Eclipse Over America — Predicting Eclipses

This Eclipse Over America — Predicting Eclipses video also includes:

It's easy to find out in today's world when the next eclipse will be, but what about thousands of years ago? Junior astronomers discover how the Babylonians used lunar observations to accurately predict future eclipses through an activity from PBS's Space series. Scholars compare the ancient method to that of Edmund Halley, then try their hand at making eclipse predictions of their own.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Begin the unit with a related lesson to give the class plenty of background knowledge of how eclipses occur
  • Use the discussion questions as a quiz after the lesson
Classroom Considerations

  • Learners should have a strong understanding of lunar cycles before engaging in the activity
Pros

  • The lesson provides a fascinating look at how ancient cultures used patterns to predict eclipses
  • With so many links to related resources available, it's easy to take the content in many directions
Cons

  • None
Common Core

NGSS