Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009

Weather Unit

Our Last Homeschool Unit – Weather Unit Outline – Summer 2012

  1. What is weather?
  2. Forecasting Weather (meteorology, weather maps, etc)
  3. Weather folklore (myths, predictors, etc)
  4. The effects of the sun on weather (temperature, seasons, UV rays, solar power)
  5. Wind (speed/Beaufort Scale, direction, Mexican folktale about the weather vane)
  6. Clouds (types, biography of the man who named the clouds, etc)
  7. Rain/Thunderstorms (rain, thunder, lightening, rain rituals, measuring rainfall)
  8. Extreme Weather (tornadoes, hurricanes, and storm chasers)
  9. Climate Change
  10. Water Cycle

Science demonstrations/labs already completed before 6/6/2012: RSO Weather Lab #1 – Thermometer Explorations, RSO Weather Lab #3 – Wind Speed, RSO Weather Lab #2 – Make a Rain Gauge, Usborne Science Explorations – Bottle Thermometer (which we’ve also used to observe relative temperature change over several days).

Other readings completed before 6/6/2012: “The Magic School Bus: Twister Trouble” and Usborne Science Encyclopedia pages 184-185 and 192-193.

Lesson 1 (6/5/2012): Read “On the Same Day in March” by Marilyn Singer. Watch “Our World: What is Weather?” Read “Meteorology: The Study of Weather” by Christine Talyor-Butler. Watch “Interview with a Meteorologist“. Read “Become a Meteorologist.” Watch “KTNV Weather School.” Read Weather Dude website on Meteorology. Vocabulary (atmosphere, meteorologist, precipitation, troposphere).

Subjects covered: science, handwriting/copy work, language arts (dictionary skills), social studies (community helpers)

Lesson 2 (6/7/2012): Read Weather Dude website on Forecasting the Weather. Read “Forecasting the Weather” by Alan Rodgers, pages 4-12, 20-25. Read “Weather Maps” by Ian F. Mahaney. Look at weather maps online for a variety of locations including places family members live. Compare/contrast the different types of weather maps available online. Since we don’t have television (no signal over the air and we can’t afford cable), will have a family member DVR a weather forecast by a local meteorologist for us unless I can find one online. Watch “Climate and Weather” on Nat Geo website. Complete activity #2 from the Wonderful World of Weather’s Weather and Climate lesson. Talk about highs/lows both from a forecasting and climate perspective (use the Weather Channel’s website calendar page that shows highs/lows both in the past and predicting the next few days/weeks/months).

Subjects covered: science, social studies (map work)

Lesson 3 (6/17/2012 plus Snap Circuits): Use Weather Folklore Lesson from the Wonderful World of Weather. Read “A January Fog Will Freeze a Hog” by Hubert Davis and selections from “Earthmaker’s Tales” by Gretchen Will Mayo. Copywork from “A January Fog Will Freeze a Hog.” Weather word search worksheet.

Subjects covered: science, social studies, handwriting/language arts

Lesson 4 (6/18/2012): Read “Feel the Wind” by Arthur Dorros. Read “Weather” by Seymour Simon. Watch the Beaufort Scale podcast. Read “Half-Chicken” by Alma Flor Ada. Make a rooster for the upcoming weather vane lab. RSO Weather Lab #4 – Make a Weather Vane (pg 35).

Subjects covered: science, social studies, art

Lesson 5 (6/19/2012):


Reading Rainbow’s “Come a Tide”

USE Weather Watching pg 55, “Model Barometer.” Complete the “What Uses Wind to Work” page.

Subjects covered: science, language arts

Lesson 6 (6/28/2012): Begin RSO Weather Lab #5 – My Weather Journal (pg 37). Use the tools created in previous labs to complete this as well as the MatchCard Science Beaufort Scale worksheet. Read “Clouds” by Anne Rockwell. Look through “Sector 7” by David Wiesner. Watch the “Meet the Author” video for David Wiesner. Discussion questions: “If there was a real Sector 7, what do you think it might look like? Where do you think it would be located? What shapes of clouds would you like to see made?” Using the discussion questions, create a picture using pastels of what your Sector 7 might look like.

Subjects covered: science, language arts, art

Lesson 7 (6/29/2012): Continue RSO Weather Lab #5. Have J read “Fluffy, Flat, and Wet: A Book About Clouds” by Dana Meachen Rau on his own.

Read “Clouds: From Mare’s Tails to Thunderheads” by Suzanne Harper. Complete “Types of Clouds” worksheet and Cloud Key.

Subjects covered: science, independent reading

Lesson 8 (6/30/3012): Continue RSO Weather Lab #5.

Read “The Man Who Named the Clouds” by Julie Hannah and Joan Holub. Cloud elevation worksheet. Create your own cloud activity from Science Encyclopedia pg 193. Read “Clouds for Dinner” by Lynne Rae Perkins. Discuss and create notebook page (If you had clouds for dinner, what do you think they’d taste like?).

Subjects covered: science, social studies, language arts, handwriting

Lesson 9 (7/2/2012): Continue RSO Weather Lab #5


Reading Rainbow’s “Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain”

Read “Come On, Rain!” by Karen Hesse. Discuss how the words the authors use in the books to see (visualize), feel, smell, hear, and taste what’s going in the story. Go through the together to identify the things we can sense through reading. Using a chart on the board with five columns for the five senses, take notes on these together. Read “Rain Play” by Cynthia Cotten together and have J identify sense pictures for his own chart.

Subjects covered: science, language arts, handwriting

Lesson 10 (7/3/2012): Continue RSO Weather Lab #5. Read through “Come on, Rain!” a second time. Revisit the idea of sense pictures from the lesson before. Talk about how pictures can also give us sense pictures. Read “Cloud Dance” by Thomas Locker. Talk about what you can sense from his pictures and then go back through “Come On, Rain!” and do the same for Muth’s artwork. What about the picture gives us those sense pictures (color, shading, texture, etc)? Talk about how memories can also have sense pictures. Come up with a weather related memory together and go through the sense questions (What did you see? …feel? …hear? etc). Using watercolor paint create a picture that to convey your sense memory.

Subjects covered: science, language arts, handwriting, art

Lesson 11 (7/6/2012): Continue RSO Weather Lab #5. Read “Thunderstorms” by Chana Stiefel. Watch BrainPop video on thunderstorms. Watch “Fetch With Ruff Ruffman: It’s Raining Cats and Dogs” – iTunes – Amazon Instant Video. Watch “Bill Nye the Science Guy: Atmosphere.”

Subjects covered: science

Lesson 12 (7/7/2012): Continue RSO Weather Lab #5. Read “Down Comes the Rain” by Franklyn M. Branley. Read “Wild Weather Soup” by Caroline Formby. Watch “Weather Kid Sid.”

Subjects covered: science

Lesson 13 (7/9/2012): Continue RSO Weather Lab #5. Read “Franklin and the Thunderstorm” by Paulette Bourgeois. Read “Stormy Weather” by Debi Gliori and “The Bears in the Bed and the Great Big Storm” by Paul Bright and Jane Chapman. Continue discussion of sense pictures as before for both books.

Subjects covered: science, language arts

Lesson 14 (7/10/2012): Continue RSO Weather Lab #5.

Complete the Scholastic Lesson Plan and play Adventures of Weather Lizard. Read “Thunder-Boomer” by Shutta Crum.

Subjects covered: science

Lesson 15 (7/14/2012): Continue RSO Weather Lab #5. Read “Twister!” by Kris Hirschmann. Read “Storm Chasers” by Sarah Tieck. Read “Extreme Weather” by Terry Jennings. Go through Scott Foresman Science Lesson on pgs C42-C43. Answer questions from C43 for notebook. Watch another episode of “Storm Chasers” on Netflix.

Subjects covered: science

Lesson 16 (7/15/2012): Continue RSO Weather Lab #5. Watch Brain-Pop video on Hurricanes. Read “Inside Tornadoes” by Mary Kay Carson. Read “Twister” by Darleen Bailey Beard. Narration and copywork on same for notebook. Complete Weather ABC Order worksheet.

Subjects covered: science, language arts

Lesson 17 (7/17/2012): Continue RSO Weather Lab #5.

You can watch Reading Rainbow Episode 103, “Summer” over here or see if your library carries a copy. As far as I can tell you can not buy or rent a digital copy online.

Complete lesson from Scott Foresman Science on seasons (pgs C34-C37). Answer questions for notebook. RSO Weather Lab #6. Read “Seasons” by Anna Crausaz. Narration and copy work for same.

Subjects covered: science, language arts

Lesson 18 (7/18/2012): Continue RSO Weather Lab #5. Read “What is the World Made of?” by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld.

Subjects covered: science

Lesson 19 (7/21/2012):  Continue RSO Weather Lab #5.

Read “Water, Water Everywhere” by Melvin and Gilda Berger. Read RSO notebook page on Water Cycle (pg 51). RSO Water Cycle Lab #1.  Dictionary Practice (water cycle, molecule, evaporation, condensation, accumulation).

Subjects covered:  science, language arts

Lesson 20 (7/22/2012): Continue RSO Weather Lab #5.  RSO Water Cycle Lab #2.

Subjects covered: science

Lesson 21 (7/23/2012):  Read  “Children of the Dust Days” by Karen Mueller Coombs.  Skimmed through “Dust Bowl!  The 1930s Black Blizzards” by Richard H. Levey and “Life in the Dust Bowl” by Sally Senzell Isaacs.  Compared thumbnail pictures from the New York Times’ Drought Map graphic.  Located the dust bowl region on the big wall map (J pointed out which affected states were also in Tornado Alley).  Traced a route to California from Oklahoma and talked about what it would be like to walk the route.  Watched “Surviving the Dust Bowl” from American Experience:

Continue RSO Weather Lab #5.   Read Scott Foresman Science pg C38. Read “The Drop in My Drink” by Meredith Hooper and Chris Coady.   RSO Water Cycle Lab #3.

Subjects covered:  science, history, geography

Lesson 22 (8/29/2012):  Finish RSO Weather Lab #5.  Finish RSO Water Cycle Lab #2.

Subjects covered: science

Lesson 23:  Read RSO Unit #3 notebook page. RSO Air Lab #1.  RSO Air Lab #2.  Read “Weather” by Sally Morgan. Read “Usborne Weather & Climage Change” pgs 18-23; 60-65. Watch animation of how greenhouse gases work. Visit EPA website on climate change.

Subjects covered: science

Lesson 24: Watch animated cartoon on climate change (episode 1). Watch slideshow on how scientists obtain ice cores. Visit the JPL Climate Time Machine website.  Read “Usborne Weather & Climate Change” pgs 66-69; 76-79. Look through list of the world’s biggest polluters. Play through some of the climate games on Climate Kids.

Subjects covered: science

Lesson 25:  Read “The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge.” Read “Usborne Weather & Climate Change” pgs 80-85. Watch “Extreme Ice” on Netflix.

Final Activity: Weather Unit Review and Soda Bottle Tornado

Note: Resources (and links) can be found over here.

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