Nothing engages students as much as something novel in their immediate environment. I was so excited the morning that we had this fog that it was hard to drive the speed limit. I wanted to make sure I arrived at school before it burned off! I did, and immediately went to the cafeteria where I rounded up as many of my students (present and past) as possible, and took them out for a fog walk. I asked them to pay attention to how the fog felt, the sounds they did or did not hear, what they saw, and what they smelled. Then we ran off onto different corners of the playground to see if we could disappear!
The hands-on activity for the fog involved:
-determining how far students had to walk before they disappeared
- experimenting to find out which colors (gray and white) disappeared the fastest
-listening to see how sound was absorbed
-testing out different substrates (grass, concrete, dirt) to see which areas were foggier
In this part of the lesson, I ask students to describe and illustrate today's experience with atypical weather (in our case, fog) and to compare it to what our weather is usually like. This is a perfect time to reinforce the distinction between what happened today, which is foggy weather, and climate, which is the pattern of our daily weather over a long period of time. To illustrate the relationship between weather and climate students hand draw or use Google Draw to illustrate typical weather for our climate (hot and sunny), less common weather (we have summer rains) and atypical weather (today's fog). They illustrate a 3 fold brochure and write an explanation on the back. Here is an example of what that looks like if students complete the work online.