Did March come in like a lion and go out like a lamb or vice versa in your neck of the woods? Is April starting off with those familiar showers that bring May flowers? Obviously, study the weather?. Why not make the best of it and take the opportunity to
In our homeschool, we love to do unit studies. What that really boils down to in practical terms is choosing a topic, like the weather, and trying to incorporate elements of that topic into every subject we study.
Weather and History:
Study extreme weather from the past. This can include hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, and floods. Unfortunately, there is no shortage to study on this aspect of weather. How did these things affect the economy of the time? Did extreme weather alter the course of history by causing many people to move to other areas that weren’t affected by the weather incident? Books like The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder or Stormy, Misty’s Foal from the Misty of Chincoteague series by Marguerite Henry are two examples of historical fiction featuring real incidents of extreme weather.
Weather and Math:
Purchase a large thermometer and/or barometer that can be mounted outside your house. Check the temperature and barometric pressure at different times throughout the day for a week and record the results on your own homemade weather chart or graph. If you don’t have a thermometer/barometer, use a weather website like NOAA and chart the daily high and low temperatures for your area. You can use your results at the end of the week to figure out the average temperature.
Weather and Bible study:
The most famous incident of extreme weather in the Bible is about Noah and the worldwide flood (Genesis 6). Read this story again, then read a book about floods. You can also study how rainbows form and the significance of the rainbow as a sign from God to Noah.
Weather and Geography:
Why is it cooler in the mountains or near the coast? Why is the Equator so hot? What is the climate like in different regions in the United States? What is the Snow Belt? It’s easy to find many different geography and weather connections!
The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum is a great family read-aloud that includes extreme weather. The tornado that transports Dorothy to Oz qualifies as a weather event, right?
Hands-on Weather projects:
If your kids like hands-on activities or arts and crafts, try the following —
- A weather-related lapbook (Snowflake Bentley is a free example from Homeschool Share).
- Draw or paint scenes from all four seasons.
- A weather field trip to visit a local news meteorologist (be sure to plan ahead!) or weather station (often found at small local airports).
- Pinterest is an excellent source for finding weather-related crafts and printables to use.
If you’d like to try a weather unit study, but don’t have the time to plan it out yourself I highly recommend Amanda Bennett’s unit studies. You can choose one on Twisting Tornadoes or Spring to get you started with a one-week unit study with companion lapbook components. It’s a quick and easy introduction to unit studies if you’ve never tried them before.
Although we generally think of weather as a science topic, you can see that it can be included in every subject you study and tweaked for every age range in your homeschool. Have fun learning as you “weather” the weather changes this spring!