- List the senses used in experiencing wind.
- Write predictions of wind's effect on objects using invented spelling.
- Have a discussion in which they show evidence of listening to each other.
- The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins
- Chart paper, marker
- Clipboard, paper, pen
- Paper cut into squares to make pinwheels (enough for the class)
- Pencils with erasers (for pinwheels)
- Thumbtacks (for pinwheels)
- Book (one that the wind might blow open)
- Pan of water
- Wind Prediction Sheet (PDF)
Set Up and Prepare
- Make a class prediction chart (larger version of student copy)
- Copy Wind Prediction Sheet (PDF) for the class
- Make a pinwheel model
Since wind is something that is abstract and hard for young students to explain and describe, I focus on their conversations about it. I teach them to listen to each other and be accountable during discussion.
While the students are seated at the rug, ask them, "What is wind?" As each child responds you might want to validate each response by saying something like, "Wilfred says that the wind blows his coat. Does anyone agree or disagree with Wilfred?" This encourages the students to listen to each other as they answer.
After the students have given their ideas about wind, read The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins. Ask the students if Pat said anything in her book that we forgot to mention before.
Explain that the class will be going on a "Wind Walk" to observe the wind. Tell them that while they are outside they are going to look for signs of wind. They will try to see, smell, taste, feel, and hear wind.
Line the students up with outdoor gear on. Bring a clipboard and pen to record observations that the students make.
As you walk outside ask the students questions about the wind. "Where do you see the wind?" "What color is it?" "Can you see the wind?" "Can you see where the wind blows?" Have the students close their eyes, and listen to and smell the wind. Have them open their mouths and "taste" the wind. Then ask them to hold up their hands to see if they can feel the wind. Write down their reactions on the clipboard to share with them later.
Bring the students back into the classroom and discuss their observations.
Show the students the pinwheel. Ask the students what the wind's effect on the pinwheel might be. Blow the pinwheel and show them what wind might do to the pinwheel.
Tell the students that they will continue to study the wind by making this tool to observe wind by. Model making the pinwheel for the students.
Send the students to their tables to make their own pinwheels.
Show the students a group of objects that will be affected by wind in different ways. Such objects might be a rock, ball, book, pan of water, and the pinwheel that they made yesterday. Have the students think in their heads only what might happen to each object in the wind. Show the students a large version of the prediction paper on chart paper. They will use this to record their predictions of wind's effect on each object.
Send the students to their tables to make their predictions. They will write words using invented spelling and they might use the word wall as an aid. As the students are writing their predictions, circle the room looking for interesting ideas that you will want to share with everyone.
Give the students their one-minute warning, and then have them clean up their tables and head to the rug without their papers. I usually have a paper monitor bring me all the papers so I can access the work that I wanted to share with all the students. On the large paper, record several of the interesting responses for each object.
Read the chart of Wind Predictions that you made yesterday to the class to remind them of the previous day's discussion. Tell them that today we will test the predictions.
Bring the students outside again with the objects to observe. Gather around each object (careful not to block the wind!) and observe the wind's effect on each. (You could also use a fan as a backup if there isn't much wind.)
Return to the classroom. Add another column to the class version of the prediction sheet and record what happened to each object in the wind.
Supporting All Learners
You may have students in your class that have an impaired sense. Since this lesson is heavy on the use of the senses you will want to handle this carefully. Often, individuals with one impaired sense have another sense that compensates. You might want to highlight that student's response when discussing the compensating sense. This may also be a good opportunity for the other students to help explain to the impaired student aspects of sight or sound in a way the student might understand, but you will have to use your discretion.
You may want the students to go back to their prediction charts and add a column with their observations after seeing that object in the wind.
You could send home a blank Wind Prediction Sheet (PDF). The students could choose things from their home to test the effects of wind on those objects.
- The students will discuss wind.
- The students will make pinwheels.
- The students will write predictions and test them.
- Were my students listening to each other during the discussion?
- Were my students able to explain wind?
- Were my students able to make educated predictions?
As the students are discussing wind, observe:
- Are my students able to differentiate their senses?
- Are my students able to use invented spelling to write a prediction?
- Are my students able to make a prediction?
- Are my students able to describe wind?