The end of winter and the beginning of spring is always a time of unpredictable weather around here. Not so fun to deal with, but it does give us an opportunity to study it in our homeschool. Our weather has been strange this month — snow one minute and sunny skies the next — so it was a good time to take a look at the weather during the changing seasons.
Weather Unit Study Books and Activities
Our Weather Books
A lift-the-flap information book that introduces readers to the science of weather. Filled with facts from how hurricanes and floods happen to Earth’s climates.
My girls especially love the lift-the-flap series of books and this was no exception. The detailed drawings and fun discoveries keep them interested and returning to this book again and again.
What makes the wind blow? How can rain sometimes be red? Why are tornadoes like vacuum cleaners? You’ll find out the answers and lots more about weird and wonderful weather in this fascinating book.
There are some really cool photos in this book. My girls especially liked learning about lightning and thunder. They learned that light travels faster than sound, which is why they see the lightning before hearing the thunder. Since thunderstorm season is coming up, this can be a good way to ease your children’s fears when the storms come.
Our Weather Activities
We made weather pictures and talked about the different seasons. My girls colored rainbows and made cloud picture on construction paper with cotton balls. They always enjoy art projects as part of their lessons!
We watched The Wizard of Oz for our family movie time on the weekend and talked about tornadoes.
The photos above show one of our trips to a science center with a meteorology exhibit for kids. They could do their own weather report with a green screen and a TV, just like real meteorologists use on news reports. There was also a display and experiments with water to show the effects of flooding.
We worked on some unit study lessons together, as well as lapbooking. I like that unit studies and lapbooks are adjustable for age so that a wide range of ages can work together according to their abilities.
Weather and History:
Study extreme weather from the past. This can include hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, and floods. Unfortunately, there is no shortage to study on this aspect of weather. How did these things affect the economy of the time? Did extreme weather alter the course of history by causing many people to move to other areas that weren’t affected by the weather incident? Books like The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder or Stormy, Misty’s Foal from the Misty of Chincoteague series by Marguerite Henry are two examples of historical fiction featuring real incidents of extreme weather.
Weather and Math:
Purchase a large thermometer and/or barometer that can be mounted outside your house. Check the temperature and barometric pressure at different times throughout the day for a week and record the results on your own homemade weather chart or graph. If you don’t have a thermometer/barometer, use a weather website like NOAA and chart the daily high and low temperatures for your area. You can use your results at the end of the week to figure out the average temperature.
Weather and Bible study:
The most famous incident of extreme weather in the Bible is about Noah and the worldwide flood (Genesis 6). Read this story again, then read a book about floods. You can also study how rainbows form and the significance of the rainbow as a sign from God to Noah.
Weather and Geography:
Why is it cooler in the mountains or near the coast? Why is the Equator so hot? What is the climate like in different regions in the United States? What is the Snow Belt? It’s easy to find many different geography and weather connections!
Hands-on Weather projects:
If your kids like hands-on activities or arts and crafts, try the following —
- A weather-related lapbook.
- Draw or paint scenes from all four seasons.
- A weather field trip to visit a local news meteorologist (be sure to plan ahead!) or weather station (often found at small local airports).
- Keep a weather graph or journal.
- Write a poem or short story including descriptions of the weather.
If you’d like to try a weather unit study, but don’t have the time to plan it out yourself I highly recommend Once-a-Week Unit studies from Homeschool Legacy. Weather on the Move is perfect for this topic. It’s a quick and easy introduction to unit studies if you’ve never tried them before.
Although we generally think of weather as a science topic, you can see that it can be included in every subject you study and tweaked for every age range in your homeschool. Have fun learning as you “weather” the weather changes this spring!
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