Monday, November 8, 2010

Autumn Series #8: Autumn Weather

Outdoor Hour button
This has been quite the week to study weather.   We have gone from clear and crisp, to rainy and cold, to sleet and snow.  The weather in upstate New York is not for the faint of heart.  During the fall it can be surprisingly warm in the mid afternoon.  You strip down to long sleeves.  Then all of a sudden it frigid beyond your belief and you are searching for your favorite wool sweater.

For this study I had imagined making a weather station, recording data on charts and graphs, and painting weather maps.  In the days in which I taught older children I made these activities a reality.  I videoed my second graders as they pretended to be meteorologists, using their painted maps to predict the weather.  I even had my first grade students keep track of temperature trends for the entire school year on a line graph.  Seeing that we are working on three year old skills, I had to backtrack to my kindergarten days.  I used my experience there to build the activities we worked on for the week.  I aimed for simple.

We began our study reading from a nice collection of weather books.

After reading the boys generated a list of words that describe the weather.

We went out for our outdoor challenge.   As we walked around our property we talked about the current weather conditions using the words that we had just discussed.  It was a clear cold day.
We noticed frost on the grass.

We discussed what you wear in weather such as this.  We compared what we wore in the summer and noticed how the season has changed.

When we went back inside to record our findings we sat down with the notebook page and drew blue sky and grey clouds.  The boys dictated the information for me and I recorded for them.

For our next layer, we made paper doll weather bears.  In my kindergarten classroom I had a stuffed bear that we dressed each day for the weather.  It was one of the jobs delegated out to two students in the morning.  He wore sunglasses, a raincoat, winter jacket, boots, shorts, get the idea.  Well, the bear is long gone, and I did not have the time to find a new collection of clothing for one of our teddy bears.  I think that would be a nice goal for next year.  This year we were quite happy with paper.  The boys colored the bear and each set of clothing.  I cut them out and placed all the parts in a plastic bag that they are keeping in their desks.

Each day the boys have been dressing their bear for the weather.

On another day, when it rained, I allowed the boys to go out and do some serious splashing and mucking around.  Usually I allow them to play out when it is drizzly, not pouring.  They found this kind of science investigation quite fun.

For our last follow up activity we read Little Cloud  by Eric Carle and the cloud section of How the Weather Works.  

The boys used cotton balls, pads, and white paint to make three cloud charts.

The three types we made were cumulus,

                                                                      and cirrus.

This was a nice beginning for our weather study.  I am really looking forward to building on it as the boys grow older.  


Susan said...

Gramma loves science day with Mamma and the babies.

Phyllis said...

I like your cloud pictures.

tlc said...

Dear Amy, you are such a good mama. I love reading your blog!
love, Tina

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

This is a wonderful study for little ones of the weather. I love the idea of the weather bear to keep you observing your weather from day to day...very age appropriate.

Glad you had fun with your weather study and getting to play in the rain.

Thanks for sharing your book ideas and your link with the OHC.

Pebblekeeper said...

What a great little ones study! We have a few of those books - I love them all! I love your list of words in the window. Even with the older boys that would be a good idea. I loved doing cotton ball clouds. So Sweet!