In this lesson, students learn about one of the most important events on our planet - the Solstice, which occurs on the 21st December.

It is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the longest day of the year in the Southern Hemisphere. The Solstice occurs because the Earth is always tilted in the same direction, affecting the amount of sunlight that hits different parts of the planet, giving us the seasons. Teachers explain the phenomenon using a ball and light source before discussing the diagram on the worksheet with students, who complete a gapped text. Students extend and consolidate their understanding with a reading activity and further activities about the seasons.


  • To learn about the importance of the 21st of December (it’s the Winter/Summer Solstice)
  • To understand why there is a shortest (and longest) day of the year on our planet
  • To show how the tilt of the Earth gives us the seasons (winter in the Northern Hemisphere and summer in the Southern Hemisphere)
  • To use the present simple to describe facts
  • To use comparatives (hotter, colder) and superlatives (shortest, longest)
  • To provide listening practice with a solar system-themed song or story


Older primary learners aged 9-12 years old at CEF level A2 and above


50-60 minutes


The lesson plan and student worksheet can be downloaded below in PDF format. In addition, you will need a basketball or large ball and a lamp or light source, to show the tilt of the Earth and how it affects the length of night and day and gives us the seasons (if possible, add two circular stickers to indicate the North and South poles on the ball).

Karen Elliot

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