Sunday, February 7, 2016

What do we know about weather?

We have been studying the weather these past few months, as part of our science unit, as well as during reading and writing time. Every morning our calendar person checks the weather, and we're tracking how many types of weather occur in a one-month period. We kicked off the unit by looking through non-fiction books and brainstorming what we already knew about weather.

The kids were particularly interested in extreme weather, like tornadoes and and hurricanes. We talked about what people need to do during extreme weather situations, and then drew silly creatures and what they would do :)

We are also reading non-fiction books in Readers Workshop time, and we learned that readers often ask questions about the world before they start reading. We brainstormed some "I wonder" questions, and wrote them on the Wonder Wall. In order to answer our wonderings, we can seek out non-fiction books on the topic!

We also did several experiments to learn how weather works. We read several books about the wind, and did an experiment called "Will the wind blow it?" where we tested different items to see what we could blow across the table. Then we read a book that said wind is just air that you can't see - but it still has a force! We blew up plastic bags and felt the air pushing back at us when we zipped them up and pressed on the bag. Then of course we got to pop the bag when we were done.

Then we did a demonstration that showed that air (which makes wind) does indeed have weight! We blew up two balloons, one with more air than the other, and hung them both on a hanger to see which one weighed more.

We used a bubble map to summarize what we've learned about the wind so far.

The kindergarteners were especially interested in tornadoes. While reading a non-fiction book, one student found directions for how to simulate a tornado, so we decided to do it as a class! Afterwards we did a shared writing piece on How to Make a Tornado in a Jar.

We'll continue to learn more about the weather, including what it means to predict the weather, how clouds give us rain, and how the sun affects our earth. Stay tuned! Meanwhile, here is our exploration table about the weather:

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