Guest Blogger

Multi-Cultural Eclipse Stories

Preparing for this summer’s solar eclipse, and looking for ways to engage your visitors? Consider incorporating the free online multi-cultural eclipse stories, researched and recorded by professional storytellers Cassandra Wye and Fran Stallings at the request of the Lunar and Planetary Institute.  The Vanishing Sun: Eclipse Tales from Around the World was created to engage a variety of audiences, in preparation for the August 21 2017 Total Solar Eclipse.

(Photo from the video folktale, “Shooting Down the Sun” available at the Vanishing Sun website.)
The website features eleven audio recordings of traditional stories and literary tales from around the world, as well as a video recording with both captioning and an American Sign Language interpreter.  Stories were recorded to engage specific age ranges and are welcome to be used in all library settings. The stories are freely available online through LPI’s Explore Marvel Moons program for all audiences to enjoy in advance of the eclipse, at

While listening to the stories, program facilitators can show video of an eclipse or share eclipse images from a book. After listening to one or more stories, consider inviting children to write or record their own story, or design artwork that reflects their thoughts about an eclipse.

NASA has assembled a number of eclipse activities and even an eclipse resource guide for public libraries. Even if you do not conduct an event for the eclipse, your summer activities can prepare your audiences to appreciate this awe-inspiring event!


Christine Shupla is the Education Lead at the Lunar and Planetary Institute, leading LPI’s professional development and materials development for librarians, camp programmers, and other science educators.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at



  1. Elisa Gall

    Thanks for sharing these resources! Another resource that I found helpful was this open letter written by Naomi Bishop (President of the American Indian Library Association) that Debbie Reese recently shared on her blog :

    1. Christine Shupla

      Thanks, Elisa; excellent resource! Native American perspectives and beliefs vary greatly from tribe to tribe. As with all audiences, we should respect the traditions and cultures of our audiences.

  2. Christine Shupla

    A fun activity for libraries to prepare the children for the eclipse is to make pinhole projectors.
    Why not celebrate the eclipse by making your own 3D printed pinhole projector in the shape of the USA and/or a US State/or the Navajo Nation?
    5 Steps for building a 2D/3D printable pinhole projector
    Materials: filament in the colors of your choice, 3D printer
    1. Download your State (.stl) file from
    2. Use a 3D printer to print your state.
    3. Check the pinholes (circle & star) for any residual filament.
    4. With your back to the sun, hold your 3D printed pinhole projector 2-3 feet above the ground.
    5. Take a picture of your shadow and share the moment with NASA on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and/or on Flickr, using #EclipseSelfie. Leave a 1-2 sentence description of your image or idea.

    You may want to try other fun ideas listed on If you do not have a 3D printer, you may do either of the following:
    1. Find a local library or a school that has a 3D printer and send them your State (.stl) file.
    2. Download the State (.pdf) file to print on cardstock paper. Punch the pinholes (circle & star).
    Then follow steps 4 and 5 above.

    For more information on NASA’s 3D pinhole projectors, please contact Carolyn Ng, Informal Education Lead for the NASA Heliophysics Education Consortium at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, at

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