A Windy Day
Objective: Children will explore wind and what causes wind.
What You Will Need
- A windy day
- Scarves or streamers – 1 per child
- Playground or other safe place to play
What To Do
- Choose a windy day to go outside with the children.
- Ask the children to observe what is happening all around.
- Discuss things that are moving; what is making them move?
- How can we tell the wind is there? Pass out streamers and scarves to the children.
- Allow time for the children to experience the wind.
- Go back inside and ask children to describe what happened to the streamers/scarves when they were outside.
- Explain to the children that the wind is air in motion and can be helpful to people (see Did You Know?).
Guiding Student Inquiry
- Describe how you know the wind is there even though you can’t see it.
- Using your senses, describe the wind.
- Describe how the wind moves things.
- Explain what happens to the streamers or scarves when the wind blows.
- Describe the sound of the wind blowing.
Explore, Extend & Integrate
- Do this same activity on a day that there is no wind and ask the children to compare the two experiences.
- Allow children to tie streamers to playground equipment, poles, or trees to experience the wind.
- Take small items outside to test in the wind. Use feathers, foam packing peanuts, cotton balls, small balls, and straws to see which one moves the farthest.
- Have the children keep track of how the outside air feels early in the week, and daily until the day you go outside for this activity. Discuss how the air feels on different days.
- Make kites or wind socks and fly them.
Check for Children’s Understanding
- Could children explain how they knew the wind was there even though they could not see it?
- Could children describe how the wind felt, sounded, or smelled?
Did You Know?
The wind is air in motion. As the Sun warms the Earth’s surface, it also warms the atmosphere. Warmer air in the atmosphere is lighter than colder air. As cold air moves in, it pushes under the warm air, causing the warmer air to rise. This movement of the air is what makes the wind blow. The wind can be described two ways: by speed and the direction it is blowing. Short bursts of wind are known as wind gusts.
The wind is helpful to the Earth. The wind helps spread seeds, and the wind can cool us on hot summer days. Wind moves sailboats and is necessary for a variety of outdoor activities such as windsurfing, kite boarding, and parasailing. The energy from the wind can be harnessed to create electricity for people to use.
- wind – air as it moves over the surface of the Earth.
- move – to be in motion.
- blow – to be in fast motion, as the air.
- gust – a sudden rush or blast of wind.
- streamer – a long, freely moving length of fabric or ribbon.
- observe – to watch with care.
Perform this experiment on a day that is windy enough to blow leaves and the tops of trees, but not so windy that it causes tree branches to break off.
- A Letter to Amy by Ezra Jack Keats
- Wind by Marion Dane Bauer
- Like a Windy Day by Frank Asch
- Feel the Wind by Arthur Dorros
- The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins
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Common Core State
These lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards ("CCSS"). The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of the concepts and skills children are expected to learn and guide teachers to provide their students with opportunities to gain these important skills and foundational knowledge.
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There are currently no Common Core Standards for pre-k, but these lessons are aligned as closely as possible to capture the requirements and meet the goals of Common Core Standards. However, these lessons were neither reviewed or approved by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices or the Council of Chief State School Officers, which together are the owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards.