Children ages 5 to 7 race the clock to prepare for a given day’s weather! Using an almanac, a facilitator announces a type of weather and children quickly dress in the clothing and gear appropriate for that type of weather., in this 15 minute activity.
What's the Point?
- Weather on Earth is always changing, and we prepare for it on a daily basis by getting dressed.
- We observe changes in weather by keeping records of temperature and precipitation, which can be accessed in an almanac.
- A given location usually has certain kinds of weather in each season.
For the Facilitator
- 1 almanac (or access to online historical weather data) for the nearest city
- Optional: a current five-day weather forecast for the nearest city, accessed online or in a newspaper
- 1 stopwatch
For Each Group of 10-15 Children
- Several sets of types of clean clothing and gear may be used. (Be careful not to use items that may spread head lice or present other safety concerns):
- Hot weather gear: Crocs™, sandals, flip-flops; swim clothes; Hawaiian grass skirts; t-shirts; shorts; wide-brimmed hats; sunglasses
- Wet weather gear: galoshes; rain hats; umbrellas
- Cold/snow weather gear: mittens or gloves; snow boots; earmuffs, snow hats; ski masks; snow suits
The large grid layout and images on this simple weather journal may appeal to ages five to eight. Show the children how to note the wind’s direction in their journals.
Daily Forecast Flyer
Customize a flyer of the weather forecast at your location and print it out. Children will appreciate the easy-to-understand graphics, and adults will find a wealth of local, regional, and global information on this single page.
- Set out the materials. Arrange the clothing and gear (perhaps in the center of the area or spread out along one or more walls); ensure that all 10 to 15 children will have room to access them at once.
- Share ideas and knowledge.
- Introduce yourself and the library. Help the children learn each other’s names (if they don’t already).
- Frame the activity with the main message: Weather on Earth is always changing, and we prepare for it on a daily basis by getting dressed.
- Invite the children to talk about what they already know about weather, what they’ve experienced at home and how it influences their daily lives. Use open-ended questions and invite the children to talk with you and each other.
Young children have built an understanding of weather through direct experiences with wind, clouds, rain and snow, and heat and cold. Use discussion to help them start to think about these prior experiences and build new understandings about the tools that scientists use to understand wind (and more broadly, changes in weather). Some conversation-starters are:
- What is today’s weather like?
- What would be the opposite type of weather? What other kinds of weather are there?
- How does the weather affect what you do every day?
- Do you think that today’s weather “normal” for this season?
- What do you think the weather will be like tomorrow and why?
- What kinds of weather instruments have you seen at your home or in the community? Does your family have a wind vane or wind chime at home? A thermometer? A rain gauge?