Monday, April 7, 2014

Preschool Lab: Weather

This month for Preschool Lab, we talked about weather. This was a great week for it since we have been having LOTS of different types of weather recently. Here's what we did:

Opening Song: My Hands Say Hello - our standard opener and a signal to my friends that it's time to start storytime.

Book: Hello Sun by Dayle Anne Dodds, illustrated by Sachiko Yoshikawa (Dial, 2005). This book has bouncy, rhyming text that explores what we wear for different types of weather. This was a great book to introduce many kinds of different weather to our friends.

Book: Rain by Manya Stojic (Crown Books for Young Readers, 1999). In this book, we use all our senses to explore a rainstorm on the African plains. Our STEM moment for the day came when I read about rhino squelching in the mud after the rain and a chorus of "Eeeew!"s rang out. I explained that many animals bathe in mud to keep cool and to keep their skin healthy. One of my friends called out "Like pigs!" Exactly! What a great connection!

We also used some sound effects with this book - slapping our knees to make thunder sounds and I used the rainstick when the rain finally started coming down.

Book with Scarves: Duckie's Rainbow by Frances Barry (Candlewick, 2004). We practiced our colors and listening/following directions by reading this book with scarves. For more details about this activity, check out my recent spring storytime.

Book: It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw (HarperCollins, 1947). Clouds can be many different shapes, as we notice in this book.

Closing Song: Do You Know What Time It Is?


Wind. We can't SEE wind, but we can see what it DOES. I put together a tub with different materials and put out a box of straws. Children blew through the straws to see which objects moved and which did not. To incorporate writing, I put out basic charts so that families could record which objects could be moved with breath and which could not.

Umbrella Counting Game. I made my own template for the Rainy Day Counting game I found on Kiwi Crate. Children could color and cut out their umbrella cards and use the blue craft marbles to count out raindrops. I included some additional activity ideas for the umbrella cards in their take-home packets. If you don't have craft marbles laying around, you can just as easily use cotton balls for cloud counting.

Temperature. I put out our thermometers (from a Lake Shore science kit) and cups of water, some of which were room temperature and some of which had ice cubes in them. Families could explore how to use a thermometer and whether our water was hotter or colder.

Felt Board. I put out felt pieces from our story It Looked Like Spilt Milk and I left out our rain stick for exploration.

I also put out a weather book display and take-home craft packets with the supplies to make this weather tracker from Storytime Katie!

And now, let's hope that our weather is taking a turn for the better (finally)!