SOS Holiday Twist: Winter Solstice

We’re sharing DEN STAR Holiday Twists on some of your favorite SOS strategies during December.  Check back each week for a new idea on using the SOS in your classroom.

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Things That Make You Go Hmmm…..

Original PDF and Vignette

Twist provided by Cathy Maher from Chesterfield, VA.  You can learn more about Cathy by following her on Twitter at @camaher.

For those in the Northern Hemisphere, Tuesday, December 22 marks both the shortest day and the longest night of the year.  At this point in our calendar we officially shift from Fall into Winter.  It is also when we look ahead to the days becoming progressively longer, meaning that the warmth and light of Spring is ahead.

Winter Solstice is a perfect time to have your students explore and compare the similarities and differences between the Northern and Southern hemispheres at this time of year.  The SOS Strategy: Things That Make You Go Hmm… provides a way to structure that exploration for your students.

First, you’ll want to locate video segments about each hemisphere this time of year.  Take a look through the DE Winter Weather Content Collection to find a variety of segments that could work.  Next, share the first segment with your students, pausing frequently to have them complete T-Charts that list adjectives and evidence for each hemisphere.  As you do this, model your thinking and questioning process out loud by saying, “Hmm…” and then making a statement about what you’re seeing in the video.  For example, you could say, “Hmm… it looks really cold in the Northern Hemisphere.”  Don’t forget to provide evidence to back up those claims.  For example, “It must be cold because I see icicles dripping from the trees.”

Ask students to make connections between the 2 charts by putting them side by side and circling words that appear on both lists.  Finally, have students use the information they’ve collected to write comparative paragraphs about the two hemispheres.

Continue to Celebrate the Holidays with Discovery Education through our global collaborative project.


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