At this time of year, weather is the perfect multidisciplinary study. Weather is on everyone’s minds, whether you’re facing winter storms or signs of spring. There are perfect literature options like mythology about weather gods or parables and poems about the wind, plenty of science topics connect with weather and each one brings in math, and weather phenomena have inspired music, too.
Here’s a lesson that makes a great introduction to any unit on weather.
Visit Tag Galaxy to begin. You’ll have a place to type in your first word: weather.
Soon you’ll see a swirling collection of planets labeled with related words.
Click on the “sun” to see images from FlickR brought together to create an amazing graphic.
You can bring in more images, and you can also explore each of the “planets” in this way, discovering more words and more images. You can click on any picture to see it more closely — here’s a beautiful image from “rain”:
Tag Galaxy can be mesmerizing, and it rewards exploration. Show it first on your class projector and let everyone ooh and ahh for a while. Then let students explore the tool on their own computers.
Here are some ideas of what to do next:
- Have students list the words they find that relate to weather. Let students write individual words on cards or cut outs and hang them from the ceiling or post them on a bulletin board.
- Ask students to choose a word and then an image to use as a writing prompt. There are thousands of choices, so everyone should be able to find something inspiring.
- Making a globe from photos in real life would be a big job, but you can make a smaller version easily. Have students print out, draw, and/or cut out pictures of weather. Use a round template to make circles from the pictures, and then a triangular template to fold in the edges. Connect the edges to form a sphere, as shown for the “Disco Ball” ornament at this paper craft page.
At this point, your class should be excited about weather and ready for some learning!