Do you focus on a weather unit in your classroom? I love using this theme in preschool and kindergarten classrooms since it can be used at any time of the year. No matter what the season is, you can find a way to connect your weather lessons to what’s going on outside! If you’re looking for fun new ways to teach about the weather, this post is for you! Let’s chat about some of my favorite weather activities for the primary classroom.
Teaching About Weather
When it comes to teaching littles, I’m a big fan of cross-curricular activities. I love using a variety of lessons that touch multiple subjects to help students learn about something new. This is a great technique to use when teaching young students all about weather too!
In my classroom, I like to use a variety of vocabulary, writing, math, and science activities to teach students about weather and temperature. Over the years, I’ve found that using this cross-curricular teaching style helps to keep student interest and tie our activities together. Wondering how you can use this approach to teach weather and temperature concepts in your room? So glad you asked, let’s get started!
My Favorite Weather Books
As with any new subject in the primary classroom, books are a great place to start when it comes to introducing weather. Once we’ve read through our books aloud, I always make them available to students in our classroom library to flip through on their own. I like to choose non-fiction books with colorful, real-life pictures for this theme. Some of my favorites include:
- National Geographic Readers: Weather by Kristin Rattini
- Explore my World: Weather by Lisa Gerry
- The Weather Book by Steve Parker
- Everything Weather by Kathy Furgang
These books are great for reading aloud and discussing. I like to pull some important facts from each and work with the children to create anchor charts. Some of the things we include are vocabulary words, characteristics of each type of weather, definitions, and information about temperature. After we make the anchor charts, I display them on a board or easel so students can reference them later during our lessons.
Introducing the Thermometer
The concept of temperature is often brand new to my students when we begin a weather unit. While they may have described the weather with words like “hot or cold”, they probably didn’t know that we can assign a number to each day based on the temperature.
After reading a few books on weather and temperature, I like to play a video like this one discussing temperature. This video ties into our science themes and also prep students for a fun Smartboard Activity we use all about temperature.
This Weather and Temperature activity aligns with math standards and is a great way to introduce routines for recording the day’s weather and approximate temperature. This resource also teaches how a thermometer works through vocabulary activities and games. I love using this lesson at the start of our weather activities to help prep students for all the fun things to come! While this resource was originally designed to supplement the Everyday Math curriculum, it can be used with any curriculum to help your students understand the idea of recording the daily weather and temperature.
Vocabulary Activities for Teaching About Weather
Once we’ve had a bit of an introduction to weather and temperature, I always spend a fair bit of time diving into weather words. I love introducing vocabulary at the beginning of the unit so that my students have as much time as possible to learn and use the words in context. In my classroom, my very favorite way to do this is with weather lapbooks. If you’ve never seen lapbooks before, they are essentially a smaller version of an interactive notebook. As we work through our weather activities as a class, students will add them to the lapbook, creating a collection of resources stored neatly in one place. Some of the vocabulary words we include are:
- different weather tools
- different types of weather
- and more!
These words likely already came up in the books you read, but it’s great to check in with students and see what they remember about the definitions for each one. We talk about these words and then make a flipbook with their definitions to attach to the lapbook. Students love being able to open each flap and see the definition.
In addition to these words we also talk about the words for each type of cloud including cirrus, cumulus, stratus, and cumulonimbus. These might seem like very big words to be using with young students, but I have found that my kiddos are always quick to catch on, especially since we use a fun art project to help them remember the different types. This simple project uses cotton balls and is also added to our weather lapbooks. It’s always a big hit in the classroom! To read more about this activity, be sure to check out this post!
Weather Writing Activities
Once my students have an understanding of the vocabulary we’re focusing on in our weather activities, we work on writing prompts.
Our weather lapbooks have a few different options when it comes to writing, so I tend to pick and choose which ones to use based on skill level. One of my favorites is the “Types of Weather” flip book.
This activity allows children to draw a picture and write a description for a few different types of weather including sunny, rainy, snowy, cloudy, and stormy.
After students have written their descriptions for each, they can cut out the paper boxes and layer them together to create a flipbook.
Some of the other weather writing prompts and graphic organizers we complete are My Favorite Type of Weather, Weather Facts, and a Meteorologists Study / Use / Can summary.
Our weather writing activities are all stored nicely inside of the lapbook, so that students can flip through each one at the end of our unit. This is such a great way to keep everything the students have learned in one place! Weather lapbooks make a great keepsake as well! Parents love to see the collection of weather activities their students have participated in at school!
Digital Weather Activities for Math
Do you use Boom Cards or Google Slides activities in your room? I’m a big fan of hands-on learning activities and we use plenty of them, but I also like to sprinkle some digital activities among our lessons as well. When it comes to our weather unit, I have a few digital activities that fit the bill perfectly!
During center time, I like to use these Number Order Boom Cards to help students brush up on ordering numbers. These cards use a rainy day theme that fits perfectly in with our weather lessons as well! Boom Cards work really well for center time since they are self-correcting and use sound to help children who aren’t quite reading yet.
Another fun Boom Cards activity we use is this I Spy Weather deck. These Boom Cards are perfect for preschool and kindergarten-age students to help target counting skills. This activity asks students to count how many of each weather symbol they see. Since the cards have sound and are self-correcting, students will get a chance to try again if they answered incorrectly.
I also have the I Spy Weather and Number Order Activities in Google Slides format. These versions are perfect for popping up on the board and using during whole-group learning. I rely on Google Classroom activities for quick review and anytime we need another activity to fill a few minutes in a meaningful way.
Graphing The Weather
One of my favorite weather activities we do during this whole unit is our daily weather graphing. This activity ties in nicely with our temperature routines lesson and also fits into our lapbooks. For this activity, students will take note of the weather each day and color a box on their own graph to show it.
We make a large classroom graph on a big piece of easel paper to do this activity as a group every morning. I like to pick a “weather helper” who will stand up, go to the window and check the weather. You can also use a large, kid-friendly thermometer and have them read the temperature to you as well.
After the weather helper has made their report, we add it to our daily classroom graph. Students will also fill in the correct box on their personal graph. We do this over a week or two and then children add their final weather graph to their lapbooks. I love this activity since it ties our lessons to what’s happening outside. The kids are always excited when we add this to our morning meeting routine!
Tying All Your Weather Activities Together
Using this method of teaching across multiple subjects within the theme of weather is such a great way to connect what students are learning to real life. Once we’ve introduced basic facts about weather and the routine of checking the daily temperature, students are always so engaged in the lessons. I’ll often hear children talking to each other about the weather, commenting on the temperature, and discussing the things we’ve learned.
One of the ways I like to tie everything to together after our weather activities is with the digital version of our Weather Lapbooks. This Google Slides activity features many of the same writing prompts and vocabulary activities in a digital format. These activities serve as a great way to review the material after we’ve done our weather activities. To use these, I pop them up on the board and call on students to come up and complete the questions. We also use them for whole group discussions as a way to bring our lessons full circle.
Get Started Teaching About Weather
I love using this cross-curricular method for teaching about the weather since it’s so much fun for the kiddos! I’ve found that using a variety of activities across multiple subjects if the way to go when it comes to getting full engagement from my students!
If you’re ready to get started teaching all about the weather in your classroom, be sure to grab this FREE sample of my weather lapbooks! Simply enter your email below and you’ll be instantly sent the freebie!
If you’re looking for more ready-made, cross-curricular activities to use in your classroom for teaching about weather, you can find them all in my TpT Shop! Here are the ones covered in this post:
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