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Monday, December 9, 2013

Winter Solstice

"The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice" by Wendy Pfeffer

This is a fantastic topic for a picture book, and Wendy Pfeffer, a seasoned science-oriented author, teaches an age-appropriate science, history, and cultural lesson.

December 21st is considered the shortest day of the year or the Winter Solstice. This is the beginning of winter as this day has the fewest hours of daylight.

"The earth tilts as it moves around the sun. When the northern part of the earth tilts away from the sun, the north gets less heat and light than the southern part."

People have recognized this occurance for hundreds of years all over the world, but they didn't always know the science behind it. Some people thought that evil spirits caused shorter days because they didn't understand how the earth moves around the sun.

Find out how the Chinese, Romans, Europeans, and Incas celebrated the season. At the end of the book, there are additional facts given, and illustrative diagrams about the earth's orbit around the sun. Morever, there is a winter sunrise/sunset chart to use, an experiment about measuring shadows on the shortest day, and three more experiments! This is a great book for all elementary age children to read.