The last two weeks, Whales spent time learning about rain, the water cycle, water conservation, thunder & lightning, and how our sun makes the seasons...PHEW!
To cement our understanding of rain and the water cycle, Whales performed a play together on our big blue carpet. We moved all the chairs into a circle and Whales became drops of water floating on the surface of the ocean. As the heat from the sun made them rise as vapor in the air, Whales rose so high that they stood up on their chairs together, condensing into a giant cloud before falling back to earth as raindrops. What fun! Ms. Ellie performed an experiment which showed the three states of water and Whales spent time looking more deeply at the concept through the proscope during classroom choice.
Whales celebrated our study of rain with an Umbrella Walk. We enjoyed closing our eyes and listening to the sound of the rain on our umbrellas. Our study of rain included time reading and acting out a sampling of Rain Poems. In atelier we spent time making Rain Art and continued our study of wind by making pinwheels.
No study of weather would be complete without taking a closer look at thunder and lightning. After reading a few books on the subject, Whales tried making their own lightning by creating static electricity with a balloon and their hair. It worked! Whales made enough static electricity to light up a light bulb. To replicate the hot air created inside a cloud during a lightning storm, Whales blew up paper bags and popped them with their fists. BOOM! That same day, Whales read the book Thundercake by Patricia Palacco, then they baked their very own Thundercake with Ms. Julie. It was a celebratory ending to a very exciting day!
With Earth Day coming up, Whales talked a lot about how important it is for us to conserve water. Whales came up with some ideas for how to conserve water at home and at school, then we tried to see if we could clean some very dirty pond water that Ms. Ellie brought from home. We read a book about how cities work to purify their own water and we followed those same steps with the pond water. It worked! We began to see how hard it was to get dirty water clean again!
Whales know that the sun is critical to all our weather systems, and to life on earth. During our final week of our weather unit, Whales became the sun and the earth. We went out into the piazza and practiced rotating, making day and night, and we practiced orbiting the sun to make one year. We spent time looking at a globe in our dark bathroom. We noticed that the earth was tilted on the globe, and that as the earth orbits the sun, different amounts of light and heat fall on our area of the earth, making the seasons. Amazing!
Finally, don't forget to check out the now-famous Whale Weather Reports on the Watch and Listen tab above. Broadcasts happen daily in the entrance to the ELC. Whales are meteorologists!