"Who Has Seen the Wind?" - Exploring Weather

The windmill
photo © 2010 Tambako The Jaguar | more info (via: Wylio)

If you need more wind inspiration for your weather unit, we found another great lesson plan at Science Discovery where your preschoolers can explore more vocabulary, uses, and practical applications for wind.

Wind Energy

As your students have no doubt witnessed, wind can make other things move. Explain that, in some cases, we can harness the wind's energy for our own use. Have students brainstorm objects that have been specifically designed to make use of wind energy.

  • Some forms of transportation use wind including sailboats, hot air balloons, etc. Provide your students with the necessary materials to make a sailboat {Science Discovery suggests Styrofoam, toothpicks, and paper, but there are certainly other ways as well}. Have students take turns placing their boats into the sensory tub or other prepared containers and blowing them across the water. You might consider creating 'lanes' by stringing corks together and having races!
  • Windmills harness the wind's energy to create electricity. Show your students pictures of wind farms and describe for them just how big a wind turbine is {in terms they can understand like "It's as tall as X school buildings, etc."}. Also, to remind them how important electricity is in our daily lives, have students describe their morning routine. After several students have had the chance to share, go back through and describe where electricity was used in each step.

Wind Strength

Wind strength can vary from nearly nonexistent to hurricane force. Introduce and describe weather terms relating to wind strength: breeze, gust, hurricane, tornado, etc. Have your students explore how wind speed affects various objects in the classroom {a balloon, a tissue, a wooden block, etc}, placing them in front of a fan or hair dryer and measuring how far they move at different speed settings.

Other Windy Activities

  • Wind Painting. Place a blob of paint in the center of a piece of craft paper, arm your students with a drinking straw, and invite them to blow the paint across the paper.
  • Pretend Play. Turn on a fan, provide your students with streamers in various shades of blue, and have them pretend to be the wind.
  • Feather Play. Provide each of your students with a craft feather, inviting them see how long they can keep it in the air by blowing it.

For other great ideas, be sure to visit Science Discovery for the full lesson plan!

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