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Winter Solstice: FREE Classroom Resources!

Winter Solstice: FREE Classroom Resources!

Do you have your scarves, hats, and boots ready to go? The start of winter is right around the corner! Each year, between December 20 to 23, we celebrate the winter solstice,marking the official start of the winter season. How do you plan to discuss the scientific impacts of this seasonal shift with your students?

The FREE Winter Solstice Toolkit from Edmentum offers a variety of resources to help you do just that, including an age-appropriate poster, fact sheets, and critical thinking tasks specifically created to educate your pre-K through 6th grade students.

Winter brings more than just a change in attire. There are a variety of activities associated with this time of year, like skiing, ice skating, and snowshoeing, as well as significant meteorological changes. Help your youngest learners understand the impacts of this season by observing weather and temperature patterns throughout the winter months.

For older learners, the start of the winter season brings an opportunity to discuss shifts in the earth’s rotation and changes to daylight hours. Take time on this day in our meteorological calendar to explore the larger scientific meaning behind the Winter Solstice.

Want to learn more about the Winter Solstice? Take a look at these six facts you may not have known:

  1. The word solstice comes from the Latin words for “sun” and “to stand still.”
  2. The winter solstice occurs at a specific time of day. This year winter officially begins at 11:45 PM EST.
  3. During the winter solstice, the Northern Hemisphere is pointed at its furthest distance from the sun, bringing less light and colder temperatures.
  4. The winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year—meaning the day with the least amount of daylight hours.
  5. After the solstice occurs, days grow longer north of the equator. This movement culminates on the longest day of the year, the summer solstice (usually falling between June 20 to 22).
  6. Meteorologists consider December 1st the start of winter and March 1st the start of meteorological spring. That’s because December, January, and February are the coldest months of the year.

Incorporate Winter Solstice facts like these into your in-person or virtual classroom lessons with these free resources from Edmentum! Looking for additional fun facts and classroom activities? Check out this article from the Farmer’s Almanac.

This blog was originally publsihed December 2015 and has been updated. 

madison.michell's picture
Madison Michell

Madison Michell has been a member of the Edmentum team since 2014 and currently serves as a Marketing Manager. As a former Kindergarten and 3rd grade teacher during her time as a Teach For America corps member, she believes education truly has the power to transform lives. She is passionate about connecting educators with online programs, best practices, and research that improve teaching and learning for today's students.