Step 1: Gather materials.
- 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.
- At the beginning of the week, invite the children to discuss what the weather was like during the weekend and the previous week.
- Discuss with the children how the weather can change from day to day and at different times of the day.
- 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).
- Practice observing by doing the first observation together. Ask the children to look outside and describe the weather.
- Invite the children to predict what the weather will be like later in the day.
Step 3: Engage children in lesson activities.
- Set an alarm/timer for the times of the day that the weather will be observed.
- When the alarm goes off, invite the children to observe the weather and discuss their observations.
- 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.
- Continue this practice of observing and recording the weather at different times of the day for a full week.
- When the week is over, discuss with the children what they see on the weather chart.
- 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?”
- 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
Step 5: Adapt lesson for toddlers or preschoolers.
Adapt Lesson for Toddlers
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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?”
- Weather Observation Chart: Use this to record observations beyond general weather descriptions
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: Learn more about observing the weather on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website, which offers general information and lesson plans