How to Make a Lunar Eclipse in a Shoe Box

By Kelly Sundstrom
Kios can learn about eclipses by making a shoe box diorama.

When you are teaching children about the movements of the Moon and the Earth, the lessons can be more effective when you give the children a hands-on activity to demonstrate the lessons. For example, if you are teaching a lesson about the lunar eclipse, you can show the children how to make a shoe box diorama that will display a miniature lunar eclipse inside of it. This will help the children better visualize the process.

Take the lid off of a shoe box, and paint the inside of the box and the inside of the lid using a matte black acrylic paint. Allow the paint to dry for 30 minutes, then paint on a second layer. Allow the second layer to dry for 30 minutes.

Cut out a two-inch hole from the side of the box with scissors. Cut out a one-inch slit from the opposite side of the shoe box.

Tape a two-inch piece of string onto the middle of the shoe box lid, and tape the other end of the string onto a one-inch white foam ball. Position the slit so that it is placed in the middle of the box side.

Cut out a strip of card stock to measure one inch wide, six inches long. Cut one end of the strip so that it is rounded like a ball. Slide the strip, rounded side first, halfway into the slit you cut into the shoe box.

Place the top onto the box. The ball will hang down. When you shine a flashlight into the hole, the foam ball will glow. As you slide the strip toward the ball, it will block out that section of the ball, creating a faux lunar eclipse inside the shoe box.