Learn about the longest day and the shortest night on Earth – the summer solstice. Find how the planet’s tilt and orbital rotation creates these days and nights. Learn about Stonehenge and how ancient people and various cultures recognized and celebrated the summer solstice. The sites include photographs, animations, a webquest, and hands-on activities as well as the eThemes Resource on summer.
The Summer Solstice
Select among Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced levels to learn about the summer solstice. Click on images to enlarge them.
FactMonster: Summer Solstice
Learn here when and how the summer solstice occurs. NOTE: The site includes pop-up and banner ads.
Chart of Equinox, Solstice and Cross-Quarter Moments
View the animation to see how Earth orbits the sun and goes through changes of solstices and equinoxes. Select the link "Countdowns" to learn how much time and how many days are left before the closest summer and winter solstice. Click on the "Almanacs" link to find how long the day will be during the summer solstice at any year from 2000 to 2010.
Comparative Lengths of Days and Nights
Learn why the longest day of the year is longer than the longest night. NOTE: The reading level is for older students.
Starman: Summer Solstice
Learn about the summer solstice using this comic strip.
Astronomy of Stonehenge
This page explains the purpose of Stonehenge. Choose Intermediate or Advanced levels to learn more.
Build Your Own Stonehenge
This activity teaches kids how to build their own Stonehenge for celebrating the solstice. NOTE: The site includes pop-up and banner ads.
The Midnight Sun
This page has interesting photographs of the sun and the moon taken during the summer solstice in Alaska.
This article is about the Sun Dance, the religion ceremony of the Plains Indians, performed at the time of the summer solstice. Includes photographs and drawings.
Summer Solstice: The Celebration Rituals
Learn how pagans celebrated the summer solstice. Follow links at the bottom to read songs written for the event.
eThemes Resource: Seasons: Summer
These websites are about the summer season. There are information, games, worksheets, lesson plans, and crafts. Includes information about the sun, sunburns, camping, and more. There are links to eThemes on Independence Day, Labor Day, and Seasons.
Request State Standards