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We studied weather with our Nim’s Island unit and I thought this would be a great time to add to this long standing post and bring it up to date with resources and ideas. The kids and I had some meetings over a few days to discuss exactly what we wanted to measure, where, how and how often. We tried a weather station a few years ago that bombed out because of equipment failure. It was just not designed to go the distance as you’ll see below.
The next time we tried, we pieced together our weather station down at our mailbox and the kids ambitiously decided to record the weather three times a day! You’ll have to design a data chart to accommodate the vision that your kids have. We wanted to track it daily long term which is fun for math and science pursuits. As you track the weather, you can introduce forecasting and statistics over time. We even did a math lesson using the Beaufort Wind Scale and median statistics.
Keeping a Weather Calendar
- For a glance at our former weather calendar- it evolved into a workable version using small pocket charts from the Target dollar aisle.
- There are many ways to keep a weather calendar. Many of you might have a weather observation during your morning time or circle time if you have one- displaying your weather observations is one option.
- I prefer the notebook/data gathering method. Instead of each student keeping his own notebook of weather data, I like to have a common weather log where the kids record their observations for the day. The tricky part is finding the data chart that you want. I dislike trying to search for the perfect page for notebooking so I went to notebook paper a long time ago. Decide all the things you want to record and keep a log book handy.
Resources for Studying Weather from Preschool to High School
- The Ben Franklin Book of Easy and Incredible Experiments- Ben Franklin was a weather scientist and this book has some ideas for building a weather station and experimenting with weather. We’ll be using this book and a few other resources from the list below to make a weather station.
- Usborne Weather Kid Kit -complete with weather station components and a spotter’s guide to weather. This kit is nice… love this kit, but I wanted something that could stay outside all the time. If we are going to be weather reporters and find out about meteorology, then we need a weather proof weather station. Am I right?
- Magnetic Weather Station- this one is great for preschoolers! Instead of writing they can pick out the symbols and record the daily weather with magnets. This is a nice way for your preschooler to participate in the daily routine of checking your weather station.
- Discovery Education- Free lesson on weather maps both reading and marking. I used to love making weather maps in earth science class.
- Geography Quest: Hurricane Tracking Edition- Learn how to track hurricanes with official maps.
- Geography quest: Groundhog Day Edition- Predict the arrival of spring by studying climate trends.
- High School Earth Science- from cK-12 an open source textbook website where you can find lessons on particular topics and download entire texts for your student. There’s an entire lessons with many resources just on weather maps.
- High School Resources on Collecting Weather Data- great set of lessons, videos, real world applications, etc for doing weather observations.
Book List for Weather Studies
- Weather Words and What They Mean by Gail Gibbons
- The Science Book of Weather by Neil Ardley- this is a nice one with pictures for experiments and weather instruments
- Weather: Mind Boggling Experiments You Can Turn into Science Fair Projects by Janice VanCleave
- Scholastic Atlas of Weather- great for a fact lover
- Weather Forecasting by Gail Gibbons
- The Kid’s Book of Weather Forecasting by Mark Breen and Kathleen Friestad- great book for kids on building a weather station
- Exploring Weather: 30 Amazing Projects That Teach the Wonders of God’s Creation by Stephanie Finke- found it on the public library book shelf. Wow.
- Weather! by Rebecca Rupp- experiments and weather log ideas
- Weather Maps by Ian Mahaney- symbols and different kinds of weather maps
- Weather Math: Math and My World by Kiernan Walsh- Weather charts and data analysis (awesome living math book)
- Hurricanes Have Eyes but Can’t See and Other Amazing Facts about Wild Weather by Melvin and Gilda Berger- perfect for the fact finding sensationalist in the family. Whenever I even look at the book, I hear the voice over narrating a crazy weather video.
It’s a long term science project to incorporate weather into our nature and unit studies throughout the year.
Explorental Offers a Weather Meter Rental
Explorental is a company which offers high quality equipment and materials for short term rentals to families. The Multi-Function Weather Meter can measure many of the measurements we’ve been tracking in a small hand held digital form. If you aren’t sure to begin with a weather station or you want to track weather in the short term, then try out this handheld digital weather meter from Explorental.
I think it’s fantastic Explorental is excited about getting big ticket items into the hands of families. What does your family want to explore together?