Winter Weather Day 4: What Makes the Wind Blow?
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
- Unit Plan:
- Discover the properties of wind
- Empty soda bottle
- Thermos full of hot water
- Pinwheel Pattern Reproducible (PDF) for extension activity
Set Up and Prepare
- You may wish to conduct this experiment yourself before class time. That way you will be familiar with the process when you demonstrate the experiment for your class.
- Review with children what they learned about the wind yesterday.
- Explain to them that today they will learn what makes the wind blow.
- Demonstrate what makes the wind blow by following these steps:
- Place the balloon over the mouth of the soda bottle.
- Pour a few inches of hot water from the thermos into the pan.
- Set the soda bottle in the hot water. After a few moments, the balloon will stand straight up as the air inside the bottle warms and expands into the balloon.
- Explain that as the sun warms air around the earth, the air rises. Colder air then moves in to fill the vacant spot.
- Ask children what the moving air is called? Wind!
- Ask children what a windy winter day feels like. Encourage them to use degrees of temperature to describe a cold and windy winter day.
- 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 write a diamond-shaped poem about the wind. Explain to children that the first line of the poem is the one-word subject of the poem. (For example, wind.) The second line consists of two adjectives describing the subject (cool, gusty). The third line contains three verbs telling what the subject does (blows, sweeps, howls). The fourth line expresses, in two words, the writer's feelings about the subject (wonderful wind). The last line repeats the first.