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Weekly Challenge for #EnviroEd # 42 – Weather as a Story Teller

September 8, 2014

water may fall

With the school year newly started it is a fantastic time to consider how you will make mention of the number one teaching resource available to every teacher, in every locale, of every grade.

Weather.

Every day there is a 100 % chance of weather and it can be inspirational to educators and students alike as a tool for environmental literacy. Students paying attention to the weather tend to come to school each day better prepared for the day ahead after all.

I think many a primary classroom will have a weather board in their class but typically I see it being used to record the weather and perhaps cloud cover. Even this can lead to fantastic math lessons with graphing and more. However the sky is the limit with weather studies. Here is a great Pinterest collection on recording weather in the classroom. Now what if we spent more time relating today to yesterday – or predicting what is to come? What if we had lessons allowing us to think like a meteorologist?

What if one was the think of the weather as a good book, and each week of school was an engaging chapter I’m curious of the discussions that would occur in your classroom?

In school I was a fan of English or Language Arts and loved reading good books. Quite often we would read a chapter or two and then as a class we’d sit down at the end of the week and discuss what had happened and how what that meant to the story that had happened thus far. That of course would lead to us trying to guess or even foreshadow what was to come.

And – the best part is that every single day there is build up and the potential for climatic surprises. There is no denouement to the story of weather.

At any grade level this would lead to interesting discussions if looking at the week’s weather and perhaps some interesting discussions on climate change as well.

Weather is indeed a perfect teaching manipulative. I recall teaching grade 5’s one fall about Forces on Structures for their Science Unit be setting up tents in the school yard during a large rain storm that days before (any 100’s of miles away) was Hurricane Sandy.

Weather can be a fantastic visual art tool as well. Stunning photographs can be created with your BYOD classroom for instance before, during and after a storm with discussion on lighting and optics. Weekly or seasonal changes can be monitored quite easily and discussed with images taken or drawn.

Hopefully, with some serious discussions as you study the weather this year your students will recognize that there is no such thing as bad weather. Only bad clothing choices.

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