This is the first lesson in the unit. We sing The Weather Song many times throughout the unit to remind the kids of what each season brings. It is a fun quick warm up to any lesson on seasons and the weather and can also help kids remember the types of weather.
I almost always (sometimes there just isn't an action) give the students some TPR (Total Physical Response) to help them remember the song and the weather types. It is a common strategy used with second language learners, but it can be used with any student!
Sing/ Chant “The Weather Song”
(Tune: Row, Row, Row your Boat).
What is the weather today,
I can’t wait to see.
Sunny, rainy, windy, cloudy,
Which one will it be?
For the first line we hold our hands up with palms up as if asking a question.
For the second line we point to our eyes.
For the third verse we hold up a finger for each type of weather.
For the last verse we hold our hands up with palms up as if asking a question.
The purpose of the picture walk is to prepare the students for reading the story and gives them practice in using picture clues to make meaning. It gives them a sense of the text and an idea of what they will be reading about.
The students are sitting on the carpet with me in front of the SmartBoard. I have the Seasons & Weather PowerPoint projecting.
I start by looking at the cover of the book. I ask what he/she sees on the cover.
I ask: What do you think the story might be about?
I proceed through the pages of the Powerpoint/book, in order, looking carefully at the details in each picture. I ask the who, what, where, when, why and how questions about the pictures such as:
“What do you notice that is different about these four trees?”
“What do you think the weather feels like in this picture?”
“Why do you think that?”
If my students are struggling to provide information about the pictures, I model the strategy by thinking out loud and saying something like: “Hmm. I am looking at the family in the heavy jackets (point to the family) I think they look very cold. Do you agree with me? Why do you think they are very cold?”
As I continue through the subsequent pages, I use these questions:
What do you see?
What questions do you have? (What do you wonder about?)
What does this picture make you think about or remind you of?
I then have students talk with a partner to share their clues, thoughts, questions about the text using these linguistic patterns:
I see __.
I wonder __.
I think __.
As groups are discussing, I am monitoring and prompting where necessary. I may model a sentence for those students who need it.
Groups then share out with whole group.
The partner talk gives the students an opportunity to talk about the reading. The linguistic patterns are kept manageable for my second language learners at this time of the school year so that the talk is productive. These sentence starters also require the students to cite textual evidence (pictures or text) and refer to the reading, which is a common theme we see in the CCSS.
Because this is a unit on Seasons and weather, we will act as meteorologists throughout the unit, observing and recording the daily weather. We want the kids to make personal connections to their learning so they see it as meaningful learning, and this logbook does just that!
I ask: What is the date today? We write the date.
I ask: What is the weather like outside today? We draw the weather, circle the word that names the weather.
I ask: What sentence could we write to go with our weather picture? What words can we use to describe or tell about our picture? We write a simple sentence describing their daily observation (It is sunny. We see rain.).
I ask: How many boxes should we color in for our weather today? (one) Do we color from the bottom up or the top down? (bottom up) Students will then record the daily weather on a bar graph in their log.