar eclipse is such a big deal (YouTube Video)
What creates a total solar eclipse? via TED-EDThis is a good overview as well on how a solar eclipse works.
Check out NASA's Education Resources for the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse
I have also been following the National Eclipse Twitter Account @NationalEclipse. Their website National Eclipse and their National Eclipse Blog has some great information on safety, maps, and other general information on this upcoming event.
The National Science Teachers Association also has a nice PDF booklet titled An Observers Guide To Viewing The Solar Eclipse that might be worth checking out.
The Smithsonian Solar Eclipse App (Both iOS and Google Play): Watch live streaming coverage of the eclipse from NASA, see how you will witness the eclipse based on your location, and safely view the eclipse with their simulator.
Bill Nye has some great videos from The Planetary Society YouTube Channel.
Historical Connections:As a history teacher I hope to incorporate some history into this event. Here are some resources I've collected so far. As I discover new resources I will try to update this blog post by adding *New* at the bottom.
History, Myths, and SuperstitionsI also thought it might be interesting for students to check out other historical events that are believed to have occurred on a solar eclipse. I was thinking about having them create some type of project about a historical eclipse. I could see a potential timeline project where students create an interactive timeline of famous historical eclipses. Since this is happening towards the beginning of the school year I thought I could also pull some primary source documents and use these to help introduce historical thinking skills. (Earlier Blog Posts that might be useful: Getting Started with Primary Sources and Using Newspapers in the Classroom.)
These might be some potential resources I could use:
- Eclipse History via National Eclipse looks at 16 Total Solar Eclipses that have occurred in US History with links to digital scans from newspapers of the time the eclipses occurred.
- Living in the Future via National Eclipse Blog looks at the last time in 1918 a Total Solar Eclipse came through this part of the country. Some of the newspaper articles and anecdotes are really interesting to read and refer to the 2017 eclipse event.
- 17th and 18th Century Historical Total Eclipses via Great American Eclipse
- 19th Century Historical Eclipses via Great American Eclipse
- 20th Century Historical Eclipses via Great American Eclipse
- Thomas Jefferson's Letter to David Rittenhouse July 19, 1778 where he described an observed Solar Eclipse in Virginia and his desire for more precise clock for measurement via Founders Documents.
- Eclipse History (Eclipse 101) Via NASA
- Solar Eclipses of Historical Interests via Fred Espenak
- Fred Espenak is a retired NASA astrophysicist and has a website titled Mr Eclipse that is worth checking out for solar eclipse information
- Solar Eclipses in History via Time and Date has some good information on events that occurred during a solar eclipse.
- The Eclipse In History via The European Space Agency has some details on various historical events that have occurred during a solar eclipse.
- Myths and Superstitions Around Solar Eclipses via Time and Date has some general information on myths and legends around eclipses.
- Solar Eclipse Myths from Around The World via National Geographic has some good myths and stories.
- Jordan Hill Storyteller via NASA are short video clips of various myths from cultures from around the world
- The National Archives Twitter Account @USNatArchives is also planning on sharing some of their historical collections on the Solar Eclipse.
Nat Turner's RebellionNat Turner's rebellion was one of the largest slave rebellions in the United States. If you saw the movie, Birth of a Nation you might recall a solar eclipse scene in the movie. This is actually based on The Confessions of Nat Turner where Nat believed that this eclipse was a sign to begin his rebellion. You can read his confession online via Documenting the South: The Confessions of Nat Turner
The section where the eclipse is described can be found on page 11.
Also check out these other resources on Nat Turner:
- Ben Franklin's World Podcast Episode 133: Patrick Breen The Nat Turner Revolt
- The Nat Turner Project
Mashable put together this great music Spotify Play List for Europe's 2015 Total Eclipse. Might be jamming out to some of these tunes on August 21st, 2017
Do you have plans for the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse at your school with your students? I would love to hear about them in the comments section below.
For other Space Science related stuff check out my earlier blog post Fly Me To The Moon: Space Race During The Cold War