Wild Weather Notebooking Page

Storms and other damaging types of weather happen everywhere on Earth.  For this lesson, learn about six types of “wild weather” then create a notebooking page about these six damaging forms of weather. Here is some basic information and further resources to learn more about these weather types. Hurricanes Hurricanes are begun with thunderstorms at sea over warm ocean water.  A rising column of warm air thrusts up through the storm.  As the air rises faster the winds around the outside of the column begin to swirl around this center.  The storm gains energy from the heat being transferred from the ocean as it moves toward land.  Once the winds reach speeds of at least 74 mph and can be as high as 195 mph.  Though hurricane winds are strong enough to hurl objects through the air and tear roofs off buildings the greatest damage usually comes because of flooding … click to read more

Egg in a Bottle, An Air Pressure Experiment

When we think of weather, we commonly just think about precipitation (rain and snow mostly) and whether or not it’s warm or cold.  We have to look a little bit deeper to see what actually causes much of the weather that we experience.  Air pressure is the main culprit.  Differing pressures account for most of the movement of air we experience.  When you see a storm, like this one seen out of the windshield of a jet cockpit, what you are really seeing is colliding high and low pressure zone.   We’re going to do an experiment so we can see the effect that air pressure has. What You’ll Need: A narrow necked bottle A peeled, hard-boiled egg A match What you do: Start by setting the egg on top of the bottle.  The egg won’t go into the bottle.  It’s too large to fall in, and the pressure is … click to read more

Ocean Lapbook

We did an ocean unit in our homeschool and I made these Ocean Lapbook printables.   Ocean Lapbook Assembly Each lapbook is made of a single file folder.  We refolded the folder so it has a cover with a center opening, one flap on the left and one on the right. Learning As You Go We spent several weeks on this lapbook, making one bit at a time as we learned about oceans.  For example, we watched a YouTube clip about the ocean zones and then labeled and colored in the ocean zones paper strip and glued it into the lapbook along one side.  On another day we read several books from the library about the ocean and ocean animals and made index cards about ocean facts.  We put the ocean fact cards in a pocket that is glued to the lapbook. Kids do the Work and Use Creativity The printables … click to read more

Ocean Currents

The ocean is never still.  Ocean currents are constantly moving and churning the waters.  There are surface currents and deep currents and upwelling currents.  All these currents move heat and nutrients around the world oceans.  The currents affect the land as well.  Here is an Ocean Currents Map showing some of the major surface currents in the oceans. Color the arrows in red for warm currents and dark blue for cold currents.  The major currents can be labeled with the help of a student atlas.  The rest of the ocean should be colored light blue. The currents that begin near the equator are moving warm water to regions nearer the poles, which warms these regions and helps the earth remain temperate.  The currents that begin closer to the poles move cold water toward the equator, cooling the hot regions of the earth. Besides the way heat and nutrients are moved around the earth … click to read more

The Ocean Floor

The ocean floor is covered with mountains, valleys, plains, and other features similar to the land surfaces of earth.  The ocean’s features, like land features, are a result of tectonic processes from deep inside the earth. The earth is made up of a hot inside and big plates of crust covering the outside.  These plates spread apart and squish together and grind past one another.  These actions cause the crust to buckle, fold, and split, which makes mountains and valleys. There are volcanoes under the oceans just like there are on land.  These volcanoes can build up into mountains, sometimes breaking the surface as islands.  The Hawaiian islands began as undersea mountains. Trenches are formed in places where one ocean plate is being pulled under, or subducted, beneath another ocean plate. Here is an Ocean Floor Map.  It shows some of the major mountain ranges and trenches that can be found … click to read more

Map of the Oceans

The first step when learning about the oceans is to name them.  Use this printable to label and color a Map of the Oceans. There are five oceans and many seas around the world.  The five oceans are Atlantic, Arctic, Pacific, Indian, and Antarctic.  The Antarctic Ocean is also called the Southern Ocean.  Use a student atlas to find the location and label the oceans.  You can also label some of the larger seas.  After you label the oceans color the oceans. Library List Here are some books on oceans that we like.  Click on the covers to view the books on Amazon.        Search at your library for these topics: oceans, ocean floor, coral reef, ocean animals, whales, dolphins, sharks, fish Additional Layers Oceans affect the global climate and weather patterns, learn more about how. Learn about some ocean explorers like Ernest Shackleton, Wilem Barents, and Lief Ericson. Learn about … click to read more

Homemade Thermometer

We use thermometers all the time.  We measure the temperature outside so we know whether or not to wear a jacket, the temperature in our oven as we bake, and our own body temperature when we think we might be getting sick.  They are simple devices, but incredibly useful ones.  You can make a model homemade thermometer to show how thermometers work.  All you need are a few everyday household items. You’ll need: a clean, clear, empty water bottle a clear straw play-doh or clay rubbing alcohol water a hair dryer (or tubs of very hot and very cold water) red food coloring (optional, but it makes the liquid level more visible)  Here’s what you do: Start by filling the bottle halfway with water.  Fill the remaining half with rubbing alcohol.  We added red food dye at this point to dye the water and alcohol red so it would be … click to read more

Learning About Rocks

We’ve been studying geology and rocks in science lately.   The kids really enjoy learning about rocks.  It’s been a great exploration of many geologic processes and concepts. We started by reading quite a few geology books from our personal library and our library in town.  We learned about the layers of the earth and the basic make-up of the planet. We studied volcanoes and the ring of fire.  We also grew crystals and learned about how those form and what they have to do with rocks.  And  of course, we read about the three rock families – sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous. After the kids were versed on the basics, it was time for some hands-on experimentation.  I spread a bunch of rocks out on our table and provided them with hand lenses to observe the rocks.  We spent quite a long time just finding crystals, checking out the cleavage … click to read more

Super Simple Wind Vane

We made this super simple wind vane for school this week. You need: straw straight pin pencil with an eraser index card celophane tape First cut a triangle out of the index card to serve as the arrow head.  Then cut a tail from the index card.  The tail is just a large rectangle with a triangle shaped notch cut out of one side. Tape your head and tail to the straw to create the arrow. Then push the pin through the straw and into the eraser of the pencil.  Swivel the arrow back and forth a few times to loosen it up so it will turn in the wind. Additional Layers Talk about how wind direction can give you a clue as to what weather is coming.  For example if you live on the west coast and the wind is coming from the west, then you’ll probably get rain. … click to read more

The Water Cycle

We’ve been studying the weather lately, and this week we took a look at the water cycle.  I started by holding up a glass of water and asking my kids, “How old do you think this water is?”  That was the spark for our discussion about how water cycles around and around.  Just because we drink it, water our flowers, or let it run down the sink doesn’t mean it’s gone. We created this poster to show the basics of just where all that water goes.  Each kiddo took a turn adding a part on and describing what happens in that step. These are the elements we put on our poster and discussed: EVAPORATION CONDENSATION PRECIPITATION COLLECTION TRANSPIRATION We’re following up with lots of weather observations, experiments, and reading about weather.  I also filled our book basket with lots of weather-related books and offered 5 house points for every book … click to read more