Welcome to Week 2 of our Summer of Science where we are learning about WEATHER! Weather is my son's absolute favorite subject, especially tornadoes, so he is really excited about learning this week.
We did our library trip yesterday and picked up a lot of fun books and a couple dvds all about weather. We started off yesterday by reading a book of "Weather Words" by Gail Gibbons, and then I had the kids each draw a picture of their favorite weather word.
Today we decided to use a neat book on fun weather experiments to start exploring. Our first experiment was very basic- I had the kids hold their hand in the shade, and then hold it in the sun and talk about what was different. We learned that the sun gives off heat. Then we set up our little sun plate to track the sun's movements across the sky during the afternoon:
We are marking the location of the stick's shadow (it's a skewer through a paper plate, by the way) every hour to see how it changes.
Next, we tried an experiment to see if air has weight. We got a ruler, tied a string in the middle, then added an air-filled balloon on one end and an empty balloon on the other end. We could see that the balloon filled with air was heavier than the empty balloon. Cool!
Also this week, I've had the kids keeping a "Weather Log" in their notebooks. Each day I have them draw a picture of what the weather is that day.
Our next experiment was very exciting, and had I not had my hands full I could have taken pictures of us doing it, but I wanted to be sure everyone was safe. We boiled a pot of water on the stove, and then I held a pan of ice cubes over it. The water vapor in the steam met the cold pan and caused condensation, which formed water droplets that "rained" back down into the pot. I explained to the kids that this is how the water cycle works- water on the earth gets heated by the sun and evaporates, turning into water vapor. The water vapor rises and meets the cold air high in the sky and condenses to form clouds. The clouds become heavy with water droplets and it begins to rain.
I showed them some good diagrams in one of the books to illustrate it, and then for my son I drew the circles and the arrows and wrote the numbers on his page and had him draw pictures for each step of the water cycle in the circles. Then I wrote down the words, "lake", "cloud", and "rain" on a separate piece of paper next to the numbers 1, 2, and 3 and had him copy them into the correct places on his page. He did a great job and earned a sticker!
For Starlet I kept it a little simpler and asked her to draw a picture of her favorite part of the water cycle. Can you guess what it is?
Rain! She also got a sticker for her work. After all that experimenting, we took a break before quiet time to read a story called "Storm Cats" about two cats that meet when they get scared during a thunderstorm. Just a fun story that went right along with our theme.
Tomorrow and Friday we'll learn more about BAD weather!