Elementary Programs Chapter
Weather - Wild and Mild!
Books to Share
- Blizzard by Betty Ren Wright.
- Comes a Wind by Linda Arms White.
- Eye of the Storm: Chasing Storms with Warren Faidley by Stephen P. Kramer.
- I Face the Wind by Vicki Cobb.
- Twister by Darleen Bailey Beard.
Books to Show or Booktalk
- Blizzard! by Jim Murphy.
- Case of the Swirling Killer Tornado by John Erickson.
- The Great Storm: the Hurricane Diary of J. T. King, Galveston Texas 1900 by Lisa Waller Rogers.
- Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse.
- Twisters and Other Terrible Storms by Will Osborne and Mary Pope Osborne.
Texas Has the Wildest Weather!
Put a large picture of the sun on one side of the board and dark clouds with a funnel cloud on the other. Place the title, “Texas Has the Wildest Weather!” between the images of mild and wild weather, using large lettering. If desired, add cloud shapes with titles of weather-related books printed on them. Display books nearby.
“I Am the Wind” on Fred Penner’s Place by Fred Penner.
- El Niño by Caroline Arnold.
- The Weather Channel® Presents: Hurricanes! by Susan Hood.
- The Weather Channel® Presents: Lightning! and Thunderstorms by Mike Graf.
- The Weather Channel® Presents: Tornadoes by Sally Rose.
(Adapted from EcoArt! by Laurie Carlson.)
- Two-liter soda bottles, clean and dry
- Fabric scraps
- Plastic tablecloth
- Hole punch
In advance, carefully cut the top and bottom off soda bottles to form 4-inch rings, using an Exacto knife or heavy-duty scissors. Cut the plastic tablecloth into 18-inch by 1 ½-inch strips. Cut string into 12-inch strips. The children cover the ring with fabric scraps and staple them securely in place, and then staple the plastic tablecloth strips to one edge of the plastic ring. Then they punch a hole on the top of the opposite edge of the plastic ring and thread a 12-inch piece of string through the hole, knotting the ends. This creates a handle for hanging the windsock. They are ready to hang the windsock outside and let the wind blow!
- Blue construction paper
- Cotton balls
- Black or gray markers
Let the children glue cotton balls on the blue paper to simulate clouds. They can make the cotton thinner by pulling it apart with their fingers to form cirrus clouds or lump them together for cumulus clouds. They can also brush the cotton balls lightly with the black or grey markers create a “storm” cloud.
Tornado in a Bottle
Create a tornado in a bottle using the instructions on Scholastic’s Web site for Teachers at http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/wwatch/ tornadoes/experiments.htm.
Weather Word Search
Distribute the Weather Word Search provided at the end of this chapter for the children to complete during the program or as a handout to take home.
Invite a meteorologist or science teacher to talk about the weather.
If you have public performance rights, show these videos and DVDs to the children during your program. Otherwise, display them for home use.
- Hurricanes, Tornadoes and Other Weather. (15 minutes)
- The Magic School Bus Kicks Up a Storm. (30 minutes)
- Weather's Fury: A Kid's Guide to Xtreme Forces. (23 minutes)
- FEMA for Kids: Hurricanes
- FEMA offers facts, figures, pictures, and trivia related to hurricanes, including a list of names for upcoming storm seasons.
- Global Warming Kid’s Site
- Information, games, on-line movies, and more related to global warming and climate are provided by the Environmental Protection Agency.
- National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center
- This site includes a frequently asked questions section about tornadoes along with some amazing photographs of storms.
- Weather Wiz Kids
- A meteorologist offers weather-related jokes, folklore, quizzes, safety tips and more, all for kids.
- Web Weather for Kids
- Games, true stories about severe weather, activities, safety tips, and a chance to try predicting the weather are provided by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.
- Can It Really Rain Frogs? by Spencer Christian and Antonia Felix.
- EcoArt! by Laurie Carlson.
- Exploratorium Museum
The “snacks” section of this site provides instructions for creating a vortex in a bottle and explains the forces at work, but also check out the other weather related projects.