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The Weather Project. Andromahi Harrison Kara Ellenberg December-March. Catalytic Event.

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the weather project

The Weather Project

Andromahi Harrison

Kara Ellenberg


catalytic event
Catalytic Event

The children began to talk about weather related items in the classroom and started to get interested in looking at weather pictures including those online and in books. They would often ask to look up the temperature on our computer and then would begin to ask questions about other information the website would display.

investigating the thermometer
Investigating the thermometer

The children investigated the new thermometer donated to our classroom. The children began by asking how to identify the numbers and then began to create a list of which were the cold temperatures and which were the hot temperatures.

sharing pictures of weather pictures
Sharing pictures of weather pictures

Aidan (5.7) shares pictures with Claire about several weather phenomena's including hail, high winds, and damage from those storms.

how to make ice
How to make ice

Brayden (4.9) creates his idea of how ice would be made. He believes ice can be made only if snow is outside and in “quick time.”

leaving water outside
Leaving water outside

Brayden (4.9) wonders if snow makes ice. He asks to put a bucket of water outside one morning as it is snowing. He asks to set the bucket of water in the snow and asks to set the timer. He sets the timer and carries it around. When it beeps, he gathers friends to see the progress. A friend who observed the water documents their findings on a chart.

  • At snack, Mahi had brought over her water cup which had a chunk of ice on the top of the cup.
  • Eamon (5. 3) began to question Mahi about where her cup was before she brought it to school.
  • Eamon and several other children sitting at snack found out that Mahi had her cup in the back of her fridge.
  • He then wondered if we could try to make water, milk, and juice freeze.
  • We filled each cup and then Eamon decided the freezer would be the best place for each of those items.
ice experiment continued
Ice experiment continued

After the weekend, the children explored the items that we had brought out of the freezer. The children determined that water and milk freeze well. Juice freezes more like slushy then a ice.

outdoors ice experiment
Outdoors Ice Experiment
  • Claire (4.9) and Addison (3.11) add pieces of ice to cold water on the Beehive.
  • The girls predict that the ice will melt because it is in water.
  • In the afternoon, the girls check and the piece of ice are still in the water.
  • “Maybe it is because the water was cold and it is cold outside.” Claire shares.
  • Grace (5.3) checks the ice the next day. “It’s all frozen!” she exclaims. She tells friends, “I think it got really cold at night. Like under 32 and that is why everything made ice.”
weather comments
Weather Comments
  • While looking at a bobble head of Terry Swails, Graham (3.2) says, “Hey, this is a meteorologist.”
  • Keegan (4.8) tells a teacher, “It is foggy outside. I think I learned that means the clouds are lower today. Let’s look that up to make sure.”
  • Terryn (4. 5) shares with friends at group, “Ice crystals are when it gets cold in the sky.”
  • Eamon (5.3) shares, “Isn’t 32 the temperature when we get freezing rain?”
  • Laura (the Bluebird Teacher) asks the children at what temperature does it snow, sleet, and rain. Keegan and Claire (4.8) put their hands up and tell Laura. “This degree is 32. All under it is snow, all over it is rain, and all the same is sleet.”
  • Drake (4.4) listens as Mahi reads a book about clouds. Mahi reads the explanation of the cloud and Drake says, “I know that cloud! It’s a nimbus cloud. The other one is a status cloud!”
fluffy flat and wet
Fluffy, Flat, and Wet

After reading one of our texts, Fluffy, Flat, and Wet the children wanted to write down all we knew from the text.

solid liquid gas
Solid, Liquid, Gas
  • Children began to use the words after reading about clouds.
  • While cooking, the children asked if we could make a list of where each fits.
  • Eamon (5.5) reads the letters to Nolan (5.6) so he can classify them on the chart.
  • The children continue for all the types of food in the chili.
some questions and answers
Some questions and answers
  • Have you seen a real tornado?
    • I have never seen one in real life. Only on my radar and/or TV.
  • Have you seen a blizzard?
    • Yes! The drifts were higher than me.
  • Are their clouds at night?
    • There are but sometimes you can’t see them.
  • Do cumulus clouds bring rain?
    • Nimbus clouds bring rain.
  • What is a radar?
    • A radar projects images and satellite information to my station so I know what the weather is like. Some radars detect different things.
  • How many radars do you have?
    • Three
  • How do you know all that you know?
    • I learned and studied.
  • How many meteorologists are there?
    • We have four. There are meteorologists in every city, state, and country.
some questions and answers1
Some questions and answers
  • How is a tornado made?
    • Cold and hot air get into a fight and tornado begins. We need the right ingredients.
  • How does the moon move?
    • The moon moves in an orbit.
  • When do stratus clouds come out?
    • They are flat clouds. They come out during fog. Fog is a stratus cloud.
  • Why do clouds move fast?
    • Clouds move fast/slow based on the type of weather.
  • How is thunder made?
    • The clouds are moving the air so fast that it makes a noise.
  • How is lightning made?
    • Two clouds hit together to make a spark and make lightning.
  • How nimbus clouds only make rain?
    • It also makes snow!
  • Does the sun come up every day?
    • Yes! Sometimes we can see it other times we can’t! Sometimes clouds or fog cover it.
reflecting on james trip
Reflecting on James’ Trip

Nolan joins friends at the smart board to re-watch James' Zhara's visit. He tells Mahi several details that he remembers from the visit before the video starts. He then begins to sketch during the video. He then tells Mahi about his drawing. "This is a tornado. It has to be a bad day. It needs to start with a cloud, then a funnel cloud, then it touches the ground and begins to destroy houses. It follows a path or moves all over." He shows Mahi the path of his tornado. "this tuff does not happen at the same time. It happens one at a time." The garage moved because to the tornado. The tornado is over.

brayden s interpretations
Brayden’s Interpretations

Brayden talks about James Zhara's visit as we wait for the video of him to come on. As it comes own, Brayden gets to work without talking to anyone around him. He works for about ten minutes without looking up from his work or talking to his peers near him. He then shares his work with Mahi. He begins talking about his picture which has several different weather events. He shows the picture of the rain. "Those need nimbus clouds. Then it rains. In that way. Not rain and then nimbus. A funnel cloud then tornado. He sounds out tornado with Kara and hears every sound. He then turns to the next page where he has the seasons. He tells Mahi about each picture and shares, "Spring, summer, fall, and winter. In that order. It can't be different. That is just how the earth works."

to culminate the project
To culminate the project

Children decided they would like to culminate by sharing what they know in Thank You cards to James Zhara.

what we learned
What we learned:
  • Only meteorologist forecast the weather.
  • Tornadoes can be different sizes.
  • There are different types of clouds.
  • Different clouds look different and might do different things.
  • The sun is always out but can be covered by clouds.
  • The sun can be covered by fog.
  • The moon comes out every night.
  • Rain has to be heavy to come out of the clouds.
  • You can not wear green in front of the green screen.
  • How to identify clouds