Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Feel the Wind...

Spring is a wonderful season during which many interesting experiments can be presented to the children. As shown in one of my previous posts last March (the one about rainbows), we study the most prominent signs of spring here in Ireland and the weather is definitely one of them. So after sutdying rainbow and their natural occurences, I thought it would be interesting for the children to see the importance of wind (as here in Ireland, we get LOTS of wind and LOTS of rain during this season!!)

Feel the Wind (Let's Read-&-find-out Science)
I introduced the topic by reading Feel the wind by Arthur Dorros. Now, this can be a bit technical at times. But I am quite aware of it and I skipped certain pages and also changed the wording to make it as simple and as interesting as possible for my 3 to 5 year olds.Then I ask the children a few questions at circle time:  what they think the wind can be used for? What can the wind do? What can you see when it is a windy day?

Wind moves the clouds in the sky
Wind makes the wind turbines trun and turn
Wind make our kytes fly high in the sky
Wind make objects and people move
Wind can move light objects
Wind cannot move rocks and heavy objects

To illustrate the last 2 statements, I gathered several items around my home:  pebbles,  feathers, a sheet of paper, a marble, a miniature bale of hay, buttons, pom-poms, wooden blocks and a ball. I brought my hairdryer and plugged it in.  I explained my kiddies that my hairdryer was like the wind: "if I blow my hairdryer on this marble, do you think the wind will be strong enough to move it?" They had to give me predictions first and when they saw what happened, we placed the objects into 2 categories: heavy and light. To tell you the truth, this was such a great experiment!! Everytime an object moved, the children giggled and laughed and clapped hands!! It was aboslutely brilliant!!  Here are a few photographs of our little experiment:

The next step in our study is to expand the children's vocabulary. I have explained that winds in Ireland are never very strong. Just strong enough to make big waves, or to turn the windturbines. But I  showed the children pictures of tornadoes and hurricanes and show them the destruction wind can leave behind in mainly central north America, in the Carribeans, in the Pacific. I don't want to freak them out though and I want them to know that there are good things about wind: the wind make the wind turbine turn and thus produces electricity: "what works with electricity in your house?".  I should probably have recorded  how many times  "my wii", "my brother's X-Box", "my sister's Playstation" were mentioned!!!!! Children are moving on with the technology (not my purse though!!) . It was exciting to make them realise that practically everything they need and like works with electricity!!!!

I also asked the kids to tell me how they could see it was a windy day outside. "The trees are moving, the leaves too. And the flowers!! ". Then, we went outside and I asked them to close their eyes. I asked again how they could now tell it was windy. "My hair is blowing!!" and " I can feel it on my cheek". Another child cleverly said "I can hear it!" and another one added "..and I can hear the wind chimes making music too!". During the holidays,  I had placed a few "wind spinners"and  wind chimes outside for the children to observe.

Ooops.. Upside down and can't fix it! Sorry

1 comment:

  1. I can almost feel the Irish breeze blowing through my hair too! What a lovely lesson! When we mention wind at school, the children always talk about tornadoes and where they go in their homes when the sirens go off.

    Hmmm, this lesson also makes me think of a book I have been meaning to get, "Where Do They go When it Rains?" I guess I was thinking about that story because it seems like another way for children to connect with weather. I haven't read it yet, but when I do I'll let you know.

    : )


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