Monday, April 8, 2024

2024 Solar Eclipse

Monday the 8th of April was a special day, particularly if you have space enthusiasts in your classroom. Eclipses are among the most stunning sights known to humans, and this spectacle lasted up to 4 minutes and 28 seconds. It was almost twice as long as the last one in the US in 2017. It was also darker and our Sun was put on a more stunning display. 

This total solar eclipse crossed North America. It traveled over northern Mexico, then into Texas and Midwest and East Coast. It passed southeast Canada before it proceeded out to sea. Total solar eclipses occur every year or two but there will not be another again in North America until 2033.  

During a total solar eclipse, the Moon  lines up perfectly between the Earth and the Sun, completely obscuring the Sun. You see the Moon gradually slide in front of the Sun. The Sun looks like a thin crescent and then finally the Sun is completely blotted by the Moon. Scientists can see part of the Sun’s corona during a total eclipse. The Sun’s outer atmosphere is too faint to see unless the light of the Sun is blocked.  The total eclipse ends with the events occurring in reverse order. 

Whether or not you can view a solar eclipse depends on where you are in the world and how the Earth,  Moon and Sun align. The path of totally is the only area where a full eclipse can be viewed. If you are outside this area you will see a partial or even no eclipse at all. If you are fortunate to be able to visit the path of totality you will see the Moon gradually moving in front of the Sun. 

Only look at the sun when your eyes are protected. Use a special-purpose solar filter such as eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewers to look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun. It is not safe to look directly at the Sun with handmade devices or very dark sunglasses. During totality, you can put away the eclipse viewers and look at the eclipse directly. But, as soon as the totality ends, use the eclipse viewers again. Read safety recommendations before you view a solar eclipse. 

Use the How to Draw the Space resource to make some stunning art of this remarkable phenomenon.

Your students do not want to miss the spectacular Total Eclipse! So I hope you planned something special for Monday the 8th of April! 

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Monday, April 1, 2024

April 2024 Products

At the beginning of April, exciting things happen! So make sure you are prepared with resources about our Sun and Moon. On the 8th of April total solar eclipse can be observed in large parts of the US. And a partial eclipse can be seen in most States in America. 

A total eclipse is a stunning event where suddenly, it will be as dark as night—or at least twilight. For a short moment, we can experience the role our Sun plays for life on our planet. Also, we can learn interesting facts about our Moon  - it is the Moon that turns out the light! 

After all that excitement in the sky, your students will enjoy learning about something they may be more familiar with. The names of farm animals are often part of the first words that young children learn but there are many interesting facts that your students can learn about cows, pigs, horses, goats and chickens. National Farm Animal Day is celebrated on the 10th of April and it is a great chance to discover interesting things about these unique and important creatures. 

After exploring Farm Animals, your students can turn their attention to the Plant world. International Plant Appreciation Day is celebrated on April 13, a perfect way to read and write about the benefits of plants. As the weather gets warmer, many gardeners will be busy sowing seeds. 

You can begin gardening activities inside, such as planting beans on paper towels so your students can watch them grow. A great activity for National Gardening Day - the 14th of April is to learn to draw wheelbarrows, pots, watering cans and flowers.

Continue the drawing activities with art projects to celebrate Word Art Day on the 15th of April. The resource SmART ART is filled with art activities that are sure to engage your students in the enjoyment of art. Art activities nurture creativity and innovation. Take time to let your students notice beautiful things in their environment and use this as inspiration for their creations. 

The end of April is perfect for projects related to our environment. Earth Day is celebrated on the 22 and Arbor Day on the 26th.  Earth Day is a large event that is celebrated around the World. The theme this year is Planet vs Plastic. The aim is to spread awareness of the health risks linked to plastics, ways to reduce the use of plastics and ways to design and build a plastic-free planet. Caring for our Earth starts with awe and wonder for our beautiful home and the Earth Day Fact booklet is perfect for learning about ways to care for our Earth.

The first Arbor Day In America was celebrated in 1872. It is estimated that nearly a million trees were planted on this day in Nebraska. The dates for the celebrating trees may vary in different states to coincide with the local area’s planting time, so check the date when your state observes Arbor Day. Trees are vital for our health and the health of our planet.  Your students will read and discover more great things about trees while using the Tree Fact booklet. 

I hope you have a Busy but Wonderful Time in your April Classroom!  

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