Weather Trends and Patterns

In this lesson, the children will observe and collect weather data to identify weather patterns.

Content Area:

Weather and Seasons

Learning Goals:

This lesson will help toddlers and preschoolers meet the following educational standards:

  • Explore changes related to the weather and seasons
  • Develop beginning skills in the use of science and engineering practices, such as observing, asking questions, solving problems and drawing conclusions

Learning Targets:

After this lesson, toddlers and preschoolers should be more proficient at:

  • Observing and discussing changes in weather and seasons using common vocabulary
  • Collecting, describing, comparing and recording information from observations and investigations
  • Drawing meaning from experience and information by describing, talking and thinking about what happened during an investigation
toddler in garden

Weather Trends and Patterns

Lesson plan for toddlers/preschoolers

Step 1: Gather materials.

  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Weather Chart (columns for days and rows for times of the day)
  • Clock with Alarm/Timer

Note: Small parts pose a choking hazard and are not appropriate for children age five or under. Be sure to choose lesson materials that meet safety requirements.

Step 2: Introduce activity.

  1. At the beginning of the week, invite the children to discuss what the weather was like during the weekend and the previous week.
  2. Discuss with the children how the weather can change from day to day and at different times of the day.
  3. Explain that we will observe and record the weather every day this week and at different times of the day (three to five times a day, depending on the length of the program day).
  4. Practice observing by doing the first observation together. Ask the children to look outside and describe the weather.
  5. Invite the children to predict what the weather will be like later in the day.

Step 3: Engage children in lesson activities.

  1. Set an alarm/timer for the times of the day that the weather will be observed.
  2. When the alarm goes off, invite the children to observe the weather and discuss their observations.
  3. Ask a child draw what the weather is like on the chart to record the observation. The teacher may write out words in addition to a child’s drawing.
  4. Continue this practice of observing and recording the weather at different times of the day for a full week.
  5. When the week is over, discuss with the children what they see on the weather chart.
  6. Ask the children: “What patterns do you see in the weather? Was the weather the same or different on different days and at different times?”
  7. Invite the children to draw conclusions about what the weather was like the past week and make predictions about what the weather will be like next week.

Step 4: Vocabulary.

  • Observe: To watch and document an item to gather information
  • Record: To set down in writing
  • Data: Information that is collected through a study or an investigation
  • Compare: To identify the similarities or differences between two objects
  • Analyze: To examine information in order to make conclusions
  • Predict: To guess what might happen next
  • Conclude: To make statements about what was learned after an observation or experiment

Early Science Glossary

Step 5: Adapt lesson for toddlers or preschoolers.

Adapt Lesson for Toddlers
Toddlers may:
  • Have an emerging vocabulary to talk about the weather
  • Not make connections about the weather over the course of an entire week
Child care providers may:
  • Provide photos of weather (clouds, rain, snow, sun, etc.) for the children to use to chart the weather
  • Compare weather within a day or two instead of the full week
Adapt Lesson for Preschoolers
Preschoolers may:
  • Be interested in extending past a week
  • Want to draw in their own chart instead of a classroom chart
Child care providers may:
  • Continue observing and recording the weather for several weeks
  • Provide individual weather charts for children who remain engaged after the initial week of observation

Suggested Books

  • The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins
  • Rain by Manya Stojic
  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
  • Wow! Weather! by Paul Deanno

Music and Movement

  • Rain, Rain Go Away
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • Invite the children to move along with the weather and pretend that they are the rain, snow or wind

Outdoor Connections

  • Take the children on neighborhood walks to observe the weather. Ask questions such as: “How does the temperature feel? What does the sun feel like as it shines on us? What does the rain feel like? The snow? The wind?”

Web Resources

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