Showing posts with label weather. Show all posts
Showing posts with label weather. Show all posts
If you've followed my corner of cyber real estate for long, then you know I LOVE a good anchor chart!  Spring time and a this weather unit are the perfect opportunity to make some fabulous anchor charts with kids that support great learning.

So, here's a look at 12 of my favorite weather anchor charts for the primary classroom!

Print and Write Charts

Anchor charts don't have to take hours to create!  Who has time for that?? Many anchor charts in my room are used for shared research.  That means, I set them up before hand with the titles/headings and then we fill in the facts together as a class.

This day and night chart I just printed out and then recorded each word in a different color.  This is to help when they are using these facts to write.  If I can use a coordinating color, I do.  But it doesn't always work out that way.

Here's another chart that was printed.  I just printed the title and star headings, glued it to my chart paper and was ready to fill in with my kids!

**TIP: Don't want to remake it every year?  Just laminate the chart after you attach the headings and title and before you fill in with kids.  Then, just clean off the filled in part each year and save for your next group of kiddos!**

Illustrated Anchor Charts

Charts that are going to have a lot of text need to be broken up visually for primary students.  A chart with all black letters and no images on it is very overwhelming to read!  

I love this chart for so many reasons.  I used some color coding (blue and red for cause and purple for effect) to help show the key phrases for each word.

The illustrations help break this chart up nicely also!  And, no, I didn't do all of this with the kids.  Before the lesson, I made the Cause and Effect title and that's it.

During the lesson, I added the key words and then as we brainstormed cause and effect examples, I added the words and the arrow outlines with the kids.  I also drew the outlines for some of the pictures...but no coloring or details.

After the lesson, I went back with crayons to color in and add details to the illustrations.

Here's another example of using illustrations with the anchor chart.  Nothing fancy about these illustrations...just enough detail to help my early readers find the words they need to use in their writing!

Using Shapes With Anchor Charts

Visually speaking, shapes are very powerful for anchor charts.  They can help kids quickly find the chart they are looking for on a wall full of anchor charts.  And they can be an additional aid in helping early readers understand the chart.

When we are learning about weather types, we are filing out a new shared research chart almost every day.  So, they need to stand out some way.  And making the chart the shape of the weather type makes this so easy!

I was also thoughtful in the color of paper I used for these charts to help them coordinate! (Note: these are all made from large sized construction paper!)

Student-Made Anchor Charts

My favorite charts to make are the ones kids help me create!  These are charts that we've brainstormed together on and kids added their own clouds or labels to the charts.  Both of these charts are from the first year I made them--so I filled in the clouds and labels and the kids added them because I wanted them to be "perfectly cute."

But in the years after these, I learned it's so much better when the kids get to write their own words for the clouds and labels (or whatever you are using!) I have even had them sign their names to them so they can take ownership of helping with that chart!

You can find TONS of these anchor chart templates and more in this integrated weather unit.  Just print out the templates and fill them in with your class!  Or if you want them to be a larger size, pull the templates up on your projector and trace them onto butcher paper.  Find them here.

Weather is one of my favorite units to teach in first grade.  I especially love finding ways to connect content and literacy and weather is just so easy to do this with fiction texts!

Eric Carle's Little Cloud is the perfect creative writing story for weather! I have done this every year with my first makes a great display and the kids love the creative outlet!  This year, I am on mommy break with my little preschooler, so we did this project during our school time the other day!  And we had a blast! Read for more on how I adapted this art activity to push higher order thinking skills in my kiddos and get the freebie download...

First, we read Eric Carle's Little Cloud.  We talked about what shapes the cloud turned into in the story.

Then, we each took half a page of white construction paper and started tearing.  Over the years in first grade, I have changed this part of the activity.  I started out years ago letting my firsties tear whatever they wanted their cloud to be--no scissors...tearing only.  But I kinda got bored with this.  It really ended up being more of an art project and less of a creative thinking project.

So a couple of years into teaching, I changed the rules!  Now I set a limit on the number of tears.  And we all tear together to make sure no one purposefully makes a shark or whatever.  We tear once.  Then we tear again.  They can choose to turn the paper whichever direction for each tear.  I usually stop between 4-6 tears.  Sometimes, I even give them the choice to stop at 4 tears or tear another time.

Once, we've finished tearing, we look at our "cloud" and decide what it turned into.  We turn it all different directions wondering, "What could my cloud be?"  This has really helped beef up this activity to more higher level thinking because it forces kids to take what they already have and make something out of it...instead of having full control.

This was Cooper's first cloud he made. "Yook, Momma, it's a pig! See his nose?"

Once he figured out what his cloud had turned into, we glued it onto his "sky."

Then, Cooper wrote what his cloud turned into...this was his first cloud, a boot.  This writing activity was perfect for my little emerging writer.  But even in first grade, the focus of this activity isn't writing, it's pushing kids to think outside the box!

This made the perfect display for our refrigerator at home, and our hallway in first grade!

This activity comes from my very popular, 6 week integrated unit on Weather.

Or just download the freebie HERE!
Have you been muddling through the Next Gen Science Standards this year?  I'm not going to lie: they can be a little difficult to understand...but I love a lot of the new content for first grade!  My favorite addition is sun, moon and stars!  This content meshes perfectly with my integrated science unit on weather and has made this already popular unit an even better 6 week unit!  Here's a look at some of the activities from this Sun + Moon + Stars Mini Unit.

Anchor Charts

Anchor charts are a HUGE part of learning new content for young learners.  My firsties use our anchor charts all. the. time.  I especially love finding ways to make each anchor chart unique by using coordinating colors or shapes so that it's easy to remember and easy to find in our room.

Each anchor chart can be printed and posted around the room...

Or you can fill it out on your Smart Board if you're short on space!

Sun Science

One of my favorite science experiments in first grade is our shadow experiment.  You can read about it in detail here, but the look on my firsties' faces when they see their shadow change is priceless every single year!

Moon Science

Brand new to the weather unit this year is phases of the moon!  After charting our learning about the moon, we sequence the phases of the moon using the interactive powerpoint from the mini-unit...

Then, we work at stations to sequence moon phases using the sequencing cards.

And later we work independently to sequence the cycle of the moon!

Stars Science

The last part of this mini-unit is all about stars!  I love tying in some literacy by reading Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star with this study.  It's a simple nursery rhyme, but perfect for deepening our discussion on stars with questions like, Why does the author say stars are like diamonds in the sky?

Then, during our science time we research facts about stars and chart our learning on stars in a can-have-are chart.

The next day, we use the slideshow from the unit (seen in the youtube video earlier) to talk about 5 famous constellations, what they look like and how they got their constellation.  Then, for a STEM connection, we work in productive groups to build our own constellations with marshmallows and toothpicks.  The groups name their constellations and tell the story of how it landed in the sky!

This STEM challenge can be found separately here. or with the rest of the activities and plans in this Sun + Moon + Stars Mini Unit!
Sooooooo....I'm on a 2 week intercession/break from school and starting to catch up on blogs.  Good grief!  I've had all of these blog posts floating around in my head and no time to sit down and type!

April was all about continuing our weather unit and focusing on severe weather!  In Arkansas, there is no better time to learn about severe weather than April...especially since we had to take cover for tornado warnings just a few days ago!  YIKES!! #tornadoalleyprobs

It's also about this time of year that I get a little bored with writer's workshop {just keeping it real friends!} because we've mastered narrative, informative and opinion writing.  So focusing on how-to-writing is not only a refreshing change of pace, but it blends perfectly with severe weather!!

I've written about our experiential learning with how-to-writing in a previous post so I won't rehash the peanut butter and jelly fabulousness, but I wanted to blog a bit about how I scaffold my kids' writing so they can eventually write a full how-to paragraph independently!

We do our peanut butter and jelly writing whole group. {Yes, I know this isn't severe weather and feels like a hard right turn, but I promise we are getting there....I like writing about simple things first that we already know about before adding the research step in there too!}

Anyways...We record pictures together and orally give the directions using our order words.  During our oral retelling, I introduce our how-to graphic organizer from my Do You Want to Draw a Snowman packet.

The next day we wrote about how to brush your teeth.  I brought my toothbrush and toothpaste and all! :)

I think this one is usually the most popular with my firsties...and mainly because I'm trying to teach with toothpaste and a toothbrush in my mouth!  {Sorry, no pics of's kinda hard to have toothpaste dripping down your chin, ask kids to tell what the step is AND manage to take a selfie of the craziness happening!  But I can promise you it's a priceless photo!}

Since this was our second experience, we used a graphic organizer to record our pictures together again...but this time we wrote the directions instead of orally retelling the steps.  We drew all of the pictures first.

Then, we went back and wrote the topic sentence and step 1 together.

They finished the rest of the paragraph on their own.  These graphic organizers were the perfect scaffold that helped my kiddos make the leap to writing how-to paragraphs independently.

The next day or two, we brainstormed a list of things they were experts on and could write instructions for.  We also talked about how some things must be sequenced {like brushing your teeth}, but other instructions don't necessarily have a sequence {like getting ready for school}.   I had them draw their pictures first for their topic and then write in their journal.  I was super impressed with how well they did!

Then, I knew we were ready to add the research element to our how-to-writing.

We had been learning about types of severe weather.  I wanted to focus more on tornadoes since...we are in tornado alley after all!

We listed ways to stay safe in a tornado...

They wrote directions for how to stay safe in a tornado and then we used shaving cream and a few drops of paint to make some tornado art! *Pro Tip: make them make their scene with construction paper first and leave a "spot" for the tornado."  Add the shaving cream tornado afterwards!* #yourewelcome #beentheredonethat #muchbetterthistime

The kids had a BLAST writing these and making their tornado scenes to go with them!  It was the perfect end to our severe weather and how-to writing!  You can find the tornado safety paper and more severe weather paper and templates in my severe weather packet on SALE 20% off for the next two days!
Hello, April!  Hello, rainy season!

I have loved teaching our weather unit in the spring (I usually do it in winter)!

It's given us a chance to highlight certain activities even more.  Last week, we researched the water cycle.  When I do this unit in the winter, we focus on snow...but this year, we focused on rain!

First we read our PebbleGo article on rain and charted our learning...

Then, we wrote about what we learned about rain in our weather words booklet!

The next day, we brainstormed what it's like when it rains.  Lucky for us, it **rained** the day before so I was able to give my kiddos a heads up on making some observations on their own after school! :)

We brainstormed whole group and then, they added their own descriptions on our "When It Rains..." graphic organizer!

Then, we used our graphic organizer to give us ideas to write about.  The next day we wrote about our rainy day!  They could choose to write about the rainy day we just had or a different rainy day.  Check out this rainy day sob story!!!

We saved our water cycle posters for testing week to give us a "break" in the afternoon after our hard work.  And I always love how these turned out!  You can read about the details HERE.

I shared this on Instagram yesterday, but it's worth repeating...We started our posters before Computer Lab and I told the kids to put their supplies on their poster and we would finish after Computer...I love how this group cleaned up so neatly!  OCD firsties after my own heart! :)

We also saved our make it rain science experiment for testing week too!  Read the details on that activity HERE.

Grab my best selling Weather Unit in my store for all of these activities and much, much more!
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