Teaching overview

Learning points

  • Christmas Day falls in the middle of summer for countries in the southern hemisphere.
  • Astronauts take the day off to celebrate Christmas Day on the International Space Station.
  • Santa Claus would need to travel at 8.2 million km/hour to visit all the kids on Earth.

Curriculum keywords

  • Culture
  • Seasons
  • Snow

5 things you didn't know

Summer Christmas

1. Christmas is celebrated in late December, which in the northern hemisphere means cold weather and warm clothes! But did you know that in the southern hemisphere, Christmas happens right in the middle of summer?

Coldest Christmas

2. The coldest ever Christmas on record in the UK was in 2010, when temperatures fell all the way to –13°C.

Christmas in space

3. Astronauts take a day off to celebrate Christmas on the International Space Station – and because they orbit Earth 16 times a day, they see 16 Christmas Day sunrises in 24 hours!

Huge snow-woman

4. The town of Bethel, in the United States, built the biggest snowman – or in fact, the biggest snow-woman – in 2008. Her name was Olympia and she was a towering 37 metres high!

Speedy Santa

5. For Santa Claus to visit all the children in the world on Christmas Eve, his sleigh would need to travel at around 8.2 million kilometres per hour. Weee!

Spark a discussion

  • Can you explain why countries in the northern hemisphere (such as the UK and USA) celebrate Christmas in winter, while countries in the southern hemisphere (such as Australia and New Zealand) celebrate Christmas in summer?
  • If you were trying to build the tallest snowman (or snow-woman) in the world, what would your design be like? How would you make sure it didn't fall over?
  • Imagine you're an astronaut living on the International Space Station. Could you celebrate Christmas like you normally do? Why or why not?

Explore our resources

Complete your lesson with teaching resources on the seasons from Tigtag.

Go to Tigtag

Discover free online CPD for primary science from Reach Out CPD.

Go to Reach Out CPD