Friday, September 2, 2011

Weather Tracking with a Weather Tree

Last fall I was searching for a unique way to track the weather. I also wanted to teach my son about graphing, but I knew that could be kind of dry. I looked at some weather journal ideas and charting examples and it all seemed so blah. Data, data, data. Where's the creativity in that?  After looking at a bajillion websites, I cobbled together the idea of creating a weather tree.

I taped two large sheets of paper together, then we drew the "skeleton" of a maple tree. We chose maple since we have lots of them on our property. We drew one branch for each month of our school year. For us, that's Sept - May, so 9 branches. Then I took some of my water color paintings and cut them into maple leaf shapes, making sure there was an assortment of colors. Time to start tracking!

Each school morning at 9 o'clock, the boy would check the temperature on a thermometer outside our kitchen window. He would also evaluate the weather condition. Is it sunny? foggy? snowing? Then he would choose an appropriately colored leaf (orange or red for hot, yellow for sunny, pale green for a soft spring rain, silver for snow, etc.) On each leaf he wrote the date, temp and a symbol for the condition. Then he would glue it to the tree on that month's branch. I think it created a pretty nice visual of what our weather "looked" like.


I kept a running list of his data and at the end of each month, we worked on a weather graph. It was a great way to get him to use his ruler; to measure and to divide. September's graph was quite simple, just marking the temps. And I did much of the work as a demonstration. By the middle of the year, he was creating the graphs himself and had added a second data line for weather conditions.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for the comments!