Postcards from Totality!
Today at the Ainsworth Elementary School Science Fair, The Big Eclipse made eclipse postcard crafts with students. This is a fun craft for 1st – 6th grades. We recommend making a sample postcard first to show children, so they can see what the back of a postcard looks like. You might also show them a photo or two of totality. A total solar eclipse looks like a black hole in the sky, surrounded by a wispy white corona – something they have never seen before!
How to make eclipse postcards.
Cut sheets of blue construction paper in half. Each child gets one.
Make 3″ circles from scrap paper, 1 circle for each three children. Or, they can also make their own! Show them how to trace a circle, using a Dixie cup or other small round object. They will have to cut out their circles. It’s okay if the circles aren’t perfect. In reality, the moon isn’t perfectly round, either!
Place the cut-out circle high on the page, in order to leave room for a landscape below. Holding the circle with one hand, use chalk, white pastel crayons or white crayons to make quick strokes from the cut-out circle to the paper behind it. Go all the way around the circle.
Remove the cut-out circle and you’ll see the the corona. Use a finger to brush the chalk or chalk pastel marks to smooth them, working from the center outward. A real corona looks almost feathery in photographs. Color in the center with dark chalk, crayon or pastel crayons.
Add a landscape below, with trees, house, people… whatever! Make sure people in the drawing are wearing their eclipse glasses.
One option for a landscape is to tear a piece of scrap paper so that it looks like a rough, hilly horizon. Using chalk or pastel crayons, make a colorful sunset on that horizon. Remove the scrap paper and use your finger to smudge these colors.
Add stars to your drawing and perhaps a few birds (on the ground or in trees since they leave the sky during eclipses) or a few bats or a few clouds. You can also write the date of the eclipse: August 21, 2017.
If you have used chalk to make the drawing, spraying the drawing lightly with hairspray will help preserve the colors. when the hairspray is dry, turn the postcard over and write on the back.
The back of the postcard could be a simple message, or look like a traditional postcard with a line down the middle and a stamp in the upper right hand corner. Choose someone to address it to, perhaps Mom and Dad, or Grandma. What will YOUR eclipse postcard say?