Teaching Students About the Summer Solstice
As we approach the middle of June, it’s something every teacher should consider. Teaching students about the summer solstice is a great way to get them thinking about the changing seasons, the environment around them, and the importance of the sun and its light.
The summer solstice is celebrated every year on June 21st, marking the longest day of the year and the start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s the time when the Earth’s tilt is such that the sun is at its highest point in the sky and daylight lasts for its maximum possible length.
To introduce the topic, it’s important to highlight the fact that sunlight and the sun’s energy play a critical role in our lives. From the way we grow and cultivate food, to the environment in which we live, we are all affected by the sun’s energy, and students should be encouraged to think about this.
Next, you could introduce some fun activities that will help students better understand the summer solstice and its significance.
One great activity is to create a sundial. This can be done in a classroom setting or outside, using materials such as paper plates, pencils, and sticks. Have students mark the position of the sun’s shadow on the sundial at different times of day, and note how the position of the shadow changes as the sun moves across the sky.
Another activity is to create a summer solstice necklace. This is a fun and simple way for students to learn about the sun and its power. Using yarn or string, students can string together bright-colored beads to represent the colors of the sun, adding a small trinket or charm on the end of the necklace to represent the summer solstice.
Ultimately, the goal of teaching students about the summer solstice is to help them better understand the world around them, and to foster a sense of curiosity and wonder. With these activities, and others like them, students will be able to explore the power of the sun and the changing seasons in a meaningful and engaging way.