We Explore Weather

Students learn about weather patterns and how to observe, measure, and record basic weather data. Students then work together to create a big book of weather. 

Just in Case brings weather concepts to life through the story of a girl who gets dressed to be prepared for any kind of weather.

Lesson Plan Overview:

Introduction
Flexible 10 lesson sequence: Timing of activities may depend on conditions (location, season, weather)

Activity 1: Being Weather Detectives

Children are invited to be weather detectives who look for clues (evidence) about the weather. They begin by identifying clues in images of different types of weather and then explore the weather outdoors using their senses. The teacher records the clues they find on a weather chart. Back in the classroom, children review all the clues they found and share their ideas about the weather. They are introduced to the terms meteorologist and evidence. 

Home Connection: The Home Activity invites children to have a conversation with family members about their school weather observations. They talk about their favorite type of weather with their families and draw a picture of the family outdoors together.

Activity 2: Gazing at the Sky 

Children become skygazers and observe the daytime sky. They each draw something they observe in the sky and combine their observations on a group chart. Children make connections between the objects they observe in the sky and the weather.

Home Connection: The Home Activity invites children to observe the night sky with their families and record the things they see in the sky. Back at school, children talk about how the night sky is similar to and different from the sky during the day. 

Activity 3: Watching Clouds

Children listen to a story about clouds that sparks their interest in looking for cloud shapes. They observe and describe the sizes, shapes, and colors of clouds and draw one of the clouds they see. They compare their drawings to images of different types of clouds to find matches and think and talk about the role of clouds in the weather.

Home Connection: The Home Activity encourages children have a conversation with their families about their cloud observations at school. Family members are invited to go outdoors with their children and make their own cloud observations, looking for animals and other shapes in the clouds.

Activity 4: Investigating Shadows on a Sunny Day

Children listen to a story about shadows and reflect on their own past experiences with shadows. Outdoors they explore their shadows and investigate how to change their shadows’ appearance by moving in different ways and to different locations. The teacher draws their attention to the position of the sun and other sunny-day phenomena, and children share their evidence-based ideas about sunny days and shadows.

Home Connection: The Home Activity invites children to talk with their families about their sunny day and shadow investigations. They look for their shadows together inside or outside and draw a picture of their shadows.

Activity 5: Predicting Weather on a Cloudy Day

Children explore the outdoor environment on a cloudy day. They notice the effects of cloudy weather on themselves, on other living things, and on the objects and surfaces they find around the school. They record their observations and make predictions about the weather.

Home Connection: The Home Activity invites children to share their weather predictions at home and draw a picture of themselves with their families in the weather they predict.

Activity 6: Measuring Rainfall

Part 1: Children listen to a story about rain, discuss their own rain experiences, and share ideas about how to measure rain. They investigate volume with plastic bottles and measuring cups. In pairs, they assemble rain gauges and place them in the outdoor area. They make predictions about how much rain their gauges will collect if it rains a little or a lot.

Part 2: Children explore outside after the rain looking for clues (evidence) that it rained and describe what they find. They bring their rain gauges indoors and share and compare how much water they collected. They record the amount and make inferences about how much it rained based on the clues they found outdoors and the amount of water in their rain gauges. 

Home Connection: The Home Activity invites children to talk with family members about their rainy-day experiences at school. They make a rain gauge at home with family members and place it outdoors before a rainfall. They record the amount of rainfall on the Home Activity Page.

Activity 7: Blowing in the Wind 

Children listen to and discuss a story about the wind. They make simple wind sticks using ribbons to investigate weather, and if and how the wind is blowing. They observe the ribbons on their wind sticks outdoors, look for other wind clues, and make inferences about how hard and which way the wind is blowing. They use their bodies to represent the effects of different strengths and directions of wind. 

Home Connection: The Home Activity invites children to tell family members about their school wind investigations. They talk about a family activity they might do on a windy day and draw a picture of it on the Home Activity Page.

Activity 8: Taking the Temperature: It Is Hot Out!

Children investigate outdoors on a hot day using their senses and a thermometer to measure the air temperature. They notice differences between how surfaces and objects feel in the sun and the shade and make connections to sunlight. They make connections to seasonal changes and listen to the book How Do You Know It’s Summer? by Allan Fowler (read-aloud available online) sharing ideas about hot weather clues, dress, and activities. 

Home Connection: The Home Activity invites children to talk with their families about some of activities they like to do in hot weather. Children draw pictures of themselves or their families doing a hot weather activity.

Activity 9: Taking the Temperature: It Is Cold Out!

Children investigate small classroom thermometers indoors using cups of warm water and ice and use an indoor/outdoor thermometer to measure the temperature outside on a cold day. They share their ideas about how thermometers work and why they are useful tools. They make connections to seasonal changes and listen to the book How Do You Know It’s Winter? by Allan Fowler (read-aloud available online), sharing ideas about cold weather clues, dress, and activities.

Home Connection: The Home Activity invites children to talk with families about some of the activities they like to do in hot or cold weather. Children draw pictures of their family engaged in one of these activities.

Activity 10: Making a Classroom Weather Book

Children browse through their AWIM notebooks and reflect on the weather they have observed during We Explore Weather. They create their own classroom big book about weather. Small groups draw and write about sunny, cloudy, rainy, snowy, and windy days and how weather influences the living and nonliving things in the environment.

Home Connection: The Home Activity invites children to talk with families about their classroom big book of weather. They create a small book about weather with their families by illustrating the weather over several days and having their family members help them write about it.

 

Items to collect to support the exploration. Most are standard preschool materials.

Provided in Classroom Kit - Coming Soon!

Drawing and writing materials that reflect the range of colors of the earth, sky, and clouds including markers, crayons, colored pencils, chalk

Plastic measuring cups

Permanent markers in two different colors

Gravel /shiny rocks

Newspapers

Index cards 

Water and clear containers for water

Indoor/Outdoor thermometer

2-liter or 1.25-liter plastic bottles (kids can bring in from home)

Small child-safe thermometers (for the class, indoor use) 

Safety scissors

Ribbon (assorted colors) 

Tape or glue

Paper cups

7 large pieces of poster board

Yarn

Hole punch

Masking tape

Straight sticks, 12–15 inches long

All 4 AWIM PreK Children's Books

5 or 6 store-bought or teacher-made clipboards

Downloadable Curriculum and Supporting Files

Straws

 

Cardboard tubes (short or long)

 

Store-bought or teacher-made pocket chart

 

Measuring tools: standard (ruler, measuring tape) and nonstandard (paper clips, unifix cubes)

 

Chart paper

 

Bed sheet or blanket

 

Water exploration materials (e.g., plastic eyedropper or pipettes, basters, squeeze bottles, spray bottles)

 

Different types of thermometers to show the class and/or pass around 

 

The following fiction and nonfiction books all have connections to We Explore Weather activities:
 

GENERAL WEATHER
Maisy’s Wonderful Weather Book by Lucy Cousins
Oh Say Can You Say What’s the Weather Today? by Tish Rabe
The Sun, the Wind and the Rain by Lisa Westberg Peters
Weather Words by Gail Gibbons
What Will the Weather Be Like Today? By Paul Rogers
What Will the Weather Be? by Lynda DeWitt
What’s the Weather Today? by Allan Fowler
Just in Case by Stephen Krensky

THE SUN AND SUNNY DAYS
Guess Whose Shadow? by Stephen Swinburne
Moonbear’s Shadow by Frank Asch
On a Sunny Day by Marisol deRivera-Owen
Sunny Days by Jennifer Burke
Sweet Summer Sun by Dee Smith
The Black Rabbit by Philippa Leathers

RAIN AND SNOW AND STORMY WEATHER DAYS
Come on, Rain! by Karen Hesse
Curious About Snow by Gina Shaw
Rain by Mayna Stojic 
Rain by Robert Kalan and Donald Crews
The First Snowfall by Anne Rockwell and Lizzy Rockwell
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
The Story of Snow by Mark Cassino

CLOUDS AND CLOUDY DAYS
Clouds by Marion Dane Bauer
Explore My World: Clouds (National Geographic Kids) by Marfe Ferguson Delano
It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw
Little Cloud by Eric Carle 
Shapes in the Sky: A Book About Clouds by Josepha Sherman
The Cloud Book by Tomie DePaola

WIND AND WINDY DAYS
A Windy Day by Frank Asch and Devin Asch 
Gilberto and the Wind by Marie Hall Ets
I Face the Wind by Vicki Cobb
The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins

THE SKY
How High Is the Sky? by Anna Milbourne
Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle
Sunny Day by Anna Milbourne

TEMPERATURE
Freezing and Melting by Robin Nelson
How Do You Know It’s Summer? by Allan Fowler
How Do You Know It’s Winter? by Allan Fowler

FOLKTALES
A Nigerian Folktale: Why the Sky Is Far Away, retold by Mary Joan Gerson
Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti by Gerald McDermott
Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema
How the Stars Fell into the Sky: A Navajo Legend by Jerrie Oughton
Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky by Elphinstone Dayrell

 

 

Digital Resources

Introduction

Science Notes for Teachers: Clouds
Cloud chart
NASA website: “What Are Clouds?”

Science Notes for Teachers: Temperature
U.S. National Weather Service Climate and Weather website:
Radar’s Geography4Kids website: “Measuring the Temperature” (Note: Despite the name of this website, the information is for teachers, not preschoolers!)

Science Notes for Teachers:
Extreme Weather Events

Activity 1

Preparation
Photos: Unsplash.com Weather Photos
Video: PBS Learning Media, Different Types of Weather (2 minutes)
Read-aloud: The Meteorologist in Me by Brittney Shipp
Read-aloud: Oh Say Can You Say What's The Weather Today? by Tish Rabe

Extension Activities: Language/Literacy:
Reading and Talking about the Weather
Read-aloud: What’s the Weather Today? by Allan Fowler

Read-aloud: What Will the Weather Be Like Today? by Paul Rogers

Extension Activites: Visual Arts: Creating Sky Paintings
Read-aloud: What Will the Weather Be Like Today? by Paul Rogers

Connection Activities: Performing Arts:
Singing the Weather
Video of songs:
Lyrics to “The Weather Song”
Weather songs:

Activity 2

Classroom Activity, Step 28
Read-Aloud: How High Is the Sky?

Extension Activities: Science:
Making a Sky Chart
Sky Images
from All-Free-Download.com.

Extension Activities: Science:
Chasing the Moon
Peep and the Big Wide World: Observing the Day Moon

Extension Activities: Language/Literacy:
Catching the Moon
Read-Aloud: Papa, Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle

Extension Activities: Visual Arts: Creating Sky Paintings
The Guardian website “The 10 best . . . skies in art,” chosen by art critic Laura Cummings

Connection Activities: Social Studies: Book-Browsing
Read-Aloud: Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky by Elphinstone Dayrell

Read-Aloud: A Nigerian Folktale: Why the Sky Is Far Away, retold by Mary Joan Gerson

Read-Aloud: Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti by Gerald McDermott (a story about how the moon got in the sky)

Read-Aloud: How the Stars Fell into the Sky: A Navajo Legend by Jerrie Oughton

Activity 3

Classroom Activity, Step 3
Read-aloud: It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw

Read-aloud: Little Cloud by Eric Carle

Classroom Activity, Step 25
Video: 20 Amazing Cloud Formations (4 minutes)

Activity 4

Connection Activities: Performing Arts: Singing Sun Songs
Song: “Oh, Mr. Sun” on the Songs for Teaching website:

Activity 5

Extension Activities: Science: Representing the Cloudy Day Sky by Painting It
Cloud images: Cloud Appreciation Society

Extension Activities: STEM:
Looking at Storm Clouds
Mesmerizing "Stormscapes"
:

Extension Activities: Language/Literacy:
Reading about Extreme Weather
Read-aloud: Storm Is Coming by Heather Telanek

Extension Activities: Language/Literacy:
Reading Poems about Clouds
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth

Extension Activities: Performing Arts: Singing Songs about Rain
Song: I Don’t Care If the Rain Comes Down

Song: It’s Raining, It’s Pouring/Rain, Rain, Go Away

Activity 6

Extension Activities: Language/Literacy:
Book-Browsing
Read-aloud: Come on, Rain by Karen Hesse

Read-aloud: The Story of Snow by Mark Cassino

Extension Activities: Social Studies: Making Rain Sticks
Rain Sticks – Kids Can Create the Sound of Falling Rain!
” on the Happy Hooligans website

Extension Activites: Visual Arts: Painting the Snow
Pictures of snow paintings in "15 of the Best Snow Scenes in Art” from the Huffington Post

Activity 7

Classroom Activity, Step 3
Read-aloud: Gilberto and the Wind by Marie Hall Ets

Extension Activities: Social/Emotional Development: Listening to Recorded Wind Sounds
Autumn Wind Sounds: 2 Hour Long Relaxing Nature Sounds for Sleep by Brad McBride

Connection Activities: Performing Arts:
Reciting a Poem about the Tricky Wind
Poems: "The Wind" and many more

Activity 8

Classroom Activity, Step 29
Read-aloud How Do You Know It's Summer? by Allan Fowler

Activity 9

Classroom Activity, Step 25
Read-aloud: How Do You Know It's Winter? by Allan Fowler

Activity 10

Extension Activities: Language/Literacy: Book-Browsing

Read-aloud: Oh Say Can You Say What’s the Weather Today? by Tish Rabe

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