The Earth (contains all 4 books used in Level 1: Rivers and Oceans, Weather and Climate, Mountains and Volcanoes, and Maps and Mapping)
The Kingfisher Young Explorers Encyclopedia (contains Rivers and Oceans, Weather and Climate, and Maps and Mapping from The Earth)
Weather and Climate
- Weather and Climate (978-1856979405)
This is likely not a comprehensive list of every single Amazon listing or edition, but it should give you a good starting point for browsing the different options on Amazon as well as providing a variety of ISBNs that might help you do similarly comprehensive searches on Bookfinder, ThriftBooks, AbeBooks, etc… Shopping for the best prices on used and out of print books can take some practice and often requires thinking ahead or patiently waiting so you are not buying them at the same time everyone else is.
Simple weather station to measure temperature, rainfall and wind speed if you want to keep detailed records over an extended period.
- US National Weather Service
- UK Meteorological Office (includes a useful Educational Resources section)
- Rain, Hail, Sleet & Snow (Larrick)
- Weather (Make It Work! Geography Series)
- On the Same Day in March (Singer)
- There Goes Lowell’s Party (Hershenhorn)
- STUDY JAMS video: Weather and Climate
- Gravity Is a Mystery (Branley)*
- The Planets in Our Solar System (Branley)*
- The Planets…(older edition)
- What Makes Day and Night? (Branley)
- What Makes a Shadow? (Bulla)
- Light Is All Around Us (Pfeffer)
- Sunshine Makes the Seasons (Branley)
- The Reason for Seasons (Gibbons)
- Air Is All Around You (Branley)
- Feel the Wind (Dorros)
- Gusts and Gales (Sherman)
- Clouds (Rockwell)
- What Will the Weather Be? (DeWitt)
- All the Colors of the Rainbow (Fowler)
- Flash, Crash, Rumble, and Roll (Branley)
- Tornadoes (Gibbons)
- Hurricanes (Gibbons)
*Both Charlotte Mason’s Elementary Geography and Bernard Nebel’s Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding cover these concepts as part of their introduction to the earth’s rotation, though they are not included in the plans using Taylor’s Weather and Climate
Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding by Bernard Nebel
This course covers concepts from his D – EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCE thread. The book offers further activities and guidance for educators in developing scientific inquiry regarding these concepts with students. An inexpensive non-printable PDF is available on the Outskirts Press website.
- From now your child is going to start watching the weather daily and recording it on a monthly weather summary chart. Draw up a chart for the first month and decide what symbols you will use to record the weather. (Younger siblings might like to help with keeping this record). See sample weather chart.
- Set up a weather folder with the following sections: Weather Records; Weather Notes; Weather Scrapbook (for magazine and newspaper cuttings concerning weather).
- Later in the course you will need to keep more detailed weather records. When you do this, choose a regular time of day to take measurements. You can use our detailed weather chart or design your own. (This may be a good time to teach your child to use the computer to make a simple spreadsheet or table.)
Throughout the Year:
- Carry out regular monitoring and recording of the weather over the course of the year. Collect newspaper and magazine cuttings, weather related pictures and anything else suitable for a weather scrapbook.
- Make a list of any weather sayings you and your child know. From now on you will be able to monitor them for accuracy using your weather chart.
- Read Matthew 16: v.2-3 and find a well known piece of weather lore.
- Look at the list of British weather lore – many of these are linked to particular saints days. (British students will need to print out this list and keep it in their folder). Copy any relevant weather lore for each month onto your weather summary chart. (The Earth, p.70; W&C, p.30)
Climate and Seasons
- Explain the difference between weather and climate. Demonstrate the effect of the curved surface of the Earth on climate (The Earth, p.50; W&C, p.6)
BFSU D-1 – The Earth’s Gravity: Horizontal and Vertical
Part 1 “The Concept of Gravity”
- Look at the climate map on p.51 and talk about the different climates. Discuss your local climate and any others you or your child has experienced. Your child could make a climate page for his weather folder (narrate, draw or illustrate with pictures from magazines or the internet). (The Earth, p.51; W&C, p.7)
BFSU D-1 – The Earth’s Gravity: Horizontal and Vertical
Part 2 “Horizontal and Vertical”
Part 3 “Gravity and the Orbits of Heavenly Bodies”
- Explain how the seasons work and make a model to demonstrate. (The Earth, p.52-3; W&C, p.8-9)
BFSU D-2 ? Day and Night and the Earth’s Rotation
- Explain how hot air rises and cool air sinks. Demonstrate by blowing bubbles over a radiator or other heat source. (The Earth, p.54; W&C, p.10)
- Show how shadows change during the day. Have your child stand with his back to the sun in the morning and draw round his shadow with chalk. Repeat this at lunchtime, in the afternoon and in the evening. Your child can copy the shadow patterns for his weather folder.
BFSU D-5 – Time and the Earth’s Turning
Part 1 “Relating Time to the Earth’s Turning”
- Make a sundial. (The Earth, p.55; W&C, p.11)
BFSU D-5 – Time and the Earth’s Turning
Part 2 “Making and Using a Sundial”
Explain solar power (the sun’s heat can be used to provide electrical or heat energy). If possible show your child a picture of a house with solar panels. Look at a solar powered calculator (or any other item you have at home). If it is a warm day stand a small bottle of cold water in the sun. How warm does the water get?
BFSU D-6 – Seasonal Changes and The Earth’s Orbit
- Explain how we measure temperature. Make your own thermometer. (The Earth, p.56-7; W&C, p.12-13)
- Start keeping a record of daily temperatures. Place an outdoor thermometer in a shady place (north facing is best). Show your child how to read the scale on the thermometer. Check the temperature at the same time each day. Keep a record for at least two weeks to give your child plenty of practice reading the thermometer. If you would like to keep a long-term detailed weather record, start recording temperature on our weather chart: you can then start recording other aspects of the weather as they are studied — this could become a family project. Alternatively, simply make a temperature page for the weather folder.
BFSU D-6 ? Seasonal Changes and The Earth’s Orbit
Part 2 “Getting On with the Exercise”
- Explain air pressure. Demonstrate the effect of air pressure using a glass of water and a piece of card. (The Earth, p.58-9; W&C, p.14-5)
Suggested reading: Air Is All Around You by Franklyn M. Branley offers a good basic overview of these concepts for this level. It is recommended again to read in Year 2 science.
Make a barometer. Monitor it regularly for a couple of weeks. Can you see a relationship between changes in the barometer readings and changes in the weather? (The Earth, p.60; W&C, p.16)
Explain isobars and how air pressure affects weather. Look at weather maps showing areas of high and low pressure. (The Earth, p.59, 62; W&C, p15, 20)
Explain that wind is moving air. Demonstrate by making wind with a balloon: inflate a balloon and hold the neck shut; feel the side of the balloon (the air inside pushes out because it is at higher pressure); let the air out, holding your hand in front of the balloon to feel the ‘wind’ as the high pressure air escapes. If you have windy weather, make a point of going out and flying a kite this week. (The Earth, p.61; W&C, p.17)
Learn about the Beaufort Scale. Make a page to add to your Weather Folder. (The Earth, p.61; W&C, p.17)
Key to Beaufort Scale (use alongside the illustrations in the book)
0 Calm — 1 Light Air
2 Light Breeze –3 Gentle Breeze
4 Moderate Breeze — 5 Fresh Breeze
6 Strong Breeze — 7 Moderate Gale
8 Fresh Gale — 9 Strong Gale
10 Whole Gale — 11 Storm
See Beaufort Wind Scale for a more detailed table.
Make a weather vane to find wind direction. Remember a north wind blows from the north. (W&C, p.18-19; not included in The Earth)
- Cut an arrow shape (approximately 9 to 12 inches long) from stiff card, with one broad end and one narrow one.
- Tape a pen top (cap) firmly to the center of the arrow.
- Place the pen top onto the point of a knitting needle so that it moves freely.
- Fix the knitting needle to a brick (or other heavy base) using modeling clay.
- Mark the sides of the brick N, E, S and W.
- Place the weather vane in position, using a compass to site it correctly. Remember the arrow will point in the direction the wind is blowing from.
Start keeping a record of both wind speed (using the Beaufort Scale) and wind direction. Either add this to your detailed weather record chart, or make a wind record page for the weather folder and record for two weeks.
Like the sun, wind can be used to provide power. For hundreds of years windmills have been used to grind corn; nowadays, wind farms produce electricity. Make your own windmill.
Explain condensation and how clouds form. Place a cold can of drink in warm air and watch condensation form on the can. Explain that dew is condensation that forms on the ground as the air cools after a warm, dry day. (The Earth, p.62; W&C, p.20)
Learn the main different types of cloud and how to measure cloud quantity. These fall into three groups: cirrus, cumulus and stratus. You might like to make a notebook page on clouds. (The Earth, p.63; W&C, p.21)
Start recording cloud type and amount using the key below (for a minimum of two weeks).
Key: Cloud type and amount
|Cirrus||High wispy cloud||Ci|
|Fair weather cumulus||Puffy white clouds||Cu|
|Large cumulus||Towering, cauliflower like clouds||Cu2|
|Cumulonimbus||Towering, clouds with spreading tops||Cb|
|Altostratus||Medium layer of grayish cloud, often covering the sky||As|
|Nimbostratus||Thicker than altostratus; rain||Ns|
|Stratus||Low cloud, often covering hilltops||St|
If you could move all the clouds together into a single patch, how much blue sky would you see?
|3/4 blue sky or more||Fine||b|
|1/4 to 3/4 blue sky||Fair||bc|
|Less than 1/4 blue sky||Cloudy||c|
|Sky covered by cloud||Overcast||o|
Look at weather forecast maps and, if possible, satellite weather photos (online or on TV). Monitor your local weather forecast for one week. How accurate is it?
Try predicting your own weather. Here are some clues you can use:
- Clouds – cumulus clouds usually mean fine weather, though very large ones often give showers; cirrus clouds warn of changing weather; cumulonimbus are storm clouds; alto stratus clouds foretell rain; nimbo stratus clouds are thick alto stratus clouds from which rain is already falling.
- Wind – in the UK a north wind is cold and may bring snow; an east wind is usually cold and dry, bringing frost in winter; south with brings mild and often wet weather; the west wind brings rain and showers. Try to find the effect wind is likely to have on weather in your region.
- Natural signs – seaweed and pine cones can predict rain (The Earth, p.70; W&C, p.30)
- Sunrise and sunset – red sky at night means fine weather; red sky in the morning means wet weather.
- Weather lore – does traditional weather lore give you any clues?
How close is your weather forecast to the official one? Which is right?
Look back at your weather summary charts and check them against your list of weather lore. How accurate has the weather lore proved to be?
Rain and Fog
(Lessons 24 and 25 need to be given on a rainy day. Depending on local weather patterns you may need to leave these lessons until a season when rain is likely.)
Explain how rain forms. Demonstrate by making your own rain. Make a notebook page on the water cycle for your weather notebook (draw or narrate). (The Earth, p.64; W&C, p.22; see The Earth, p.8 for an illustration of the water cycle).
Fill a clear glass bowl with hot water. Cover with plastic wrap (clingfilm) and put ice cubes on top. Watch the water vapor inside the bowl condense into droplets on the plastic and grow until the rain’s back into the water.
Week 24: (rainy day)
Go for a walk when it is raining and observe the rain. Are the raindrops big or small? How long does it take to get wet? How do animals and plants react to the rain? Where does the rain go? (Look at puddles, drains and guttering)
Week 25: (rainy day)
Watch a puddle evaporate. Draw a line around a puddle with chalk. Check the puddle every hour to see how quickly it evaporates. Remember the place of evaporation in the water cycle.
Make a rain detector. (The Earth, p.65; W&C, p.23)
Make a simple rain gauge. (The Earth, p.65; W&C p.23)
Start recording amount of rain (for a minimum of two weeks).
Explain that mist and fog (thick mist) are made up of tiny drops of water, like clouds. They generally form overnight when warm air is cooled by contact with cold ground. Discuss visibility (how far you can see). Using a map work out the distance from your house of various landmarks to enable you to keep your own visibility record.
|Score||Visibility Type||Visibility Distance|
|2||Mist or Haze||2/3 mile (1 km)|
|3||Poor Visibility||1.3 miles (2 kms)|
|4||Moderate Visibility||5 miles (8 kms)|
|5||Good Visibility||Over 5 miles (over 8 kms)|
Start recording visibility. If you have not been keeping a detailed weather chart, keep one for the next two weeks.
Ice and Snow
Explain how snowflakes are formed. Examine frost crystals from your freezer under a magnifying glass. (The Earth, p.66-67; W&C, p.24-25)
Demonstrate that water expands when it freezes: fill a plastic bottle with water and place a coin over the top; leave upright in the freezer overnight; check to see what happened to the coin. Explain that this is why frozen water pipes are likely to burst (water expands and cracks the pipe).
Explain how thunderstorms are caused. Use a balloon to demonstrate static electricity. (The Earth, p.68; W&C, p.26)
Discuss hurricanes. Look at the US National Weather Service or UK Meteorological Office website to find information about hurricanes that have occurred recently or are predicted. On a outline map of the Americas color the areas that are most likely to be affected by hurricanes. (The Earth, p.68-9; W&C, p.26-7)
Talk about tornadoes. Look at the US National Weather Service or
UK Meteorological Office websites for pictures of tornadoes. Mark on an outline world map areas most likely to be hit by tornadoes. (The Earth, p.69; W&C, p.27)