Weather, Weather, WeatherWeather is one of my favorite springtime units. It's usually a hit with the kids too because they love learning about their world. And, they can even relate to (some of) the material because they have experienced it. So, let's take a look at some engaging ways to learn about weather in the primary classroom.
Track the weather
For some reason, kids always get a kick out of this. Who am I kidding...I get a kick out of it too. Each day we visit weather.com and check the conditions and temperature of our city. Sometimes, we track our own weather, as well as that of a city with a similar climate so that we can compare the daily temps and conditions.
This is a super old tracking form that I made years ago. I wish I had a copy to share, but since I made it a million years ago, I can't seem to locate the digital file. :(
Use Your Textbook
I like to use our Science textbooks throughout my weather unit. Bonus: the kids love this book! Sometimes, they ask to read it in their free time. For real! I digress.
After reading some content in your textbook (or any kind of text you have available-close reads, A-Z readers, etc.), have your students make a flap book to share key details from the text.
In this example, my students made flap books that identified and defined three types of wet weather as they were described in the text book.
On the front of each flap, I had them write the name of a type of wet weather. They also illustrated each type of weather. Beneath each flap, they defined that type of weather.
This is a great activity to get your students interacting with text in a meaningful way. And, it helps them take pride in what they are doing because they are turning that blank piece of paper into their own little creation.
Make a Diagram
Water cycle diagrams are nothing new, of course, but they do help the students really visualize this process. So, why not let your students construct their own diagram?
After reading about the water cycle (in our textbook), and talking about it as a group, my students make a diagram of the water cycle.
I like the idea of them constructing the entire diagram rather than just labeling one. As they create their diagram, they are thinking about each component more deeply.
I give them a task sheet and templates to keep them on track. The templates help them get the project completed in the time allotted. (Click either image below to get your copy from Google Docs).
You can provide a bit of scaffolding for this project by projecting an image like this one. I found this on Pinterest. It's great for reminding the students where to place the components- sun, cloud, body of water- of their diagram (I white out the words/letters and then project it).
Click on the image to see this pin on Pinterest. Sorry about the rotation of the photo, but that's how it was pinned.
Make a Mini Book
Mini books are a staple in my classroom. We make them all.the.time. The students enjoy making their own books and it's an easy way to keep that content nice and organized.
During our weather unit, my students make a book about the seasons. Once again, we use the content in our textbooks to help complete this project. After reading about how the weather changes seasonally, I have the students go back and do some information gathering about each season.
I made this mini book for them to use to gather their facts. I like to do the first page together so they are familiar with my expectations.
Two suns? Hmmmm.
Click the image below to grab a copy of this mini book from Google Docs.
Graphics: KPM Doodles and Creative Clips by Krista Wallden
Make a Hat
We make lots of hats in my classroom. It's a great way to throw in a bit of fun during a unit of study. It's also super cute when they are all wearing their hats and we are walking in our line after school.
This is a hat my students made after we examined different types of "bad" weather.
We read about different types of bad weather (thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes) and then the students chose one of those weather types and gathered safety tips from the textbook. They wrote each safety tip of a cloud shaped template, cut out their clouds, and glued them to a sentence strip hat.
Click either image below to grab a copy from Google Docs.
Write, Write, Write
Don't forget to integrate some writing into your unit too!
You could ask your students to share their opinion about the weather. More specifically, you could ask a question such as, "Do you like the rain?" and have them respond to that.
Or, they could write about how to stay dry when it is raining outside.
Or, they could write about a time they experienced some type of weather they learned about during your unit of study. The possibilities are endless!
I hope you were able to grab a few ideas from this post.
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