Activity for ‘Sole! White Sunday’

Sole! White Sunday

by Fata & Paula Letoa

This is the story of young Sole, who is preparing for White Sunday – a special annual day at his church, which celebrates children. Sole explains the significance of White Sunday for him and his Samoan culture, and describes how he must prepare a bible reading in Samoan – which takes FOREVER to learn!

The simple text and cartoon images by Tony Rush give the book great appeal for children.

This book was nominated because of its appeal for children, and its focus on a child who is involved in his Samoan culture. It was also nominated because of its use of the Samoan language.

Activity: CULTURAL CELEBRATIONS (Social Sciences)

Curriculum Level 1, 2 & 3 (see curriculum links at the end of the activity)

NZC Key Competencies

  • thinking
  • using language, symbols and text
  • participating and contributing
  • relating to others


 In this story, Sole prepares for and takes part in the traditional Pacific Island celebration of White Sunday. This is an annual celebration of children, and always takes place on the second Sunday in October. Children dress up in white and their parents serve them through the day. The children perform items and recite bible verses at special church services.The story provides an excellent starting point for talking about different cultural celebrations.

1. After reading, talk about Sole’s White Sunday celebration. Explain that this is a very important celebration that all children take part in in the Pacific Islands – as well as Pasifika children living in New Zealand. Some children in the class may have experiences to share about this.

2. Set a homework task for children: they are to go home and talk to their parents about their own cultural celebrations, and be prepared to talk about them the next day.

Examples of cultural celebrations: Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Diwali, Eid, Thanksgiving, Waitangi Day.

3. Spend some time the next day talking about children’s own experiences of their cultural celebrations. List them on the board as children talk about them.


  • Why do we have celebrations?

Share ideas.

4. Children can then choose one cultural celebration to do some follow-up work on.

  • At Level 1, this could involve preparing a talk to share with the class. They may like to bring some things from home to help with their talk – photos, items of clothing, or a special food they use to celebrate with.
  • At Levels 2 and 3, students could work in groups to investigate one cultural celebration. Use books and internet to find out:

1.     what the celebration is for

2.     which country(s) celebrate it

3.     what the celebrations involve

4.     photos or special items to share which demonstrate this celebration

Students could then prepare a presentation for the class.


  • internet and library access
  • items brought from home – eg. photos, clothing and food items
Curriculum Links Social Sciences

  • understand how belonging to groups is important for people (Level 1)
  • understand that people have different roles and responsibilities as part of their participation in groups (Level 1)
  • understand that people have social, cultural, and economic roles, rights and responsibilities (Level 2)
  • understand how cultural practices reflect and express people’s customs, traditions and values (Level 2)
  • understand how cultural practices vary but reflect similar purposes (Level 3)

Links to other books in the PPBC

O Le Aso S Pa’epa’e by Sarona Aiono-Iosefa– this book is also about the celebration of White Sunday

Selafina by Catherine Hannken

O Le Fa’aipoipoga by Emma Kruse Vaai

Tane Steals the Show by Lino Nelisi

– these books are all about traditional Pacific Island celebrations