I remember reading this short story in third grade, and it made such an impression on me that when I was an adult I searched for it again so I could use it in a primary activity days lesson. The moral of the story is important for girls this age: teasing may not affect us very much, but to the person being teased or bullied, it can have a lasting (sometimes devastating) effect.
Make this an hour-long activity by pairing it with one of the Team Building Games and practicing being good friends. Or, if you are in a science mood, use the rest of activity days to explore how our knowledge of Venus has evolved since this story was written.
Category: Living and Learning the Gospel.
Duration: 25 minutes
- At least one copy of the short story “All Summer in a Day.” Please contact me if the link doesn’t work! You should also be able to find it elsewhere online.
- None besides printing the story (or at least bringing it up on your phone!)
- Read the short story together aloud.
- After finishing, talk about why the other kids bullied Margot (she was different, she was strange, etc.)
- Discuss how the children felt when they were bullying her (they were laughing, smiling.)
- Was their joy at bullying lasting joy?
- How did the children react when they realized that their bullying had caused Margot to miss the sun?
- How do you think this bullying affected Margot?
- Read John 13:34 and encourage the girls to make the goal to love even those they know who are different or strange.
- Ask the girls if they remember the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37). Identify the bully in that story and the Christlike actions of the Samaritan.
- Watch this video about bullying from the LDS website.
- Read Stop Bullying Now from an issue of The Friend.
- This short story was written back in 1954 before we knew anything about the planet Venus. It’s a great science tie-in to talk about what we now know about the planet Venus and why kids wouldn’t actually be able to live there.
- You can also discuss that this type of story is called “science fiction” and that there are lots of popular science fiction books they can check out at the library. (They have probably all heard of Star Wars, and you’d be surprised how many of them have read the Hunger Games even though it’s a pretty mature book!)