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Humanism – Summer Solstice


Humanism – Summer Solstice

LT focus:

  • Recall various celebrations studied to date and their corresponding religions.
  • Discuss some common ways in which we celebrate.
  • Investigate the school surroundings using the five senses.
  • Compose a question for explanation writing prompted by the outdoors.


In class:

  • Recall various celebrations studied to date and their corresponding religions.
  • Discuss/note on the board some common ways in which we celebrate.
  • Highlight the summer solstice as a day celebrated by many people, including humanists, agnostics and atheists. Note that the 21st June is also World Humanist Day.
  • Discuss what the children already know about non religions such as humanists, atheists and agnostics.



  • Introduce the sensory wheel to the children and explain how the class will used their senses to fill the wheel.
  • For the tasting segment of the wheel set up some bowls of summer fruits at the picnic area for the children to taste.
  • Encourage the pairs to close their eyes and guess the fruits their partner gives them.
  • Tell the class that you would also like them to look around the outdoors for something that they would like explained.
  • Give examples of questions to clarify what is being requested.

-Why are leaves green?

-How do bees make honey?

-Why are birds beaks pointed?

-What species of butterflies do we have in Ireland?

  • Allow the children to freely explore their surroundings to fill their wheel and to inform their question.



  • Listen and respond to some examples of what the children’s senses discovered for each of the five senses.
  • Listen and respond to some examples of questions the children would like to have explained. (These will be researched and explained by the children in a follow up English lesson.)
  • Celebrate the day by having a class picnic with the children’s lunch outdoors.

Other teacher resources for teaching this topic:


  • Activities – Pupil A can draw instead of writing on the senses wheel.
  • Resources – Question sheet will include examples to aid pupil A.
  • Assistance – Peer assistance/Cooperative task.
  • Product – Variance in the complexity of the questions for explanation writing according to abilities.


  • Clipboards
  • Senses wheel worksheet and paper to compose a question
  • Variety of chopped summer fruits
  • Children’s own lunch for a picnic
  • Class camera


  • Ethics and the Environment – Knowledge and Awareness of Environmental issues – A lesson on waste management in our school surroundings


  • English – Writing – Explanation writing
  • S.E.S.E. – Science and the environment/Human Life/Plants and animals/Caring for the environment
  • S.P.H.E – Developing citizenship/Knowing about my body/Food and nutrition/Environmental Care

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