Petey Smith’s kindergarteners can tell you! Here, Petey shares how her kindergarten class explored weather during the first part of our school year.
What is Weather?
Such a simple question to spark curiosity in our kindergarten students. We had a wonderful time exploring the topic of weather through books, poems, songs, art, design, film, and experiments. We even wrote and illustrated our own book about the weather.
Here are some of the questions we began asking and thinking about during our weather study:
- What are different kinds of weather and what do we like to do in each kind of weather?
- How does weather change through the seasons?
- How do we adapt to weather conditions?
Learning about the static electricity that causes lightning was fun. The students created their own static electricity by rubbing balloons on their hair. The electricity they generated attracted feathers and even moved soda cans across a table. The students also made their own thermometers and used a bottle to created a real tornado.
We worked together to find solutions to weather problems. The students worked on designing, then building a method to protect houses from flood waters. To see how each design faired we poured water on the barrier to see if it stood up against the “flood.”
We explored the power of the sun and designed shelters that would protect us from the harmful rays. Later, using one of the prototypes, students help construct a life-size sun shelter. It was a tight fit but students could squeeze in one at a time.
Our kindergarteners melted chocolate bars with a contraption that harnessed the sun’s energy. They designed and built their own prototype.
We studied the four seasons and then painted a scene of our favorite weather. To bring their season to life, each student dressed in clothes that matched their weather. Then, using the green screen, filmed themselves describing what they would do in their favorite weather using their painting as the backdrop. The parents loved the video clips. Claire shared: “My favorite weather is a snowy day because I like to drink hot cocoa and go sledding!”
Of course, we personally observed and graphed how weather changes each day. We took some hikes in our natural surroundings and experienced a sunny day floating leaf boats down the river. When the weather cooled from summer to autumn and the leaves turned colors, we noted that change through photos, drawings, and exhibits of the various shapes, sizes and colors of leaves.
When winter came it snowed. For many of our kindergarteners it was their first experience with snow. The students caught snowflakes on their tongues and threw snowballs at their teacher.
What is weather? Ask one of our kindergarteners … they’ll tell you.