A place to share cool science ideas for storytime!

Archive for the ‘Weather and Environment’ Category

Animals in Winter

Animals in Winter Martha E. H. Rustad

Snow falls, animals hibernate, and people bundle up, it’s winter! Check out all the changes that come with longer nights and colder temperatures.

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner

Over the snow, the world is hushed and white, but under the snow is a secret world of squirrels and snowshoe hares, bears and bullfrogs, and many others who live outside in the woods during the winter.

Winter Dance by Marion Dane Bauer

A fox wonders how he should prepare for the coming winter, but what other animals advise will not work for him until another fox comes to his aid.

Copy Me, Copycub by Richard Edwards

Copycub, who imitates everything that his mother bear does, follows her to their den when winter comes and snow begins to fall.

William’s Winter Nap by Linda Ashman

Just when William is ready to fall asleep in his cozy cabin, there is a tap on his window. A chilly chipmunk asks to stay, and Will scooches over in bed. “There’s room for two–I’m sure we’ll fit.” The chipmunk is just the first in a parade of mammals, each bigger than the last, until the bed is full.

Here Comes Jack Frost by Kazuno Kohara

One cold morning, a lonely boy wishes for something to do. Then someone comes to play who knows what winter is all about.

Baby Bear Counts One by Ashley Wolff

Before curling up with his mother in their cozy den, Baby Bear counts other animals preparing for winter.

Hibernating bear craft: /http://ttcrafts.com/bear-craft-for-preschoolers/

Build a cave engineering activity: https://kidssteamlab.com/preschool-engineering-activity-for-kids/

Winter adaptations guide: https://cpb-us-e1.wpmucdn.com/blogs.cornell.edu/dist/7/3643/files/2013/09/Winter-Adaptations-I-168fn9g.pdf

 

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Wind and Rain

Wind by Marion Dane Bauer

Easy to understand explanation of wind and how it works.

I Face the Wind by Vicki Cobb, illustrated by Julia Gorton

Explanations of wind including activities within the book to help children engage with the concepts.

The Wind by Monique Felix

Fun wordless book about a mouse who sees flying things in the sky. He builds a pinwheel out of the paper in the book so he can fly as well.

Willa and the Wind retold by Janice M. Del Negro and illustrated by Heather Solomon.

This is an original story based on a Norwegian Folktale. A beautifully illustrated picture book about a girl who goes to visit the Wind and gets priceless gifts each time she visits.

The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins

The wind blew, and blew, and blew It blew so hard, it took everything with it: Mr. White’s umbrella, Priscilla’s balloon, the twins’ scarves, even the wig on the judge’s head. But just when the wind was about to carry everything out to sea, it changed its mind.

Splish, Splash, Ducky! By Lucy Cousins

Quack, quack, quack! Ducky Duckling loves playing outside in the rain. He hops with frog, squirms with wriggly worm and splashes with the fishes.

Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld

Cloudette is a little cloud who is looking to do something big. She discovers new friends, new adventures, and her own silver lining.

Cloudette bookmark coloring activity here : https://www.tomlichtenheld.com/childrens_books/images/activity_guides/BookmarkLichtenheld.pdf

The Rain Came Down

Caldecott Honor artist David Shannon captures the mayhem after an unexpected rainstorm.

Drip painting activity https://inspirationlaboratories.com/the-rain-came-down-drip-painting/

Wind activities: http://keepinglifecreative.com/creative-learning/the-windy-day-book-of-week

Wind Science

The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins is a wonderful rhyming tale of the wind that is blowing everyone’s things away. The Scholastic site has extension activities geared to the book.

https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plans/teaching-content/wind-blew-extension-activities/

Windblown is an entertaining book that shows ways that different colored shapes can be combined to make different pictures and characters. The narrative is short and simple and the colorful illustrations show a variety of creative creations.

 Former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser authored this wonderfully illustrated picture book that tells of the journey of a lone, yellow plastic bag that escaped from a landfill and the environmental consequences as well as the ways unwanted items can be reused.

In this wind experiment at the link below, children can build simple devices to collect things blowing in the wind.  They’ll need a few plastic lids, petroleum jelly, a magnifying glass, a paper punch to punch a hole in each lid, yarn and a windy day.  After hanging them outside on a windy day for a while, children can examine what the wind has blown into their lid.

http://stem-works.com/external/activity/20

Activities at the link below include the key science concepts that wind can move things and that wind is moving air.

Ideas include discussions that the wind can move things such as clouds in the sky, and sailboats on the water. Have children, think and demonstrate different ways they can make the air move and create a breeze (blowing, waving the hands, using a fan, etc.). Ask if they know of any tools or machines that move air (hair dryers, fans, etc.).

Wind experimentation and prediction as well as directions for a simple windsock made from a paper bowl, tissue paper, crepe paper streamers and pipe cleaners.

http://www.ready-set-read.com/2013/04/preschool-theme-wind.html

In this experiment children blow on objects to simulate the wind (a wooden block, paper cup, metal spoon, piece of construction paper, craft pom pom, feather, and rock).

http://www.prekinders.com/can-the-wind-move-it/

Other wind themed activities can be found at https://www.kidssoup.com/activity/wind-and-air-activities-crafts-games-and-printables and http://sciencing.com/science-activities-air-preschool-ages-6468647.html.

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Learning About the Rainforest

Learning about all the colorful animals, insects, and plants in a rainforest make for a fun storytime theme!

The children really enjoyed The Frog With the Big Mouth by Teresa Bateman.  It’s a humorous tale about a little Argentine wide mouthed frog that goes around the rainforest to brag about his fly-eating abilities. At the end of the book there are notes about the Toco Toucans, Coatis, Capybaras, Jaguars and Argentine wide-mouthed frogs, also known as Argentine horned frogs.

The Parrot Tico Tango by Anna Witte is a wonderful cumulative rhyme in which a greedy parrot snatches delicious fruit from his animal friends in the rainforest until he can hold no more.

I used the book Rain Forests by Nancy Smiler Levison with a flannel board activity for the preschoolers.

I handed out animals, insects and plants mentioned in the book and read the pages about the four layers of the rainforest: emergent, canopy, understory and the forest floor.

As I read about each layer, I invited the children to put the corresponding trees, plants, and animals on the flannel board. The preschoolers really enjoyed learning about the animals in each layer and helping to create a rainforest.

Here are two more nonfiction books about the rainforests:

Wow! Rain Forest Animals by Carolyn Franklin

Rain Forest Revealed by Jen Green

Other great rainforest picture books to read to preschoolers are:

Way Up High in a Tall Green Tree by Jan Peck

If You’re Happy and You Know it Jungle Edition by James Warhola

Slowly Slowly said the Sloth by Eric Carle

If I were a Jungle Animal by Tom and Amanda Ellery

We’re Roaming in the Rainforest: An Amazon Adventure by Laurie Krebs and Anne Wilson

Jungle Drum by Deanna Wundrow

The Umbrella by Jan Brett

The Great Kapok Tree by Lynn Cherry

The Rainforest Grew All Around by Susan K. Mitchell

Winter Hibernation

When Winter Comes by Nancy Van Laan, illustrated by Susan Gaber. This beautifully illustrated book explains where the leaves, flowers, caterpillars, songbirds, field mice, deer, and fish go in winter.

Another wonderful picture book that describes what happens in winter is Dear Rebecca, Winter is Here, by Jean Craighead George with pictures by Loretta Krupinski.  The author’s note contains a wonderful explanation of the summer and winter solstice.

Ridiculous by Michael Coleman

A funny tale of a tortoise that decides not to hibernate and instead goes to explore winter. A dog, cat, duck and bird ask how the tortoise can keep warm like they do with humorous results.

There are some great hibernation activities for preschoolers at  http://trilliummontessori.org/animals-in-winter/ including making animal tracks in Play-Doh, a bear in a cave craft, and a bird migration game.

Big science for little people: 52 activities to help you and your child discover the wonders of science written by Lynn Brunelle is filled with great activities including making a crystal snowflake; perfect for winter!

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Worms. Can You Dig It?

Noodle & Lou by Liz Garton Scanlon

Ned’s New Home by Kevin Tseng

Yucky Worms by Vivian French

Worms for Lunch by Leonid Gore

Look under science activities on this link:

http://www.preschool-plan-it.com/worms.html

Find more worm science here:

http://lemonlimeadventures.com/worms-garden-science-activity/

How Does Your Garden Grow?

My Garden by Kevin Henkes

Up, Down and Around by Katherine Ayres

Find a number of suggested science activities by using the links below:

http://www.everythingpreschool.com/themes/gardening/science.htm

http://www.preschooleducation.com/scgarden.shtml

http://www.perpetualpreschool.com/preschool_themes/gardening/gardening_science.htm

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