The Importance of Teaching Kindergarten Kids about the Weather
Did you know that the USA ranked tenth in 2016 in a list of countries most affected by the extreme weather with subsequent damages amounting to approximately US$ 47.7 billion? This is something hard for kids to avoid; be it hurricanes, tornadoes, or heavy snowfall, even kids glued to their screens will know about the extreme weather all around them but do they know why there's so much of it here? Unless children are taught about the weather from a young age, they will also be oblivious to how the weather works as well as countless other interesting weather-related facts. Knowledge pertaining to our direct natural environment is often lacking in young children, in particular, making it imperative for parents and teachers to instill a basic curiosity in science and nature from as early on as possible. The importance of teaching kids about the weather effects our future!
Regardless of it impacting our everyday lives, the weather is often a tricky concept for children to grasp. Many children are scared of thunder and lightning yet they love playing in water puddles and are mesmerized by the mere sight of a beautiful rainbow. Adults often talk about the weather and young children need to obtain an appropriate vocabulary in order for them to be able to talk about the weather as well. Kindergarten teachers are, after parents, in the best position to share their knowledge about the weather with the children in a hope that it will result in a life-long interest in the beauty of nature.
Make weather the classroom theme
A classroom weather theme will promote reasoning skills and will encourage the children to ask questions pertaining to the weather. It will also provide the teacher with the perfect opportunity to discuss safety precautions during certain weather conditions, and why weather changes are often as unpredictable as they are. Learning about what equipment is used to measure certain aspects of the weather as well as ways to communicate during extreme weather can also make for very interesting discussion with inquiring young minds. A few simple teaching techniques such as the following can go a long way in eliciting an interest in weather amongst the learners. Here are some easy to make or use weather devices and challenges:
* Cloud in a Cup
* Tornado in a Jar
* Water Cycle in a Bowl
* Make a Sundial
* Make a Windmill
* Make a Rain Gauge
* Make a Wind Vane
* Static Electricity
* Make a Barometer
* Evaporation Station
* Keep a Weather Diary
Share your own observations and fun facts about the weather
Share your own observations about the weather with the children and allow them to do the same. Ask interesting leading questions that will encourage the children to give elaborate answers. Inquire about the day’s weather, seasonal changes that are occurring or what one needs to wear on a very hot/cold/rainy day etc. Some children may have observed extreme weather conditions such as blizzards, tornadoes or hurricanes and can provide a lot of interesting feedback to the rest of the class.
Look for fun weather-related snippets in the local newspaper or a magazine that can initiate an informal discussion amongst the learners. Watching recordings from The Weather Channel may also spark an interest in the children and may even inspire a few to pursue a career as a weatherman/woman when they are older.
Make the time to watch or read the daily weather forecast
Watching the daily weather forecast online or on television provides a superb opportunity for the entire class to talk about the forecast and discuss new terminology that they might have heard for the for the first time. Alternatively, read the forecast from a newspaper, a weather-related website or an online app! Weather or 1Weather who both pride themselves on delivering accurate, up-to-date weather forecasts and related news.
The weather can be both breath-taking and frightening and it is important that even young children are taught to not only understand it but respect it as well. By sharing your knowledge and employing the help of television, printed media and online and downloadable apps you can easily and effectively teach children all they need to know about the weird and wonderful workings of the weather and nature in general.