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TRACING HANDS: On a cold day, ask the children to trace their hands on a piece of paper and color them to show how they came "dressed" for school. Construct a graph using the mittens, gloves and bare hands.
COUNTING RAINDROPS: Cut small paper clouds of different shapes. Provide bingo chips to represent raindrops. Ask the children to estimate the number of "raindrops" needed to fill each cloud. Have the children place the bingo chips on the clouds to confirm their guesses. The clouds can then be ordered according to the number of "raindrops" each holds.
COUNTING SYLLABLES: After reading the story "Umbrella" to the class write the following words on the chalkboard: rain, Momo and umbrella. Ask the children to clap the syllables in each word as it is pronounced. Have the class clap the the syllables in each child's name. The children will write their name on the chalkboard under the word that has the same number of syllables as their name.
RAINMAKER: Chose one child to be a rainmaker to beat the "rhythm of the rain" on a drum. Have the students count aloud how many beats the rhythm of the rain has. As they are counting have the students move and dance counting the beats 1,2,3,4,18.104.22.168.
WIND MATH: Position two long strings parallel on the floor to represent a path. Divide the "path" into one-foot sections. Choose one child to represent the wind. Place a ping pong ball at the beginning of the "path." Encourage the "wind" to move the ball as far as possible in just one blow. Measure the distance the ball traveled. Give the "wind" another chance, challenging "it" to blow the ball farther. Measure and compare the difference.
For one week's time, have students go outside and check the temperature on a thermometer. Have them record each day's temperature and convert the temperature to either Celsius or Farenheight degrees (whatever is opposite of the thermometer outside.) *This math lesson will obviously need to include an explanation for the two temperature categories for climate or weather.
In a unit covering atmosphere and deforestation, have students look at trees that have been cut down or fallen for various environmental reasons. Have students focus on the layers of rings in the tree and calculate just how old the tree is, by counting the rings.
NUMBER STORIES: After reading to the class the story of "Stina" have the students use collected nature materials to solve number stories.
NORTH WIND: One child representing the North Wind holds a large paper fan. The "North Wind" stands at one end of the room, "the Arctic." Choose three or four children to sit at the opposite end of the room. Provide each of them with a set of numeral cards, 1 through 10. The "North Wind" chants:
The remaining children watch from the side lines and count the "North Wind's" steps. The children with the numeral cards try to place in order before the "North Wind" arrives and blows them away.
Variation: Divide the class into two groups.. Have the "North Wind" blow numbers off of a table and as each one falls the group that can add the next number off gets a point on the chalk board. The team with the most points gets to pick the next game played.
WHAT'S IT GOING TO BE?: Some like it hot, some like it cold. Have the students conduct a survey of family and friends asking them what type of climate they enjoy living in. Have the students put their results on a graph. Listing the name of the person and the climate they enjoy. Once the results are in have them tally up which climate was the favorite and have the student write a brief paragraph answering why they think that climate was more favorable.
Have students calculate the motion of the ocean's daily tides and create a tide table for low and high tide times (peaks and lows).
Have students keep a chart of the pollution index (given on the nightly news and in the weather section of the daily paper) for several weeks. Also have them chart light, medium, and heavy traffic flow days on their way to school or by listening to traffic report. Then, based on the daily pollution index and daily traffic patterns that they notice, have them calculate which days of the week are the most polluted due to the number of cars on the road and which days are the cleanest.
WEATHER REPORTER: Each day choose a weather reporter to determine the weather. The reporter indicates the weather on a weather wheel or graph. Have a large wheel placed by the front of the door, on it have a sun, cloud, cloud with rain, and a cloud blowing wind. Each day have the student guess what the weather will be like. Have the entire class keep track of what the prediction was versus the actual days weather. At the end of a two week period have the students make a graph showing the weeks weather versus the predicted weeks weather.
SOLAR COOKING: When discussing heat there are several varying ways that heat is derived. One example is solar heat. Have the students look through cookbooks to find the oven temperatures and cooking times for cooking three of their favorite foods. These cooking times and temperatures will be based upon a conventional oven. Challenge the students to estimate how much time it would take to cook each of these foods in a solar oven. Remind them that it takes about three times longer to cook food in a solar oven an that most solar ovens reach temperatures of 150 degrees Celsius (300 degrees Farenheight). When they have completed their research have the students create a comparison chart comparing the conventional cooking times to the solar cooking time.
THUNDER COUNTING: Ask the students if thunder can hurt them. Assure them that thunder is a sound that helps us determine the distance between lightning and thunder. When lightning is seen, ask the children to begin counting until they hear the thunder roar. For every five seconds counted, the lightning is approximately one mile away. Create various math problems such as: If it took 30 seconds from the time the lightning was seen to the time that the thunder was heard approximately how many miles is the lightning away? 30 divided by 6 = 5 miles away.
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Using cotton balls and glue, have students make "clouds" in all different shapes and sizes. Then ask students to tell/share creative, make-up. Stories about their cloud and how it ended up in their possession how it traveled through the atmosphere/sky to get them. (Also a visual arts project)
Make a list of the words you can associate with atmosphere (heat, cold, wind, cloud, etc.) and ask students to make up a rhyme using those words. Draw a picture for your new rhyme.
HURRICANE NAME: The children pretend to be meteorologists who watch the oceans for powerful hurricanes to forecast. Tell them that part of their job is to assign each hurricane a name. Explain that meteorologists create an alphabetical girl/boy pattern of names each year. Ask the children to determine possible names for the current year's hurricanes, following the girl/boy pattern in alphabetical order.
Example: A-Ashley, B-Barry, C-Carol, D-Duke...
SEASON STORY: After reading the story "Stina" to the class have them recall the season that Stina visited her grandfather. Have the children create a list of words that describe summer. The children can the use their words to compose a summer story.
Variation: Any of the three remaining seasons can be substituted.
FUNNY WEATHER: Read to the children the story "Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs." Recall; what type of bedtime story Grandpa told to Henry and his sister. Have the class work together to write a creative story. Together the class will create a Class Book. Have the students draw pictures for the story.
TOO HOT!: After reading the story "Snow Lion" recall to the students where Lion and his friends went when the jungle got to hot for them. Ask the children why so many people want to visit places such as Florida and Colorado. Ask them to write two sentences about which type of climate they would like to visit and why.
FRIENDLY SUN: After reading the story "Our Friend the Sun" Discuss the meaning of the word friend. Ask the children if a dog, grownup, or the sun can be a friend. Attach a large yellow circle to a bulletin board to represent the sun. Ask the children to recall ways the sun can be our friend. Write each idea on a long, thin yellow strip of paper. Attach the strips to the circle to represent rays of the sun.
Giver students a list of words associated with atmosphere (all kinds of words). Have them categorize the words as nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. Then ask them to write a sentence for each word, being sure to use the word and its form properly in the sentence.
Write a story about a boy, who travels on a cloud, through various climates and weather systems and how he deals with each new atmospheric encounter.
Have your class do a beach, park, school clean-up. Then ask them to write about why it is so important not to pollute our environment. Have this writing take the form of a journal entry, covering the clean-up experience and the environmental anti-pollution aspect as well.
WEATHER CLOTHES: After reading "Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs" to the class, have the students list various types of clothing needed for warm and cold weather. Have the students invent their own type of clothing that would protect them from the crazy weather in Chewandswallow. Have the students illustrate their invention
WEATHER REPORT: Ask the students why people watch the weather report on television. After discussing their reasons, have the students write a weather forecast. Have them predict what the forecast will be like for the next three days. Have the students report their predictions to the class.
CHANGING SEASONS: Discuss with the class the varying seasons and how the weather changes at different times of the year. After reading "Shingebiss" have the students recall what Shingebess did differently in the winter than in the summer. Invite them to share how their own lives are affected by different kinds of weather.
WEATHER RHYMES: After reading the story "Shingebiss" to the students chant the song that Shingebiss learned from his mother. Ask the children to recall the ending. Encourage them to compose their own weather rhymes.
"IS IT A QUESTION?": Give each child three punctuation cards - a period, question mark, and exclamation mark. Read the story "Our Friend the Sun". Then, reread the story to them. Stop reading after each sentence. Ask the children to punctuate the sentence by holding up one of their cards. The children can pose questions and statements for their classmates to punctuate.
FAVORITE WEATHER: After reading the story "Snow Lion" have the students write a brief story describing their favorite climate and write the advantages and disadvantages of why their favorite climate is so perfect for them.
TROPICAL LIFE: Have the students in small groups pretend that they are shipwrecked on a tropical island with plenty of sun and vegetation but little else. Have them write about ways of using solar power to provide fresh water and a comfortable place to sleep. Have each group demonstrate ideas for the rest of the class.
Have students write a story about an astronaut and the way he feels as his spaceship leaves the atmosphere, where his body is no longer held down by gravity, and when he re-enters the atmosphere. Share stories.
Have students create a dictionary of words all having to do with atmosphere. Have their dictionaries order the words alphabetically; have them identify the form of each word (noun, verb, adjective) and include an example sentence utilizing each word. Make a cover for your dictionary.
OZONE DANGER: Today, scientists conclude that the ozone layer is being destroyed, mainly by a gas called freon. We know freon as a chlorofluorcarbon, or CFC. Knowing this information have the students research CFC and then write a news interview with a scientist. During the interview the scientist should explain the effects of CFCs and tell what can be done to protect the ozone layer.
LAWS,LAWS,LAWS!: Chemical pesticides get into the air, ground, and water. Your local legislators are considering a law to ban the use of chemical pesticides in your community. Write a two paragraph paper expressing arguments for and against the legislation. Consider the views of farmers, health professionals, chemical pesticide manufacturers and their employees, people who fish in local waters, ordinary citizens, and elected officials.
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Find pictures of clouds, different weather conditions etc., and have the students paste these pictures into books put together with construction paper and string. The book will be an "Our Atmosphere" book.
Have students make a list / draw a list of all the clothing supplies they would take with them on a trip in which they would be traveling through several different countries and cities, each with a different climate.
UMBRELLA: After reading to the class the story "Umbrella" have the students look at a globe to find where Momo lived. Have them look at the things that surround Japan. Ask the students what they think Japan's climate is like and if it is similar to where they live.
Make a poster of your state and have students divide the state into regions according to the climate.
Have students make a poster which advocates the saving of our countries forests, a Fight Deforestation Poster.
Have students access the Internet and find environmental organizations for kids that fight pollution. Have the students create a "100 Ways to Fight Pollution" list to keep on the classroom wall. Keep the list going, adding new ways to fight pollution every week.
WINDY CITY: Chicago is considered the windy city, Florida is considered the sunny state. Have the students pick a state and write a weather report about that state. Have the students describe what the weather is like the majority of the time and indicate what advantages and disadvantages are there to the climate of the state. Is it important that it is sunny the majority of the time for crops? Colorado has a large winter tourist time, so snow is very important to that state.
RAIN DANCE: There are many traditions that exist within our country. We celebrate the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day etc... Before the Europeans came there were Indians of various tribes that existed. One of their rituals was a "Rain Dance." They would perform the "Rain Dance" to the spirit in hopes that rain would fall so they could have a good harvest. Have the students research and write a two page paper about the traditions of the Rain Dance. Have them describe which tribe they researched and when their dance took place.
BLOWING STATES: Have a long list of all 50 state taped to the floor of your class. Have two students one on each end pretend to be the wind with their hands and blow/roll the ball across the states slowly. Where ever the wind blows, have the student name the State and its Capitol and state what the weather is like there.
OUR TOWN: With a large map of the United States have the students think of the different climates that exist in our country. Have them write a report about the climate that exists where they live. Answer the question do you like the climate in your home state? Town?
Have students create a Web Page (Home Page) for the Internet on which they inform visitors of ways to help stop polluting the atmosphere. Include your E-Mail or school address and have the students write back and forth to people about their pollution-stopping ideas.
Have students research and write a biography or report on Robert Boyle, the 17TH century physicist credited with discovering the Barometer (used for measuring the pressure of the atmosphere).
Have the students create a wall-length (on butcher paper) on which they illustrate the layers of the atmosphere. Have them identify and label each layer.
ESKIMOS: After reading to the students "Shingebiss" have them recall where the North Wind lived. Locate his Arctic home on the globe. Ask the children if they know who else lives in the Arctic. Have them compare the lifestyle of the Eskimos to their own.
HEATING HOMES: Burning charcoal was a popular way of heating homes 100 years ago, and in some parts of the world some people still use charcoal to keep warm. Ask students to think about the problems that burning charcoal causes and to consider other resources that might be used with fewer problems. Have them write a brief one page report discussing their findings.
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MAKING CLOUDS: Place several cotton balls in the center of a square of porous fabric. Pull up the corners and fasten them with a rubber band. pour a small amount of white tempera paint into a tray. The children gently dip the bottom of the stuffed square into the paint and dab it onto paper to represent clouds or snow.
Bring in various musical instruments after having talked about wind and the wind blowing. Show the kids how each instrument works and ask them to try and identify the wind instruments. Once they know which belong to the wind section, have them try them.
SHAVING CLOUDS: Squirt shaving cream onto a smooth surface such as a table top or tray. Encourage the children to draw with their fingers to design clouds in the cream.
DEBATING RAIN: Have the students form two groups - those who want rain and those who do not. Give each group five minutes to brainstorm reasons for their choice. The groups hold a debate trying to convince each other of their choice.
WIND CLOUDS: Ask the children what moves the clouds across the sky. Invite them to act as the wind. Mark a four-foot square on the floor. Label each side with the appropriate directional word-north, south, west, and east. Hang the paper cloud over the center of the square about three feet from the ground. Choose one child to stand on each side of the square. The remaining children take turns calling out one of the four directions. The appropriate "wind" blows on the cloud, making it move.
PERFECT CLIMATE: After reading the story "Snow Lion" have the students recall where Lion and his friends went when the jungle got too hot for them. Ask the children why so many people want to visit places such as Florida and Colorado. Ask them to draw a picture of a place they would like to visit where the climate is just right.
HIDDEN SUN: One child leaves the room while an object, representing the sun, is hidden. The child returns and tries to find the "sun." The remaining children call out, "Hotter," as the child gets closer to the object. When the child moves farther away, the children call out, "Colder." Play continues until the object is found.
TORNADO SAFETY: After reading "Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs" to the class, ask the students what happened during the tomato tornado. Explain that real tornadoes begin on land and can cause considerable damage. Help the children determine where the safest location in the room would be during a real tornado. Demonstrate the "duck and cover" position. To provide practice for tornado safety, set a timer at different intervals throughout the day. The timer signals the children to stop what they are doing, move to the designated "safe spot," and assume the "duck and cover" position. When an "all clear" signal is given, the children resume their previous activities. Relate the spontaneity of this activity to the sudden occurrence of real tornadoes.
SHINING SUN: Choose one child, the "shiner," to pretend to be the sun on a sunny day. Have the "shiner" sit in a chair, holding a flashlight. Darken the room. The remaining children crawl around the room trying to avoid being "beamed out" by the "shiner." When the children are still, they are safe from the sun. When they are moving they become targets for the "shiner" (sun).
RAIN SOUNDS: After reading the story "Umbrella" to the class ask the students to repeat the sounds the rain made on Momo's umbrella. Encourage them to make other sounds such as buzz and vrooom for their classmates to identify.
WEATHER DRAWING: Have the students go outside during different types of weather to draw pictures of their surroundings. If the weather is too inclement, they can look out of a window while illustrating.
FUNNY WEATHER: After reading "Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs," ask the children to pretend that they live in the town of Chewandswallow. Pose some weather situations for them to pantomime.
Example: You are playing outside and suddenly it begins to hail meatballs. You are going swimming and realize the pool is filled with yesterday's shower of spaghetti.
Have the students act out what they feel to be characteristics of different climates, weather conditions, etc. Have those in the audience participate by gesturing what condition is being acted out.
Have students create a cartoon strip involving an astronaut and his travels through the he atmosphere on his way to outer space. Accompany the strip with captions.
WIND SOUNDS: Invite the children to take turns imitating the sound of the wind. Record the children's versions. Replay the tape for the children to listen to one another's voices. They will delight in guessing whooooo's making the sound of the wind.
HOT OR COLD: Read the story "Snow Lion." Ask the students why Lion left the jungle. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of hot and cold climates. Ask the children to draw pictures depicting themselves in their favorite climate.
RAINDROPS: One child, representing the wind, holds a fan. The remaining children act as raindrops and scatter around the playing area. Instruct the "wind" to raise and lower the fan, gradually increasing the speed. The "raindrops" pitter patter around the room, reacting to the "wind."
Hold an improv (improvisation) session in which students are given atmosphere terms, such as climate (or specific climate types), weather, etc. and have them figure out a way to act them out. A sort of whose line is it anyway. Have the audience guess what term you have assigned each actor. (To be done after familiarity with terms in complete).
GREENHOUSE: Have the students write and perform a short one-act play to dramatize how the greenhouse effect might influence the lives of people fifty years in the future. Let the students know that the greenhouse effect could raise sea levels and change climates.
COMIC STRIP: Have the students draw a comic strip showing various ways to produce heat.
Have students create and perform a dialogue between high tide and low tide. Have the dialogue consist of daily small talk that includes terminology learned in the study of atmospheric tides.
Have students select a song that they like from a popular song or classic children's song. Then have them rewrite the lyrics to create a song about pollution, deforestation, wind, weather, etc., anything dealing with the atmosphere.
SAVING THE EARTH: Have students discuss the advantage of recycling garden and table wastes instead of collecting these materials and putting them into local landfills which eventually pollutes our environment. Then challenge students to design a poster that could be used to educate the community on the merits of composting.
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