This is the fourth 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 can also help kids remember the order of the seasons.
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.
Evidence Based Comprehension
Common Core calls for reading, writing and speaking grounded in evidence from text, both literary and informational. While text dependent questions, have been around for a long time, Common Core asks us to focus on them during reading. I keep these attributes in mine when developing questions throughout the year:
As I read the first part of the text on the Seasons and Weather Powerpoint, I stop on each page/slide and ask the following questions and encourage students to tell HOW they know the answer.
Text Dependent Questions
**Slides 1-4 were covered on the previous day. We continue on with the slides looking at slides 5-10 on this day. I chunk the slides up into groups to make the text more accessible and manageable for the students. Nonfiction text is heavy in content and vocabulary demands. This can raise students' anxiety and frustration levels fairly quickly, so one way to keep a lid on that, so to speak, is to present it in manageable chunks.
Page 5 I ask: What is wind? (moving air)
Page 6 I say: Look at the bear. The bear is hibernating. What do you think hibernating means? Look at the birds. The birds are migrating. What do you think that means?
Page 7 I ask: What season are we talking about on this page? What two kinds of weather might you find in spring? (breezy, rainy) What do you think breezy means? (light, gentle wind)
Page 8 I ask: What do you think scorching means? (hot) Why do people like to go to the pool or beach in the summer? (there are many hot, scorching days) I expose the students to the word 'apposition.' I say: Boys and girls, when we are reading and we come to an unknown word that has a word before it to tell us the meaning, we call that APPOSITION. Everyone say APPOSITION. (the students repeat)
Page 9 I ask: What kind of weather do we have in the fall? (windy, rainy, chilly) How do you know it is windy? (point to picture of trees)
Page 10 I use questions on the page. I ask: What does ‘predictable’ mean?
Emergent Reader I See the Weather
We read this either in a whole group setting or in a small group setting. I have students show one to one correspondence by reading with their finger. They read me the sight words and we sound out the other words using our letters and sounds.
Students sit at their desks with their readers and I have mine on the document camera. I am moving throughout the read between the document camera and the students. This allows me to guide, monitor and assist.
I start: Boys and girls, put your finger on the title. Show me the TITLE. I walk around the room quickly to make sure everyone knows where the title is. When everyone has their finger on the title, I go back to the document camera.
I continue: Let's read the title together. Don't forget to move your finger as you read! We read the title.
I prompt: Now let's open to the first page. How do I know it is the first page? (there is a 1 on the page) We call that the page number.
I continue: Put your finger on the first word and get ready to read. What is that first word? We know that one. It is a word wall word. (I) Good. Move your finger. What word? (can) Good. Say "I can" (students repeat) What is the next word? (see) Good. Move your finger. Word? (the) Say "I can see the" (students repeat) Move your finger. Let's use our sounds to sound this one out. (students sound out and I help if necessary)
Let's read the whole sentence. "I can see the rain." What do we do for a period? (breath) Students take a short breath to pause after the period.
I teach my students to breathe (inhale/exhale quickly) when they see a period. It teaches them to pause when they come to a period.
I use the same pattern for all pages. When we get to the last page students can choose what weather word they want to write and illustrate.
Here is one my high readers reading by herself! Notice how she signifies a period in her reading. This pause is very important for pacing and understanding. If kids read too fast, they lose the meaning of the text.
*save this reader to reread in lesson 5
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.