Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009

Weather Unit Modifications


Perhaps you remember how I said I was “done” with the weather unit?

Yeah.  Not quite and it’s all Linda’s fault.  I mean this, of course, in the nicest way possible.  She’s been very helpful in tracking down resources on drought this year.

It all began with the map from the New York Times.  Then there was this article on the Weather Channel about the Dust Bowl in the 1930s.  As much as I hate the idea of prolonging our weather unit…I’m going to.   Don’t get me wrong.  The issue is all mine.  My kids are having a blast and weather has literally taken over every part of our daily lives.  From school, to play, to our dinner table conversations.  I have mini-meteorolgists wandering my house – all three of them.

Did I mention that their new favorite show to watch is “Storm Chasers?”  They have picked up a surprising amount of weather terminology from the show even if you have to endure Reed Timmer shrieking like a banshee along with it.  It’s also provided us ample opportunities to talk about safety and making wise choices.  I’m looking forward to when the kids get to the episodes with Tim Samaras in them.  It would be nice for them to be able to connect a person with one of their books.

I’m caught between the things I want to cover before the beginning of the Fall Trimester and where the lessons are taking us.  Darn you interested based, connected to real life learning!  (I jest.)

So I think we’ll add in a mini-unit to further flesh out drought and make historical connections to the Dust Bowl.  There should be some interesting conversations as we compare and contrast this year and the 1930s.  I can bring in some ecological and economic connections to help round out the picture which should tie nicely into the section on climate change we’ll get to in a couple of weeks.  The plan will be to do so in an introductory, quick tour way because we’ll cover this particular period of history in greater depth when our history cycle spins that way.

While I figure that out, I thought you might be interested to see a video of a song by Woody Guthrie from the time period called “Great Dust Storm Disaster:”


2 thoughts on “Weather Unit Modifications

  1. That NYTimes graphic was a real shocker, wasn’t it. I think it is really hard not to talk about the weather these days when it is so clearly different from anything most of us have experienced before. In 1988, it was a serious drought too, but I wasn’t really gardening so I mostly noticed the heat. We got married that summer and were living in a second floor flat with a south facing bedroom with one window and no AC. (I probably mentioned this before, sorry).

    • It was a shock – much like that image from the big melt in Greenland. I remember the drought in 1988 (though I was a kid at the time). I remember the grass was so brown that year. I think by then we had central air, but I do know for much of my childhood we had one window air conditioner in my parent’s room because my Dad worked shift work and needed to be able to sleep. I remember we did everything in that one room (ate, watched TV, etc).

      You haven’t mentioned that summer before. A south facing bedroom and no AC…oh my that would be hot. The husband and I have mostly had air conditioning, though until recently they were all old units that we ran only if absolutely necessary. When we bought this house the compressor unit outside was just about as old as the house and pretty much worthless. If it wasn’t for the grant we got from the state and Focus on Energy we’d be living in the basement this year with a couple of dehumidifiers running non-stop. Unfortunately, the Republicans cut that program so fewer families like mine will be able to do something like we did in the future.