Winter Weather Week Day 3: Signs of the Wind
Take students outside to experience and study the properties of wind.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
- Unit Plan:
Children use vocabulary, movement, and props to illustrate winter weather concepts such as wind and storms.
- Discover the properties of wind
- Jar of bubbles
- Bubble wand
- Crepe-paper streamers
- Clear plastic bags
Step 1: Review the weather words and air temperature from the previous days. Ask children what other types of weather happen in winter. Lead them to the idea that during winter there are often storms that are very windy.
Step 2: Ask children to name as many wind words as they can (breezy, windy, blustery, gust, tornado, hurricane, stormy, etc.). List their responses on the board.
Step 3: Take children outside and ask, Can you see the wind?, Which direction is the wind blowing?, Is it difficult to tell? Encourage children to explain how they know the wind is there.
Step 4: Have children run with the wind and then have them run into the wind. Ask, which is easier?
Step 5: Have them run faster than the wind, then slower. Encourage them to stand still and move their arms like the wind.
Step 6: Have children wet a finger and hold it up in the air. Ask, what do you feel? (The wind will cool one side as it passes by.)
Step 7: Provide children with streamers to run with and balloons to chase. Blow bubbles for them and ask, which way do the bubbles go?
Step 8: Give each child a clear plastic bag. Tell them to wave the open bag in the air until it is inflated.
Step 9: Demonstrate how to twist the opening to capture the air inside of the bag. Have everyone bring their wind bags back inside, holding the tops securely closed. Take time to observe the bags of wind. Record children's observations on the chalkboard.
Step 10: Ask: Do you think you have wind in your bag or do you think you have air? This question will be confusing but it will initiate an interesting conversation.
Step 11: Explain that once they caught the air and contained it in the bag, it ceased to be wind. In order for air to be wind it must be on the move.
Step 12: While still pinching the opening of the bags, allow children to bang the bottoms of their bags and send the wind on its way again.
Have children search for pictures in magazines that show increasing wind speeds. For example, you may have a picture of a family picnic in a light breeze, a picture of a girl flying a kite, a picture of the ocean with waves pounding the shore, and a picture of a tornado or hurricane. Have children place the pictures in order of wind strength, from a light breeze to tornado winds.