Welcome to our new blog feature, the Round Up! This blog series will follow our Teacher Features and provide a fuller picture of how the featured lesson fit into a larger unit. At SEEC our educators often use webbing as a planning tool at the start of a unit. This helps to visualize all the directions that can be taken within a topic while also brainstorming books, museum and community visits, interactive activities, songs and more. The Round Ups will share a web of ideas from the unit, as well as highlights with images and more detailed information.
Last month we brought you a Teacher Feature highlighting our kindergarten class as they learned about haboobs. This lesson did not stand alone, but was part of a larger unit that explored Extreme Weather.
To learn about cloud types, the Kindergartners sat outside on a cloudy day, looked at images of cloud types, and observed the sky. Kindergarten teacher Silvana Oderisi taught the class a fun cloud song by Cynthia Sherwood that she found on pinterest that helped reinforce the new vocabulary in an engaging way.
The class also went to the National Gallery of Art and walked around identifying different cloud types in paintings. The teachers found it helpful to do this lesson in the beginning of the unit as cloud types were discussed in many of the different extreme weather lessons throughout the unit.
The class went to visit a large world map on the floor of the Martin Luther King Jr Public Library to learn about weather symbols that are used in forecasting. After learning about the weather symbols, the children took turns placing weather symbols on the map to predict the weather for different regions of the world.
Back in the classroom, kindergarten teacher Cathryn Prudencio, showed the children how radars are used in weather forecasting. The children used the radar projected on their Smart Board to report the weather for their classmates.
When learning about hurricanes the class went to the National Gallery of Art to see Ships in Distress off a Rocky Coast by Ludolf Backhuyesen and talked about the big waves that hurricanes cause. They moved their bodies as if they were on a boat during a calm day, and then moved their bodies as if a big hurricane was approaching.
The class also went to the National Museum of American History’s exhibit Within These Walls. They looked at categories of hurricanes and measured the height of waves in each category to see just how high the waves could go up the house walls.
Cathryn explained that in areas where hurricanes are more common people prepare by packing an emergency bag that they can take with them if a hurricane comes. The children brainstormed what might be in the bag and helped pack one.
When learning how a tornado forms, the children enjoyed swirling water in a bottle to mimic the way a tornado twists.
The class visited the Smithsonian American Art Museum to see The Girl I Left Behind Me by Eastman Johnson to explore the effects of tornadoes. To illustrate wind blowing, Silvana blew up a balloon and let the air out on the children’s hands.
Also in the Smithsonian American Art Museum they visited No Mountains in the Way: Photographs from the Kansas Documentary Survey to learn about Tornado Alley – the part of the US where tornadoes happen the most, and why they form there during warm months.
We hope you enjoyed getting a bigger picture of our kindergarten class’ unit on Extreme Weather! Visit our weather pinterest board for more ideas on how to explore weather with young children.