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Weekly Challenge # 28 – Rain is Only an Attitude

April 7, 2014


I often tell classes that “Water may fall from the sky, but rain is only an attitude.” It is something I recall from my own days at Scout Camp, not so much the words – but the positive attitude we held with a well run program in the rain.

There are as many quotes about spring as there are raindrops in a shower it seems. Mark Twain once said, “In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours“. When you teach outside daily, you no doubt have seen just how temperamental a season it can be.

Which makes it the perfect season to study weather and how we can prepare for it after all …

There is no bad weather – only bad clothing choices.”

How much precipitation will fall  and what does that mean? Where does it go? How much water can the soil hold and what are the spring dangers of spring run off? Having a rain gauge of some type in your schoolyard as well as a wind vane or an anemometer would not only interesting from an environmental education point of view but the connections for math and language arts (through daily journals) is astronomical.

However, I would suggest going one step further in your studies of spring weather this week. I would introduce the concept of a microclimate.

Where does the snow melt the fastest or slowest and why?

Is there a wind corridor at your school (ie between portables)

Why do the gardens on the south side of the school (in the Northern Hemisphere at least) dry up before those on other sides of the school?

There is one more critical piece to studying the weather in the schoolyard and that is the concept of trying to figure out the right gear and attire for the day ahead …

So go out this week – study the weather, estimate the rainfall, make an educated assumption on the temperature tomorrow and discuss how to prepare.

And begin the process of seeing if indeed, “April showers bring May flowers.

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