With so many changes in the weather, we have been able to take notice as we ask (sing) and answer the question “What will the weather be today?”
During our morning circle, we take a few minutes everyday to talk about the weather. One child is chosen to be the weather helper and begins by looking outside so to tell us what he or she thinks the weather seems to be that day.
Usually, the child chooses two words such as sunny and warm. One word that describes how the weather feels (temperature) and one word to tell us what they see (a weather symbol such as a sunshine, clouds etc…)
As the weather person is deciding, the entire class generally is also shouting out their own ideas of what the weather is so there is quite a bit of negotiating going on in the process by the entire class.
Drawing the Weather
Once the weather person has decided on what the weather will be, then the teacher writes the weather words on a blank square of paper and the child draws a weather symbol to represent the weather that day. Last year, I used pre-made weather symbols but this year, I decided to have the children draw their own weather symbols and they do a remarkable job. All the children (ages three to five) figure out a way to somehow express what the weather is like in their simple drawings.
Weather Clip Board
We keep the paper ready to go on a small clip board for our weather person to draw on and the children take a quick minute to draw the weather while we wait and continue talking about the weather. If the weather person wishes to go off to the table and come back, they are welcome to do so but most of the children just sit right down on the floor and give it a go.
After the weather is illustrated on paper then we staple it up on our weather board in one of the blank weather pattern squares.
One thing I have noticed is that when the children are choosing the temperature of the weather, they will often say “cold” even if it is hot outside or “warm” even if it is cold outside. I realized that the children were struggling with differentiating between what it feels to them inside the classroom versus what it felt like to them outside of the classroom.
So when needed, we will have the weather person stand right outside the classroom door to check the weather and give us a more accurate idea of what the temperature feels like outside.
As we staple the weather symbol to the board we sing this simple song “Weather, weather, weather, weather, what will the weather be today?” “Sunny and cold, sunny and cold, that’s what the weather will be today.” And then we take a quick look to see if any weather pattern is emerging across our board.
Once our board gets all the way full, we usually take down the current symbols and save them in our weather box and then start all over again adding a new set of weather symbols one day at a time.
This entire process from looking out the window, drawing our weather symbols, singing our song, taking a quick look at the weather patterns is a non-stop and quick process.
Everyone Joins In!
It takes us about five minutes (depending on the day) to go from the beginning to the end and it isn’t a sit-still-and-listen process, it is an interactive and inviting process. Everyone likes to join in and each child has gotten to know the routine very well.
Things to Consider
I think my favorite part of this process is not only the chance to talk about the weather but watching the children progress in making more complex weather symbols over time.
- Remember, there is no right or wrong in the drawings. If a child scribbles a few dots and tells me it is rainy, then that is what I write and all of the children have naturally followed my lead.
- We have a saying in our classroom that goes something like this…
“Your work (or drawing or painting) doesn’t have to be just like mine or anyone elses. It should be what you would like it to be.”
I think the kids know this saying by heart.
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