Guest Post: Track the Weather with Weather Charts

Always changing and never predictable, weather makes a fascinating study for inquisitive young minds. Conduct a three-part study of the microclimate of your backyard, complete with charts on temperature, rainfall, and observed weather. Not only will your little meteorologist learn a lot about local temperature trends and rainfall frequency, he’ll also get some good practice in data collection, graphing, and how to describe his observations.

What You Need:

  • 3 sheets of light colored poster board
  • Ruler or straight edge
  • Markers
  • Outdoor thermometer
  • Clear plastic cup
  • Weather stickers (optional)

What You Do:

  1. Ask your child to draw a large graph on each sheet of poster board. He’ll use one graph to track temperature, one to track rainfall, and one to record the weather (sunny, partly cloudy, etc.). Have him title each graph accordingly. Example titles: “June Rainfall,” “June Temperatures,” and “June Weather.”
  2. Before starting the study, help him figure out what kind of graph would best fit each chart. Ask him to think about the kind of data he’ll be collecting for each chart and how he’ll report that data. If he has trouble choosing, suggest a bar graph for the rainfall chart, a line graph for the temperature chart, and a simple table for the weather chart.
  3. Prepare the rain collection cup. Help him clearly label the clear plastic cup with half inch dashes to make it easier to measure the rain each day.
  4. Now conduct the study. Place the thermometer in the yard or directly outside the house where it will get accurate readings. At the same time each day for one month, have your child read the temperature on the thermometer and record it on his graph.
  5. For the rainfall study, ask him to set the plastic cup in an open space away from any awnings or overhangs. Each day it rains, ask him to check his rain collection cup and record how many inches of rain fell that day on the rainfall chart.
  6. For the weather study, encourage him to observe the weather each morning and draw what he sees (sunny, partly cloudy, cloudy, rainy, windy, etc.).
  7. At the end of the month, look over his completed weather charts and talk about how the weather varied over the course of the month and how he thinks the weather this month compares to weather in other months.

The study doesn’t have to end here! Make weather charts for subsequent months for a more in-depth study of local weather patterns.

(Post by Greg from Education.com)

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Adjectives Activity Collection

adjectives activityI love adjectives. They’re one of my favorite parts of language arts to teach. But you can’t spend forever on them (or on anything these days), so you’ve got to find an effective activity to teach adjectives without taking too much precious time (to prepare or do in class). Here’s one idea:

As a class, choose something to describe (cats are a good place to start). Discuss what cats look, smell, sound, taste and feel like. (Your kids will get a kick out of “what do cats taste like?”) Then choose a second thing to describe (we chose a hamburger). After discussing how adjectives describe something in a variety of ways, it’s time to let your students try one on their own.

This packet (Adjectives activity PDF) has a picture of something for kids to describe. Let them color in the picture so they can use color words in their description. Then students write down as many adjectives (look, taste, smell, sound, and feel) as they can about the picture. Then they use the blank lines to write sentences about the picture using the adjectives they brainstormed. I have my students circle the adjectives in the sentence. Sometimes I let a few students put their picture under the document camera and read one of their sentences to the class. There are multiple pages in the packet, so once you’ve done this activity as a whole group, you can use the rest as seat work activities to reinforce the concept.

Keep browsing my blog for more fun free worksheets and activities for elementary school kids! Thanks for stopping by!