Winter Weather Day 3: Signs of the Wind
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
- Unit Plan:
- Discover the properties of wind
- Jar of bubbles
- Bubble wand
- Crepe-paper streamers
- Clear plastic bags
- Pinwheel Pattern Reproducible (PDF) for Lesson Extension
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Have children run with the wind and then have them run into the wind. Ask, which is easier?
- Have them run faster than the wind, then slower. Encourage them to stand still and move their arms like the wind.
- 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.)
- Provide children with streamers to run with and balloons to chase. Blow bubbles for them and ask, which way do the bubbles go?
- Give each child a clear plastic bag. Tell them to wave the open bag in the air until it is inflated.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Read Feel the Wind by Arthur Dorros (Crowell, 1989). This book explores the cause and effect of wind.
- Read I Wonder Why the Wind Blows and Other Questions About Our Planet by Anita Ganeri (Kingfisher, 1994). This book answers common questions children have about weather.
- Read In The Wind Garden by Angela McAllister (Lothrop, Lee, & Shepard, 1994), Ellie and her Grandpa "plant" a unique wind garden.
- Make pinwheels to plant using the Pinwheel Pattern Reproducible (PDF). Here's how:
- Print and distribute the Pinwheel Pattern Reproducible (PDF).
- Demonstrate for children how to cut out the square, color both sides, and cut on the dashed line. Be sure children don't go beyond the dashed lines. They need to stop cutting before the center dot.
- Show children how to take the point of each section and bend it over so that it touches the circle. Glue in place.
- Carefully stick a thumbtack through the center of each child's pinwheel into the eraser of an unsharpened pencil. Be sure the thumbtack is attached firmly while still allowing the pinwheel to spin.
- Let children "plant" their pinwheels in a flower bed or sandbox to create a wind garden then "pick" the pinwheels at the end of the day and take them home.
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