By Duane Friend
As March progresses, many elementary, middle school, and junior high teachers cover the topic of weather in their science curriculum. University of Illinois Extension has several weather websites that are perfect additions to classroom material.
“Riding the Winds with Kalani” is designed for Kindergarten through second grade, and provides information on how the earth moves, what temperature is, basic types of clouds, and what precipitation is. The student section allows students to read the words or listen to narrative. Animations have been provided to enhance the learning of weather processes. A teacher section includes activities and the story of “Billy the Air Bubble” that can be read to students.
Riding with Winds with Kalani can be accessed at http://urbanext.illinois.edu/kalani .
“Treehouse Weather Kids” is designed for teachers and students in the 5th – 8th grades. It provides basic information on weather topics such as winds, moisture, air pressure, seasons, and storms. Activities have been provided that are appropriate for classroom settings. Student activities include creating weather comics, identifying clouds, and forecasting. Classroom activities include making a weather video, creating a weather proverb, and having students do online weather research.
Treehouse Weather Kids can be accessed at http://urbanext.illinois.edu/treehouse
For short videos of specific weather topics, a series of YouTube videos have been developed on topics such as the wind chill and heat indexes, types of thunderstorms, how to read a weather map, and what causes the seasons. These can be found at http://www.youtube.com/user/UIExtension .
These sites are some of the many U of I Extension websites suitable for classroom use. Schools Online is a wonderful interactive curricula for students about a variety of science and social studies topics, and can be found at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/