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Teacher notes;Total Eclipse;Project geography

In class

* Use the poster to explain how a solar eclipse occurs, and what children can expect to see on August 11. Note that if they are out of the zone of totality shown on the map on the poster, they will not see anything very spectacular.

* Reinforce the safety code published on the poster and in the project. It is natural to look away from a bright light, of course; but this does not preclude the risk of eye damage.

* Use the opportunity to teach children about the relative size and predictable movements of heavenly bodies; how the Sun appears to move across the sky, giving us day and night; that the Moon has no light of its own; and that the shadow cast by the eclipse results from light travelling in straight lines.

References and contacts

* Primary Activity Pack, Total Eclipse of the Sun. A comprehensive photocopiable pack from the Association for Science Education, College Lane, Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9AA. Tel. 01707 283000. Free fax 0800 371856. Price pound;7.50 inc. postage and packing.

* Eclipse Newspaper Competition for Schools, age ranges (7-11 and 11-14). Details from The Royal Astronomical Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly London W1V 0NL (0171-734 4582)

INTERNET LINKS Search using the phrase 'solar eclipse'. Try also: www.eclipse.org.uk; www.nmsi.ac.ukeclipse; sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov.CE Eclipse viewers are available in bulk from Eclipse99 Ltd, Belle Etoile, Rue du Hamel, Castel, Guernsey GY5 7QJ Tel 01481 64847 Fax 01481 64871 Prices range from pound;1.99 for 1-9 to 85p for 500 or more.

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