For the sun, for rain and thunder, for the seasons' harmony . . . — "For the Earth Forever Turning," Hymn 163 in Singing the Living Tradition
IN TODAY'S SESSION . . . the theme was "We wonder about the weather." The weather is part of our natural world. Contact with the natural world is one of the 12 main types of experiences connected with natural religious development in young children, according to religious educator Sophia Fahs.
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Read some of the books suggested for today's session:
- Wind by Marion Dane Bauer, 2003. Though you can't see the wind, you can certainly feel it when it blows! But where does the wind come from? (Note: This author also wrote Rain, Clouds, and Snow.)
- Big Snow by Jonathan Bean, 2013. While "helping" his mother with holiday housecleaning, a boy keeps a watchful eye on the progress of a winter storm. He's hoping for a big snow!
- Maisy's Wonderful Weather Book by Lucy Cousins, 2011. Whether it's snowy, rainy, or sunny, readers can explore the natural world with Maisy and find out how wonderful weather can be!
- Hi, Koo! by Jon J. Muth, 2014. This book of seasons features Stillwater, the Zen Panda, sharing 26 Haiku poems.
- Clouds by Anne Rockell, illustrated by Frane Lessac, 2008. Do you ever wake up and wonder what the weather will be? Instead of turning on the TV to find out, you can just look out your window at the clouds.
- Little Cloud by Eric Carle, 1996. Little Cloud drifts away from his wispy friends and entertains himself by changing into a variety of forms—a lamb, an airplane, a shark, a clown, etc.—before joining the others to form one big cloud that rains.
- A Starlit Snowfall by Nancy Willard, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, 2011. "My cave is big enough for two!" a bear declares to a rabbit, inviting his small friend to share his den through the longest, coldest season.
- The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, 1963. This Caldecott Medal winner is the simple tale of a boy waking up to discover that snow has fallen during the night. The Snowy Day was the first full-color picture book to feature a small black hero—yet another reason to add this classic to your shelves.
A Family Adventure. Go outside to experience wind, rain, or snow together. Imagine weather as a wondrous event, one of the miracles of our blue green planet, something to be grateful for. Be mindful of the weather in all its forms, as if you were an astronaut orbiting the earth, watching the clouds over the continents, waiting to feel the sun on your face again after the cold, darkness of space.
A Family Discovery. Learn about rain, snow, and other weather in "How's the Weather?", an animated video from The Kids' Picture Show.
A Family Game. Build a rainstorm! On YouTube, the children in Julie Rogers' class and the Perpetuum Jazzile group demonstrate. Here's how: Rub two fingers together. Rub hands together. Snap fingers. Clap two fingers on palm. Clap hands. Slap hands on thighs. Stomp feet. To make the rainstorm subside, do these actions in reverse order.
Or sing "It's Raining, It's Pouring" (hear the tune on YouTube):
It's raining, it's pouring,
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed and bumped his head
And didn't get up until morning.
A Family Ritual. Adopt a morning weather routine. Each person shares a two-word weather description—one that describes how the weather feels (warm, cold, etc.), and one that describes what they can see (sun, rain, clouds, etc.). Read more at the Teach Preschool blog.