Midsummer poem and activities

Add to My Folder

This content has not been rated yet. (Write a review)

By Brenda Williamspoet and writer

Explore the history, mystery and magic of summer solstice celebrations and use the poem ‘They’re Selling Moonbeams in the Marketplace’ to inspire your own midsummer activities.

Stonehenge sunrise

Group discussion

The summer solstice has been celebrated for over 5000 years. It is when the sun appears to reach its highest point in the sky. For the northern hemisphere, this is the night of June 20th/21st when the earth, tilted on its axis, places the northern part of the earth closer to the sun. June 21st is the longest period of daylight in the year. In the southern hemisphere, this period of the year is their winter solstice with the shortest hours of daylight.
  • Give a simple demonstration, using a torch to represent the sun and a globe of the world, to illustrate how the earth turns around to face or turn away from the sun each day. Identify Britain on the globe for children to watch how night and day occurs.
  • Continue by tilting the northern hemisphere of the globe towards the sun, to show Britain receiving more sun than Australia.

Extension activity
Explain that this is also why, when the South Pole tilts towards the sun, and we experience our shortest day of the year in December, Australians are enjoying their summer solstice, and are likely to celebrate Christmas on the beach.

Celebrations and Festivals

Subscriber-only content

Scholastic Resource Bank: Primary - subscribe today!

  • Over 6,000 primary activities, lesson ideas and resources
  • Perfect for anyone working with children from 5 to 11 years old
  • Unlimited access – only £15 per year!