Education and
Public Engagement
at the Lunar and Planetary Institute
Explore! Jupiter's Family Secrets

Weather Stations: Jovian Poetry

Adapted from "Our Poetic Planet — Writing Poems about the Earth," Windows to the Universe Original (now stored at http://www.windows2universe.org/), at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). ©1995–1999, 2000.

Overview

Imaginations soar as children embark to describe Jupiter's clouds from a poet's perspective! They consider poems about Earth's clouds and artists' renderings of Jupiter's clouds as they compose their poems.

What's the Point?

Materials

The following materials are for this Weather Stations activity.
Three sets are recommended for a station:

For each child:

Activity

1. Read some poetry about Earth's clouds and weather. Have the children record descriptive words from the poems in their journals.

2. Introduce the different types of poetry, including couplets and tercets, ballads, limericks, haiku, diamantes, as well as modern poetry that does not rhyme.

3. Ask the children to view images of Jupiter's atmosphere and compose a poem in their journals. Explain that scientists only have images of the upper clouds, but artists have painted pictures of what Jupiter's deeper atmosphere might look like. Suggest that the children use the vocabulary wall, if you have one set up for the Weather Stations activity, and their journal entries for ideas. Challenge them to use their scientific knowledge of Jupiter to describe its unseen atmosphere accurately!

Conclusion

Share that the Juno mission to Jupiter will help scientists understand how Jupiter's clouds and deep atmosphere may look. It is up to poets and artists to bring that understanding to life through words and art!

Our solar system is filled with unexplored places that have yet to be described by poetry. Would the children like to be those poet explorers?