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I am truly convinced that this has been an incredible winter to talk about the weather! We had a crazy rain storm dropping nearly 10″ in a day! Yes we had rivers in our front yard and a mess of mud and tree limbs to clean up too. But it made for a great week as we dove deep into rain and precipitation. We will spend two weeks on this topic as there is so much to cover.
Day 1: Clouds come in all shapes and sizes, but did you know they are based on only three main categories? Cirrus, Stratus and Cumulus are the main types and the others are combinations of these three. We read the cutest book called The Man Who Named the Clouds by Julie Hannah as our introduction to the clouds. This was a great picture book all about how the clouds were named by a man named Luke Howard and some great facts about the weather. Luke Howard was 10 years old when he started keeping a weather journal in 1782, as he grew older he continued his hobby of observing the clouds and that led him to writing a science journal giving the clouds specific names. We also read some other great books about the clouds and then charted the elevations of where these clouds typically sit.
Day 2 Co-op: This is a perfect week to start doing review on the water cycle process from week 1. I gave them each a coloring page on clouds from Ranger Rick’s Wild About Weather to show the different names and reviewed how they form. We also tried a new fun water cycle in a ziplock bag.
We took a gallon size bag and drew a water cycle on it and then filled the bottom with water… the boys thought we should add food coloring to it for a more realistic effect. I think throughout this unit we have used food coloring nearly every week thanks to the boys creativity (little giggle)!
After the bag had been filled I carefully taped it to a sunny window and within 15 minutes we observed precipitation accumulating in the bag.
We tried another experiment from the Weather Science Kit on making a cloud. Using a little bottle from the kit and some cooking wine we created an instant “cloud” in the bottle. While the kids didn’t care much for the smell it was fun to observe the little cloud.
I read allowed Flash, Crash Rumble and Roll by Franklyn Branley while they painted with watercolors a thunderstorm scene. It was fun to discuss with the littles what happened to the water on their pages as they painted.
Day 3: This was a wild stormy day. We spent most of the day in front of our giant dinning room window observing the downpour, fog, flooding and cold weather that turned from rain to sleet and ended with a snow dusting. It was a awesome day to talk about perspiration.
One of the books that we read showed a experiment with a pine cone and its ability to be a natural hydrometer. Being up in the mountains there is an abundance of pine cones and we happened to have some dry ones on our windowsill.
The girls placed one inside of a bowl of water at the start of lunch and by the time they were through the pine cone had closed up. A day later back in the sum and it started to open back up again. Creation is so fascinating to explore the world and see that even the seeds of a pine cone are preserved during severe weather.
We are looking forward to another fun week of clouds and precipitation next week.