What to do with this activity?
With your child, click on the picture above to watch a short National Geographic video about Newgrange in County Meath. Talk about the video together.
Newgrange was built about 500 years before the Great Pyramids of Egypt, and more than 1,000 years before Stonehenge in England.
The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, the 21st December. Something special happens at Newgrange at the winter solstice. The rising sun exactly lines up with the narrow doorway. On a sunny day, a shaft of sunlight shines right into the inside of the dome.
The Office of Public Works receive over 30,000 applications a year from people who want to be inside Newgrange at dawn on Winter Solstice. Only a few people fit inside, so places are decided each year by a lottery. See here for information of where to apply for that lottery.
Why am I doing this?
It’s important to encourage whatever reading your child is doing at this age. Children have their own interests and hobbies so they will be more inclined to read information about these subjects. Having comics, papers or magazines around the house will make it easier for your child to get into reading. Your child might find it appealing to read online and you might like that the book can be read by an automated voice. E books can be looked at when you are on the move, making sure that your child is careful with your computer or phone.
How can I do more?
Your child might like to read a section of the newspaper or a magazine – the sports, fashion or cooking sections - depending on their interests. They might like to read a short piece from a newspaper and underline facts with a pen and opinion with a pencil. You can then talk about the difference between fact and opinion (there are good examples in sports writing). Encourage your child to read instructions for mending bikes, building models and playing new games.
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