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Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources
Reading Comprehension Worksheets
|edHelper's suggested reading level:||grades 5 to 7|
|Flesch-Kincaid grade level:||6.02|
By Mary Lynn Bushong
1 Have you ever been awakened in the middle of the night and weren't able to get back to sleep? Sometimes the darkness seems to last forever. You wonder if the sun will ever rise again. That must be what it was like for ancient people during the winter.
2 The longest night each year happens during the winter solstice. This happens because the Earth's axis is tilted instead of the north and south poles being straight up and down. This tilt gives us our seasons. When the northern hemisphere is tilted toward the sun as the Earth goes around its orbit, it is summer there. When the southern hemisphere is angled toward the sun, it has summer, and the northern hemisphere has winter.
3 Each season is marked by the length of light and darkness each day. The point in the season when night is the longest and day is shortest is the winter solstice. It is followed by spring three months later. The first day of spring is celebrated when there is the same amount of light and darkness. It is called the equinox. The first day of summer is also a solstice, and it marks the longest day and the shortest night. It is followed by the first day of autumn, which is another equinox.
4 The word solstice comes from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to make stand still). It was noticed that the sun reached a point at the solstice when it seemed to stay light or dark the same amount of time over several days instead of making a gradual change.
5 People through time all over the world have made note of the solstice. Many cultures pictured it as a battle between darkness and light, of good and evil. Fires were often burned all night to "help" the sun. If good won the battle, the daylight hours would begin to stretch again.
Paragraphs 6 to 11:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable
English Reading Comprehension: Winter Solstice
French Reading Comprehension: Le solstice d'hiver
Spanish Reading Comprehension: Solsticio de invierno
Italian Reading Comprehension: Il solstizio d' inverno.
German Reading Comprehension: Wintersonnenwende
Feedback on Winter Solstice
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