Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Honoring the Summer Solstice: 10 Activity Ideas for Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Sun

June 22nd is the Summer Solstice here in the northern hemisphere.  It is the time of year when the earth's axis tilts towards the sun, causing warm weather and longer days in the northern hemisphere, and cold weather with "shorter" days in the southern hemisphere.  Celebrate the changing seasons with your class by trying some of the lesson plans below.

 

 

sunflower

 

1. Have a circle time with younger students that focuses on the summer solstice. Make a list of all the things the sun does for us on Earth. Ask students to consider what would happen if we didn’t have the sun.  See: Summer Solstice the Montessori Way: Classroom Curriculum Activities

 

mask

 

2. Have students write a play, skit or dialogue that explains the summer solstice. They can personify the sun and earth to create characters or create a metaphorical tale. The play can then be performed for parents and other classes. 

 

 

 

 

Bearded man

 

3. Create a “quiz show” game with questions about the summer solstice or the sun.  Quiz may include questions from sites below:

 

Green forest

 

 

 

4. Read Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and discuss setting, plot and characters within context of solstice beliefs and traditions.

 

 

 

 

Hinode

 

 

5. Solar Math.  See Space Math at NASA for extensive list of math problems related to the sun.   

 

 

 

solar music

 

 

6.  Sun Sounds.  Use tangibles (slinky, triangles, bottles of water, different sized oatmeal boxes) to demonstrate the principal of vibration, echo, and different pitches of sound.  See Solar Music from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory for explanation of how astronomers can listen to the sun's “heartbeat” to learn about the inside of the Sun.    

 

 

Sun

 

Listen to the Sounds of the Sun as recorded by research scientist.

Hear music inspired by sounds of solar wind.

The Heart of the Sun

 

 

Sun tea with lemon

7. Solar Snacks

Sun tea  

Solar Smores (or nachos) 

 

 

 

red sun

 

 

8. Sing AstroCappella: The Sun Song
Catchy fact-filled song about the sun.
                

 

 

 

 

Stonehenge

9. Sun Folklore.  Read aloud from collection of myths, legends and tales about the sun, representing a variety of cultural perspectives and world views. 

 

 

 

 

summer field

 

10.  Listen to “Summer” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.
Explain that the music represents the season of summer, and ask students to let their imaginations follow the music. Invite them to share thoughts or feelings about the music. 

 

 

 

 

10 Activities to Celebrate the Summer Solstice