Cool After School: Winter Solstice

by Vicky on December 27, 2010

For our Cool After School program the day after the winter solstice, I read Lucia and the Light, by Phyllis Root and illustrated by Mary Grandpré.

It’s a new story, told in the style of a folk tale.  I introduced it by telling the children how the sun seems to rise farther and farther to the north as the days shorten, and people in the far north feared that the sun would finally disappear, taking away all its light and warmth. The solstices mark the two points in the year when the sun seems to stop moving, rising in the same position for a couple of days before beginning to move back in the opposite direction.

I told them that when I lived much farther north, the days began lengthening noticeably right after the winter solstice, a welcome reassurance that spring would eventually arrive.

Lucia lives in a cabin in the far North with her mother and her baby brother, their cow, and her milk-white cat.  One winter, the sun completely disappears, and Lucia goes on a quest (accompanied by the milk-white cat) to find it.

After the story, we made origami sun wheels.

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