To start our weather unit we always start with Clouds. They are the place where it all seems to start! So I teach the kids some of the facts about the types of clouds and what they each look like. My favorite 2 books I used to start this weather unit are;
The Cloud Book by Tomie dePaola
Little Cloud by Eric Carle
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
They made a movie out of the last one, I haven’t seen it yet
but many of the students had and said they loved it! Now this book is a superb book to springboard lots of brainstorming on a fantastic creative writing story with similar happenings. Since food rains down on the town of Chew-and-Swallow all day every day, who is to say it can’t rain down on our town in some creative way?
So we make a cloud flap book using 1 whole piece of construction paper cut in half the long way and then folded over each other so that 4 flaps are overlapping about 3 inches each. Just try it and it is pretty easy.
Then we found some clip art for each of the 4 types of clouds and glued them on the flap with the cloud name. A link for some clip art for cloud types is HERE at Super Teacher Worksheets, or just type up your own and do a simple drawing.
Glue each drawing and typed cloud type onto each of the 4 flaps of your flap book. Then kids take rulers and draw lines under each flap. Write a few sentences describing each cloud type. Then glue a piece of cotton ball in the right stretched out shape for each type. Here are our flap books.
Then we read Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. We talk about what vocabulary is in the story. Then we brainstorm on the board all kinds of stuff that could fall from the sky in a “made up” city of our choosing. Then we all do a funny creative writing about a place where “stuff” falls like rain and what could happen to a first grader in that city. They all have the problem, but they have to come up with a solution, a character, and a setting. We write stories and I edit them, then students rewrite on some cute paper with kids in the rain holding umbrellas. I’ll post the finished crazy stories when we are all done.
Some of the kids really wanted to do goofy, silly poems. So we had a fast finisher idea. We brainstormed all kinds of words that rhyme with cloud and rain and made 2 lists. Kids wrote 4 line poetry using rhyming words. Another option is to do a Cinquain poem describing clouds.
MUSIC – .What’s The Weather? Sing this song to percussion instruments sung to the tune of “Clementine”
What’s the weather? What’s the weather? What’s the weather like today? Tell us(child’s name), What’s the weather? What’s the weather like today? Is it sunny? (hold arms above head in a circle] Is it cloudy? [cover eyes with hands] Is it rainy out today?[flutter fingers downward] Is it snowy?[wrap arms around body and shiver] Is it windy? [“blow children over” with a swoop of your arms]What’s the weather like today?
Next we are doing hurricanes and tornadoes. That sure goes along with what is happening outside today! Lots of wet and crazy weather! Button up your overcoat!