WEATHER START Weather and Seasons Teacher s Guide

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1 WEATHER START Weather and Seasons Teacher s Guide Grade Level: K-2 Curriculum Focus: Weather Running Time: 15 minutes Program Description A little girl and her grandfather spend a summer afternoon sitting by a pond. The conversation changes from how warm the summer day is to how the pond gets cold and freezes in the winter. The grandfather helps the girl understand how the sun controls temperature and the seasons while the girl describes how to dress for different weather and seasons. Both discuss how meteorologists predict weather using weather instruments, and how those predictions help people live comfortably. They conclude that all weather has a purpose and can be appreciated and enjoyed if we are prepared for it. Segment 1: sun, heat, air, wind, rain Segment 2: winter cold, snow, dressing properly Segment 3: seasons and dressing for seasons Segment 4: sun and seasons, meteorologists, instruments Segment 5: meteorologists, predictions, sky sights, value of weather Series Description Weather Start is an animated four-part series that introduces small children to the science and wonders of weather. Each 15 minute segmented program stands alone in approaching the various facets of meteorology from the sun, heat, air and wind to clouds, rain and the water cycle, to weather and seasons, to storms. These clever and entertaining programs may be used as an introduction, supplement, or follow-up to weather studies to foster awareness of how weather works and the roles weather plays in our lives and in the balance of the Earth. Weather Start is written and produced by Alan Sealls, an award-winning meteorologist and college professor who has worked for WGN-TV, and CNN. Each Weather Start program is supported in a teacher's guide by exercises, hands-on experiments, and coloring pages. Learning Objectives After viewing the program and participating in discussion and exercises, students will be able to: List the ways in which weather benefits Earth and life on Earth. List the ways in which weather forecasts benefit people. Identify sources of weather information. List senses used to observe weather. 1

2 List tools used to observe weather. List the purposes of weather instruments. Describe how the sun is related to seasons. Describe the changes in seasons. Describe properties of air and wind. Demonstrate how warm air behaves differently from cool air. Identify non-storm hazards of weather. List items to be worn in different seasons. Describe what a meteorologist does. Classroom Connections How do weather instruments help meteorologists? Weather instruments give meteorologists a way to measure things so they can be certain how much there is. What are some of the instruments meteorologists use? Thermometer, rain gauge, wind gauge, wind vane, radar, satellite, anemometer (wind speed and direction), barometer (pressure), and hygrometer (moisture). How should we dress in the summer when it is sunny and hot? Wear lightweight, light-colored clothes with short sleeves and short pants and a cap. Use sunscreen. Sunglasses help to protect our eyes. How should we dress in the winter when it is very cold (and snowy)? Wear layers of clothing including long pants, shirts, coats, hats, mittens or gloves, and boots. Why do people watch the weather report on television? We watch the weather report to know how to prepare for work, school, travel or leisure and to avoid hazards of storms and dangerous weather. Why does it get cold in winter? Winter is cold because days are shorter and the sun is lower in the sky Classroom Activities Sky Chart Take medium-sized pieces of cardboard and cut out the shape of a square or rectangle in the middle. Mark off squares on the edge of the cardboard and then color each square with different shades of blue, gray, orange and yellow. Label it Sky Chart along the top. It might help to give each color a number. You can also create one large chart for the class to share. 2

3 Take the charts outside and try to match the color of the sky to it. Don't look directly at the sun. Each day check the sky color. Keep a weekly log of what colors you see. Is it always the same? Why is it different? What colors do you see the most? How does the color of the sky change through the day? Cold Sense Instruct the kids to hold ice cube with their bare hands, gloves, mittens, or various layers of cloth to learn about insulation and protection from cold. Make observations of what they experience. Expect the bare hand holding the ice to be brief and uncomfortable as the ice melts. Gloves and mittens will provide insulation. Multiple layers of cloth also will insulate the hands. The insulation slows ice from melting and it keeps our bodies warm. Clip Cloud Pictures for Collage Ask students to have their parents give them one old magazine at home that they can clip cloud pictures from. The goal is to find out how many pictures they, or the class as a group, can find which show clouds or parts of the water cycle (rain, snow, ice, flooding, even the sun). This illustrates how weather is so much a part of our lives. In class create a collage where you can sort the pictures in many different ways- cloudy, sunny, stormy, dry, winter, summer, spring, fall, etc... Observe and Record Data Make multiple snowballs and place them in bowls in the classroom close to a heater, near a window, on a counter, and on the floor. Challenge students to predict which will melt first and which will melt last. Record the start time. Observe and list on a class chart the number of minutes for the snowballs to melt. Discuss why snowballs in different areas (climates) melted faster or slower. You can also do this with ice cubes. 3

4 Daily Weather Instruct students to color and then cut out icons for the sun, rain, snow, and different cloud shapes and colors. You can also create words to describe the temperature or weather such as wet, dry, hot, cold, warm, cool, windy, rain, and snow. Make a calendar graph with the day of the week and month that is large enough to paste the icons on. Assign a different student to make the daily weather observation and paste the appropriate icon on the board. At the end of the week or month discuss if the weather was the same or not on different days and what might have made it change. Cold Blue Ice Put water in an ice tray and add a few drops of blue food coloring to it. Put the tray in a freezer to make blue ice cubes. After your ice is ready, fill a jar halfway with cool water and put it on a table. Take one of the ice cubes and gently place it in the jar. Watch what happens as the ice cube melts. Ask the students to guess what will happen. Be sure to point out that the ice floats. The cold blue water from the melting ice sinks downward just like cold air. The water gets colder as the ice melts (gets warmer). The water also turns blue as the melting ice mixes with the clear water. Watch the Wind Cut construction paper into a square piece that is about 6 inches on each side. Draw lines to connect opposite corners and divide it into 4 triangles. Let the kids color each triangle with a different color. Use scissors to cut about halfway from each corner to the middle. Fold back the same portion of each corner, as you see in the picture, to the center of the paper. Push a tack through all 4 tips of the folded corners, in the middle, into the eraser on a pencil. Blow on your new pinwheel or hold it up to the wind and watch it spin as air moves it like a windmill. Sitting on Air Demonstrate the power of air by having kids sit on balloons. Let the children blow up balloons first. Then ask the kids what is in the balloons. Have them describe it as heavy or light, and weak or strong. Select a small child to sit on a balloon. Then instruct larger kids to sit on the balloons. Finally, to really make your point that air 4

5 is strong, you sit on a balloon. The balloon will hold a person up. Point out that air in tires holds up bicycles, cars, trucks, tractors and even airplanes before they takeoff. Dress for Seasons and Weather Help your class clip pictures from magazines of people who are outdoors. Paste the pictures on a board. Discuss with the students what season or weather the people are dressed for and how they can tell. Create words of the season or weather and paste them next to the respective pictures. A follow-up step is have the kids use the words in a sentence, story or poem. Seasonal Words Set aside one wall or portion of the class for each season. Tell the children to color or draw their own seasonal pictures, then brainstorm together to come up with words that are used to describe each season. Write those words on a list next to the artwork A follow-up step is have the kids use the words in a sentence, story or poem. Dancing Leaves Bring in some leaves from outside to let gently fall to the floor. Point out the many motions the leaves make. Stimulate the children's imaginations by having them imitate falling leaves. You can do this to gentle music or to a recording of the sound of wind. Encourage them to show how wind makes the leaves flutter, shake, move and spin as leaves fall to the ground. Sun Safety Discuss how too much sun can hurt us. Explain that the sun has a lot of heat and energy. Demonstrate how powerful it is by showing how quickly the sun can fade paper. Have the class trace their hands on a sheet of white paper and then cut out the tracings. Place the tracings on a sheet of dark paper outside in the direct sun. Use small stones to keep the wind from blowing the paper away. After a few hours when you remove the hand tracings you should find that the black paper has faded except where the tracing was. If you compare the hand tracing to the paper it was cut from the hand tracing should be yellowed. This works best in or near summertime when the sun is strongest. Discuss how people can protect themselves from too much sun. 5

6 Wind Sock Show the students pictures of airplanes and birds and discuss that both fly in the air. Tell them that when it is too windy both have a harder time taking off and landing so wind is important. Do an Internet search to find an image of a wind sock at an airport and explain that the wind sock helps a pilot know if it is safe to takeoff and land. Make windsocks using colorful sheets of construction paper, ribbon, and tape. Attach the left and right sides of the paper together using the tape to create a cylinder. Tape pieces of 18" ribbon to one end of the cylinder. You may also use paper bags with the bottoms cut out. Use a hole punch to create 4 holes on the other end of the cylinder that are equally spaced. Then tie 4 pieces of 18" string or yarn to the holes and then take the loose ends of the strings and tie them together. Hang the wind sock outside on a dry day and watch it move. The measurements don't have to be exact. Kids can color the construction paper before you create the cylinder. Use some sort of waterproof paper if you want to leave the windsocks out in the rain! Target Vocabulary air autumn cloud cold comfort cycle dry danger Earth fall forecast freeze heat hot ice ice crystal instrument melt meteorologist predict rain rain gauge safety satellite season shadow 6

7 sky snow spring storm summer sun thermometer warm water weather wind wind meter winter Academic Standards National Academy of Sciences The National Academy of Sciences provides guidelines for teaching science in grades K 12 to promote scientific literacy. To view the standards, visit this Web site: This program and guide addresses the following United States national standards for grades k-2: Science as inquiry Physical science Earth science Science in personal and social perspectives Investigation and experimentation 7

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