Baltimore Curriculum Project Draft Lessons

Introductory Notes

These lessons generally follow the grade-by-grade topics in the Core Knowledge Sequence, but they have been developed independent of the Core Knowledge Foundation. While the Core Knowledge Foundation encourages the development and sharing of lessons based on the Core Knowledge Sequence, it does not endorse any one set of lesson plans as the best or only way that the knowledge in the Sequence should be taught.

You may feel free to download and distribute these lessons, but please note that they are currently in DRAFT form. At this time the draft lessons on this web site do NOT have accompanying graphics, such as maps or cut-out patterns. Graphics will be added to this site later.

In participating BCP schools, these lessons are used in conjunction with the Direct Instruction skills programs in reading, language, and math. If you use or adapt these lessons, keep in mind that they are meant to address content and the application of skills. You will need to use other materials to ensure that children master skills in reading, language, and math.

Second Grade - Science - Lesson 1 - Weather

Background Information for Weather Unit

There is water in the air at all times. It may be in the form of a gas (water vapor), as a liquid (droplets), or as a solid (ice, snow). The amount of water vapor in the air is called humidity. Warm air can hold more water vapor than cold air. The relative humidity is the amount of vapor the air is holding expressed as a percentage of the amount it could hold (e.g. 85% humidity). The higher the humidity, the "stickier" you feel.

The sun warms the air, land, and water causing the evaporation of liquid water into water vapor. As the warm, moist air rises it begins to cool and can no longer hold the water vapor, which condenses and falls as rain. Under certain conditions the water droplets freeze or stick together forming snow, sleet or hail. Clouds are made up of billions of tiny water droplets, which collide, get bigger and heavier and fall as rain. (One raindrop contains a million times more water than a tiny cloud droplet.) If the air above the ground is near or below freezing, the precipitation is snow. Sleet is formed when rain falls through a thick layer of very cold air and freezes. Hailstones form in violent thunderstorms. They begin as crystals and add layers like an onion, and can become the size of softballs. Clouds in contact with the ground are sometimes called fog.

The sun is the source of energy that drives weather. It warms the earth's surface unevenly, making air move (wind) and powering the water cycle. Air moving from high to low pressure areas causes winds. There are major wind patterns in the world called prevailing winds. There are also localized wind patterns influenced by land forms and bodies of water (e.g., mountain winds, sea breezes).

Suggested Books for Weather Unit

Ardley, Neil. The Science Book of Weather. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1992.

Berger, Melvin and Gilda. How's the Weather. Nashville, TN: Ideals Childrens Books, 1993.

Branley, Franklyn M. Flash, Clash, Rumble, and Roll. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1985.

Branley, Franklyn M. Hurricane Watch. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1985.

Branley, Franklyn M. Tornado Alert. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1988.

Broekell, Ray. Experiments with Air. Chicago: Childrens Press, 1988.

Catherall, Ed. Exploring Weather. Austin, TX: Steck-Vaugn, 1991.

Catherall, Ed. The Weather. Highlands Ranch, CO: Wayland Ltd., 1986.

Cole, Joanna. The Magic Schoolbus At the Waterworks. New York: Scholastic, 1986.

Cole, Joanna. The Magic Schoolbus Inside A Hurricane. New York: Scholastic, 1995.

Craig, M. Jean. About Weather. New York: Scholastic, 1969.

Gibbons, Gail. Weather Words and What They Mean. New York: Holiday House, 1990.

Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Weather Poems For All Seasons. New York: Harper Trophy, 1995.

Jennings, Terry. Weather. New York: Gloucester Press, 1988.

Lambert, David. Weather. London: Watts, 1983.

Merk, Ann and Jim. Rain, Snow, and Ice. Vero Beach, Florida: The Rourke Corp., 1994.

Palazzo, Janet. Now I Know What Makes the Weather. Mahwah, NJ: Troll, 1989.

Palmer, Joy. Rain. Austin, TX: Steck-Vaughn, 1993.

Parker, Steve. Weather. New York: Warwick Press, 1990.

Peters, Lisa Westberg. The Sun, the Wind and the Rain. New York: Henry Holt, 1988.

Schmid, Eleanore. The Water's Journey. North South Books, 1989.

Simon, Seymour. Weather. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1993.

Smith, David. The Water Cycle. New York: Thomson Learning, 1993.

Smith, Harry. Amazing Air. New York: Lothrop Lee and Shepard Books, 1982.

Taylor, Barbara. Weather and Climate. New York: Kingfisher Books, 1993.

What Makes the Weather. Mahwah, NJ: Troll, 1983

Wonder Starter Series. Rain. New York: Wonder Books, 1972.

Objectives for Lesson 1

Define water vapor.

Describe evaporation.

Describe condensation.


Three clear plastic cups with a mark " from the bottom

Pitcher of water

Jar with a lid, ice cubes, a tissue


Tell the children that you are going to read a poem which will tell the name of their first science unit for the year. Read the following:

Whether the weather be fine,

Or whether the weather be not,

Whether the weather be cold,

Or whether the weather be hot,

We'll weather the weather

Whatever the weather

Whether we like it or not.

Ask: What is the name of the unit? Ask: Have you seen a puddle disappear or dry up after it rains? Where does the water go? Does all the water soak into the ground? (The water escapes into the air in small droplets that we call water vapor. These drops are too tiny to see as they go into the air.) Today's activity will help you see what happens to the water from the puddle.

Ask three children to come to the front of the room to help you. Give each of the children a clear plastic cup that has a mark " from the bottom of the cup. Now ask each child to pour water into his cup so that it just reaches the line. Ask one child to place his cup in a very warm, sunny location. The second child is to place his cup in a cool, shady location. The third child is to place his cup in a location with a draft. After several hours note what has happened to the water in the cups. The children should see that the water level has gone down more in the cups placed in the warm, sunny location and in the location with the draft than in the shady location. Tell the children that the water has slowly disappeared into the air. It could not possibly soak into the soil in this situation. The way water escapes into the air is called evaporation. The air is full of invisible water vapor because water evaporates from rivers and seas all the time. Ask: What is


Second Grade - Science - Lesson 1 - Weather

water vapor? (Tiny drops of water that escape into the air are water vapor.) Ask: What is the process of evaporation and how does it happen? (Evaporation is the process of water escaping

into the air. It happens at all times, but it happens much more quickly when the air is warm and it is windy. Evaporation occurs when water vapor is heated.) Ask: What happens to the water that is in clothing that has been washed and hung on the line to dry? (It evaporates.)

Ask : What happens when you take a can of soda out of the refrigerator and hold the can for a little time? (The outside of the can gets wet.) Tell the children that this is condensation at work. It is the way we get water back into our world. You will show them another example of condensation similar to the one of the soda can. Fill a jar with ice cubes and put a lid on it. The jar is being made very cold. Ask: Does anything happen to the outside of the jar? (Water forms on the jar.) Have a child come up and wipe the jar with a tissue and note that the tissue is wet. Water droplets form on the jar because the air near the jar is cooled by the ice-cold jar. When water vapor in the air cools, the drops get big enough to see. This is called condensation. Condensation can be seen in another way. When water boils, steam is given off. The tiny drops of steam form a mist. The boiling water gives off a hot vapor. This vapor cools as it meets colder air and turns into drops you see as steam. Ask: What is the process of condensation and how does it happen? (Condensation is the process of water returning to the air. It happens all the time. Condensation occurs when water vapor meets cooler air.)

Tell the children that clouds are made up of condensation drops that form when water vapor rises from the ground and meets the cold air above. When tiny drops in the clouds come together and get heavier, they fall as rain.


Second Grade - Science - Lesson 2 - Weather

Adapted from STARS "The Weather Report" Lesson 6 - What's Up?


Investigate the formation of clouds.


Tea kettle and hot plate (or electric tea kettle), water, metal spoon

Per team: jar, pie plate, ice, flashlight, cloud worksheet, attached

Background Information

Clouds are formed when water evaporates into the air. As the evaporated water rises and meets cooler air, it condenses into tiny drops of water which form around bits of dust. When the water droplets get heavy enough they fall from the cloud as precipitation.

Suggested Books

Carle, Eric. Little Cloud. 1996.

De Paola, Tomie. The Cloud Book. New York: Holiday House, 1975.


Read the following poem to the class and discuss with them.


by Jenny Bryant

Clouds are fluffy,



Sun is shining through at me.

Clouds are heavy,



Rain pouring down all day.


Ask: Why does the author describe the clouds as fluffy and friendly at first and heavy and angry later? (Different types of clouds have different kinds of weather associated with them.) Ask: What do you think clouds are made of? What do clouds do? (Accept all answers for now.)

Conduct the following demonstration for the class. Boil water in a tea kettle. Have the students observe what happens. Ask: What do you see coming from the spout of the tea kettle? (steam) Explain to the students that the steam they see is a small cloud. Ask the children how they think the small cloud was made. Tell the children that the water from the tea kettle evaporates because it is being heated. The water vapor rises, meets the cooler air outside the tea kettle, and condenses or clumps together to form tiny droplets that form a cloud. Now place a spoon in the steam. Ask: What has happened to the spoon? (drops of water form on the spoon) How do you think the spoon gets wet? Tell the students that the water from the steam (or water BCP DRAFT SCI 5

Second Grade - Science - Lesson 2 - Weather

vapor) condenses when it hits the cold spoon and the water drops get bigger and fall. Ask the students how they think the tea kettle demonstration is like the way real clouds are formed. Ask: What was the small cloud made of? (drops of water) How do you know? (water formed on the spoon)

Instruct the children to get into their four-person work groups. Assign the following jobs to the team members:

Runner - gets and returns group materials

Reader - reads directions and keeps group on task

Recorder - writes down group answers

Reporter - presents group's results to the class

Read the directions from the "Let's Make Clouds" worksheet as the groups follow along. In groups have the children conduct the experiment. Circulate amongst the children to put hot water from the tea kettle into each group's jar. After the experiment is completed, ask the groups what the clouds were made of (tiny drops of water).

Tell children that another time they make clouds is when they can see their breath on cold days. What happens is that the warm, wet air from their mouths condenses and becomes visible when it comes in contact with the cold air outside. Ask: What other things have you seen that make clouds? (a radiator, a steam iron, a dishwasher or washing machine if you open it mid-cycle, a bathroom shower) How are clouds in the sky different from the ones that people make?


Second Grade - Science - Lesson 3 - Weather


Define humidity.

Define precipitation.

Understand the cycle of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.


A clear plastic cup, a square plastic food wrap, hot water, ice cubes/group of four


A clear glass or beaker with markings at 25%, 50%, and 75%


Instruct the children to get into their four-person work groups. Assign the following jobs to the team members:

Runner - gets and returns group materials

Reader - reads directions and keeps group on task

Recorder - writes down group answers

Reporter - presents group's results to the class

The children have talked about water vapor; they know that there is always water in the air. Ask: Sometimes, even when it is not raining, have you felt kind of moist and sticky and almost wet? What do you think might cause you to feel that way? (There is lots of water in the air.) When there is a lot of water in the air, we say that it is humid. Ask if they have ever heard the weather man talk about "Relative Humidity"? Relative humidity is a figure that tells us how much moisture is in the air relative to the total amount of moisture the air can hold. Tell the children that the maximum amount moisture the air can hold is 100%. At 100% humidity the air is full of water. Place the glass with the % markings on a desk or table where it is easily seen by all the children. Ask the children to imagine that the glass is the air and you are going to fill the air with water. Ask them to tell you when the air has 100% humidity; that is, when the air is full of water. Pour water into the glass until it is 25% full. Ask: Is the air (glass) 100% full of water? (no) Repeat at the 50% mark, the 75% mark, and when the glass is full. The children should answer no at 50% and 75%, but yes at 100%. Explain that when the air is very full of water (the humidity is high), the moisture makes us feel sticky. In the summertime when the air is warm and can hold a lot of water, it gets very humid.

Tell the children that today they are going to make precipitation. Ask if anyone knows what precipitation is? (water that falls to the ground in liquid or solid form) Ask individual students to name various types of precipitation? (drizzle, rain, sleet, snow, hail). By now the children should know that warm air can hold more moisture than cold air. Tell them that they are going to start with warm air which is full of moisture, and they are going make the air cold. Ask: If warm air can hold lots of moisture, but cold air can not, where do you think the moisture goes when the warm air becomes cold? (It appears as condensation or precipitation.) Make a list of their answers on the board.

Have the runners pick up the plastic cups, squares of plastic food wrap, and worksheets. Circulate among the groups pouring an inch or two of hot water into each cup and instructing the BCP DRAFT SCI 7

Second Grade - Science - Lesson 3 - Weather

reader to cover the cup with the plastic wrap. Place three or four ice cubes on top of the plastic wrap and ask the children to watch and see what happens. (Some of the hot water evaporates. It turns into tiny invisible droplets. Because the air is warm and can hold lots of moisture, the droplets stay in the air until they get into the cold air near the plastic. The cold air near the plastic causes the moisture to condense into drops. The drops join together to make bigger drops. Then they fall back into the water.) Have the reporters from each group explain what happened in their cups. (Water formed on the plastic.) Ask the recorders if they know why the water formed. (The ice cooled the air and since cool air cannot hold as much moisture as warm air, the droplets condensed into water.)

Explain to the children that the water in the world goes around like this all of the time. Water evaporates from seas, rivers, and the soil. The invisible droplets condense and make clouds. The water falls back as rain, sleet, hail, or snow.

Ask the children to name some types of precipitation. (rain, sleet, hail, snow) Ask them what happens to the water in warm air when the air becomes cold. (It appears as condensation or precipitation.) Ask: How might you feel when the relative humidity is high? (sticky)

Instruct the children to color, cut and paste to complete The Water Cycle worksheet. It is a good review of today's lesson.


Second Grade - Science - Lesson 4 - Weather


Investigate materials that soak up water.

Simulate groundwater entering a plant.

Materials needed

Dry sponge, tissue, newspaper, plastic, wax paper, toweling, spoon, cup of water

Stalk of celery, food coloring, cup, a plant in a flower pot


Tell the children that today we will be talking about water and how it enters plants. First the children must be aware that some materials soak up or absorb water and other materials keep water out or repel it. Ask the children what happens when water is placed on a dry sponge. Place a spoonful of water on a dry sponge to show the children what happens. Ask: What happens to the water, does all the sponge get wet, does all the water disappear?

On the board make a list of all the materials you will be using (sponge, tissue, newspaper, plastic, wax paper, toweling) in a column. Ask the children to predict whether the materials will absorb water or repel water. Invite several children to come up and place a spoonful of water on each of the materials. Keep a record on the board of whether the materials soaked in the water or kept it out.

Ask: Why do you think some materials absorbed water and others did not? Explain that some of the materials have tiny gaps or holes that let the water in. Ask: Which materials could be used for mopping up spills and which materials would be good for making an umbrella to keep things dry?

Ask: Do you think water can climb upward? Show them that it can. Dip a paper towel into a cup half filled with water leaving some of the towel hanging over the edge of the cup. Ask: What is happening to the water and why do they think this is happening? Explain to the children that groundwater is water in the soil that will either go into plants in the same way that the water rose up the paper towel or will run off into streams or other bodies of water.

There are two ways to show the children that water is absorbed by plants. Choose either one, or do both activities for the children. For the first, take a cup and put in a small amount of water and a lot of food coloring to make the liquid very colorful. Now place a stalk of celery that has a cut edge at the bottom into the cup with the leaves of the celery at the top of the cup. At the end of several days the celery leaves should turn the color of the food coloring, because the water soaked in and rose through the plant. If you cut the celery into slices, the children can see the spots of color in the hollows or tubes of the celery stalk. The second way to show water being taken into a plant is to place a small amount of water into the saucer of a flower pot and, after a short time, the plant in the pot should take in the water.

If you would like the children to have homework, you could ask them to select and list five household materials (plastic wrap, foil, cotton, tea towel, etc). Tell them to place a small amount of water on each and keep a record of which materials took in water and which did not.

This activity should only be done with the permission of a parent.


Second Grade - Science - Lesson 5 - Weather


Identify and describe cirrus, cumulus, and stratus clouds.


Dark blue construction paper, white tempera paint

Background Information

Cumulus - means "heap" in Latin; low-level clouds; puffy on top with flat bottoms like a dome. They may bring rain, thunder, and lightning.

Stratus - means "blanket or layer" in Latin; flat, layered clouds that are low-lying. They sometimes cover the sky with a blanket to cause a gray day. They may bring rain or snow.

Cirrus - means "curl of hair" in Latin; thin wispy, high-level clouds; formed of ice crystals.


Tell the students that today they are going to learn about three different types of clouds.

Have the children repeat after you:

Clouds are made of tiny drops of water.

What are clouds made of? Signal. (tiny drops of water)

Today we are going to learn about the three main types of clouds.

The three main types of clouds are cumulus, stratus, and cirrus.

What are the three main types of clouds? Signal. (cumulus, stratus, and cirrus)

Repeat until firm.

A cumulus cloud is a puffy, white cloud.

What is a cumulus cloud? Signal. (a puffy white cloud)

A stratus cloud is a flat, low cloud.

What is a stratus cloud? Signal. (a flat, low cloud)

A cirrus cloud is a wispy, high cloud.

What is a cirrus cloud? Signal. (a wispy, high cloud)

Repeat until firm.

Read the book It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw (Harper & Row, 1947) aloud to the class. (This book can be found at the Enoch Pratt Free Library.)

Give a piece of blue construction paper to each child in the class. Have the children fold the paper in half, run a finger along the fold, and then open the paper on their desks. Circulate around the classroom to squirt a small amount of white tempera paint onto the fold in the middle of each child's paper. Have the children then re-fold the piece of paper, producing a cloud-like design. Ask: Did you ever lie on the ground to look at the clouds? Were you able to see different shapes in the clouds? Tell them that sometimes if you look at the clouds from different angles you might be able to see different shapes. Tell them to keep this in mind when they look at their papers and that they will want to turn their paper around different ways to see what shapes they can find. On a separate piece of paper have them write the sentence "It looked like_________, but it really was a cloud." Have them fill in the sentence with a description of what they see in BCP DRAFT SCI 10

Second Grade - Science - Lesson 5 - Weather

their design. Remind them that every sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a period.

For homework, tell the children to spend some time outside observing the clouds in the sky. Then have them describe in sentences and illustrate the clouds they saw.

The following are poems about clouds that you may like to read to your class. Tell the children that clouds can be weather forecasters; different kinds of clouds tell you what the weather will be like. Ask: Have you ever seen these kinds of clouds?

Meet the Clouds

by Christine Locke

Cirrus Clouds

These icy clouds are way up high.

They're just like feathers in the sky

or silky strands of cotton curls.

The sun shines through these painted whirls.

Cumulus and Cumulonimbus Clouds

Some clouds look like an ocean whale,

a flock of sheep, a dragon's tail.

Although these clouds are lots of fun,

sometimes tornadoes hide in one!

Stratus Clouds

The clouds that hang low to the ground

often foretell that snow is bound

to fall, or rain, or icy sleet.

They look like soft gray woolly sheets.

It's fun to look at clouds all day

and guess their names each time you play.

Whale or dragon, sheep or feather,

All clouds help predict the weather!

Suggested Books

dePaola, Tomie. The Cloud Book. New York: Holiday House, 1975.

Dewitt, Lynda. What Will the Weather Be? New York: HarperCollins, 1991.

Fisher, Aileen. I Like Weather. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1963.

Fisher, Leonard Everett. Storm at the Jetty. New York: Viking, 1981.

McFall, Gardner. Jonathan's Cloud. New York: Harper and Row, 1986.

Shaw, Charles. It Looked Like Spilt Milk. New York: Harper & Row, 1947.


Second Grade - Science - Lesson 5 - Weather

Spier, Peter. Dreams. New York: Doubleday, 1986.

Teacher Resources

McMillan, Bruce. The Weather Sky. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1991.

Simon, Seymour. Weather. New York: William Morrow, 1993.


Second Grade - Science - Lesson 6 - Weather


Define wind.

Understand what causes wind.

Understand that wind blows from different directions.


A pencil with an eraser, a thumbtack, a pattern for a windmill, a pair of scissors/child


At the end of this lesson the children will make a windmill. It would be nice if this could be done on a day when the children could go outside and observe the wind blowing their windmills. If this is not possible, perhaps the teacher could use a fan to simulate wind.

Read the following poem aloud. Do not read the title. Ask the children to listen carefully and to try and figure out what the author is describing.

I saw you toss the kites on high

And blow the birds about the sky;

And all around I heard you pass,

Like ladies' skirts across the grass--

I saw the different things you did,

But always you yourself you hid.

I felt you push, I heard you call,

I could not see yourself at all--

O you that are so strong and cold,

O blower, are you young or old?

Are you a beast of field and tree,

Or just a stronger child than me?

(The Wind, by Robert Louis Stevenson)

Ask individual children if they can tell you what the poet is describing. Discuss all responses and see if you can reach a consensus. Ask: What might be a good title for this poem? Explain to them that wind is moving air. It is a powerful but invisible force. Ask: Can you name some things that you have seen that let you know that the wind is blowing? Write the things the children mention on the board. Explain to the children that the sun's heat warms the air. The air in one place is warmer than the air in another place near it. Warm air is thinner and lighter than cool air. When heavier, cool air touches warm air, it presses against it and pushes. Some of the warm air moves sideways, and some of it moves up. It pushes things as it rises. As the warm air keeps moving to the side and up and out of the way, the cool air flows into its place. This movement of the air is the wind. Ask if anyone has seen a bird rising without flapping its wings. Explain that the bird is flying in warm air. The warm air is rising and pushing the bird. Most of BCP DRAFT SCI 13

Second Grade - Science - Lesson 6 - Weather

the air all over the surface of the earth is moving, a little or a lot, most of the time.

Ask the children if they can tell you something that might happen when the wind blows very, very hard. Add what they tell you to the list you have started on the board. Tell the children that very strong wind storms have their own special names. Ask if anyone knows some of the names of these storms (hurricane, tornado, typhoon). Explain that the strongest winds are called hurricanes. They can break up buildings and knock down trees. The U.S. Weather Bureau calls a wind a hurricane when it blows as fast as 74 miles per hour. A hurricane can be over 500 miles wide. A tornado is also a powerful spinning wind. The path of a tornado is often only as wide as a city block, but it can spin as fast as 500 miles an hour. It sucks up things in its path, like a huge vacuum cleaner. It can cause a great deal of damage. Fortunately, very strong windstorms occur much less frequently than gentle breezes which cool in the summer or blustery gusts which blow leaves from trees in the fall.

Ask: How can you tell the direction of the wind? (the direction in which the trees bend, the direction in which leaves are blowing) Explain that winds are named after the direction they come from - north winds blow from the north, south winds from the south. Ask if anyone has seen a weather vane (the orioles [birds] on the scoreboard at Camden Yards, an arrow on top of a barn). A weather vane can show the direction of the wind.

Ask: What is moving air called? (wind) Ask: What warms the air? (heat from the sun) Ask: Is all air at the same temperature? (no) Ask: Is warm air heavier or lighter than cold air? (lighter) Ask: Since it is lighter, would you think that it would float up or move down? (float up) When the cold air presses down on the warm air and the warm air moves up and to the side, we feel the wind.

Today each student is going to make a windmill. A windmill catches the wind and the wind makes it go around and around. The stronger the wind blows, the faster the windmill goes. As you circulate through the classroom handing out materials to the children, instruct them to take the following steps:

1. Cut out the square.

2. Cut along the dotted lines, but don't cut into the big center dot.

3. Find the ends marked with a dot, and gently bend each one toward the center dot.

4. Push a tack through the five dots and attach to the eraser of your pencil.

5. Take your pinwheel outside and try it in the wind, or in front of a fan, or just blowing on it to make wind.

Suggested Books

Dorros, Arthur. Feel the Wind. New York: Crowell, 1989.

Ets, Marie Hall. Gilberto and the Wind. New York: Puffin Books, 1978.

Hutchins, Pat. The Wind Blew. New York: Scholastic, 1974.


Second Grade - Science - Lesson 7 - Weather


Read a play in parts as a class.

Make a wind chime.

Make a wind sock.

Make a mobile.


A copy of the play for each person, attached below

Wind chime - hanger, scissors, string, two plastic spoons, empty tin cans or orange juice can lids, two large paper clips

Wind sock - tissue paper or newspaper, scissors, string, masking tape or stapler, crayons or markers or paints

Mobile - hanger, paper, string, colored pencils or crayons, tape or stapler


Distribute copies of the play to each child. Divide the class into five groups to correspond to the five parts in the play. First, read the play aloud to the students before the class reads it in parts.

After reading, ask the children some questions to discuss the story. Ask: What kind of story was this and who is the author? (fable, Aesop) What two weather forces were in the story? (sun and wind) How did the wind try to make the children take off their jackets? (by puffing very hard) How did the sun try to make the children take off their jackets? (by shining very brightly) What was the lesson to be learned in this fable? (Kindness is better than force.) Do you think the contest was fair? Can you think of another contest that could be used to test the strength of the sun and the wind? Feel free at this time to ask any other questions that you think would be appropriate.

The next set of activities are suggestions for some craft projects. You are not expected to complete them all. Select any activity or activities that would interest you and your class. Some projects are individual activities and others can be done in groups. Set up the activities in a way that is manageable for your class. You may even want to use an activity as a home assignment to be done with a parent. At the end of each project, be sure to discuss the effects of wind, temperature, air movement, precipitation, etc. on the project.

Wind Chime - Cut six pieces of string about 18 inches in length. Then tie one end of each piece of string to the hanger. The other end of the string needs to be tied to the spoons, paper clips and can lids. Alternate these items in a way that allows them to strike one another to create a sound. Hang the chime in a place that will get some wind. Sound occurs when the wind blows and the items strike each other.

Wind Sock - Fold one sheet of newspaper in half. Cut away approximately half of the paper from the unfolded side. The cut away paper should be crumpled and kept for later use. You now have a rectangle. Tape or staple closed one long side and one short side of the rectangle. Since one side is the fold, there is only one open end now. To strengthen the open end, fold a " hem all around the edge of the open end. Tape or staple a piece of string (about 18") to the end you have just folded. You may want to let the children decorate their wind socks with crayons, BCP DRAFT SCI 15

Second Grade - Science - Lesson 7 - Weather

markers, or paint. After decorating, place the crumpled newspaper inside the wind sock to keep it open. The wind sock is ready to be flown as a kite or tied to a post to pick up any wind as it comes.

Mobile - Cut the paper into four or more shapes that are approximately 3" by 4". Choose a topic from the weather unit as the theme and think of at least four related words or phrases to the topic. Example: The topic is precipitation. The related words are rain, snow, sleet, hail. On one side of each 3" by 4" paper write the related words. On the other side draw a small picture of the related word. Cut and label a topic strip. Attach each of these papers to a piece of string (9") with tape or a stapler. Tie the other end of the string to the hanger at even intervals. The mobiles are ready for display.




(Adapted from Integrated Theme Units, Scholastic 1992)

Cast: Storyteller, Wind, Sun, Eric, Sharon

Storyteller: Long ago there lived a storyteller by the name of Aesop. Aesop was famous for the stories he told. These clever stories are called fables and each one has a lesson for the reader to think about. One of Aesop's fables is called "The Wind and the Sun."

Wind: You know, friend Sun, I am definitely stronger than you are.

Sun: Oh, you think so! What makes you believe that you are stronger?

Wind: Well, with a single puff, I can blow the leaves off a tree and the hats off the heads of people. If I really try very hard I can even lift a roof off a house or knock over a tree. I think this is real strength!!

Storyteller: Wind went on and on telling Sun how strong he was. Sun just listened and smiled slightly.

Sun: You are wrong, friend Wind. You are very strong but I believe I am even more powerful than you.

Wind: Let's see you prove your great strength!

Sun: Fine, friend Wind. I have an idea. Do you see Eric and Sharon walking down the street?

Wind: Yes, I do see them.

Sun: Well, let's agree that whoever can make Eric and Sharon take off their jackets is the stronger. I'll hide behind a cloud and watch as you go first.

Storyteller: Wind began at first with a gentle puff but nothing happened. Then he blew even harder but nothing happened. Once more, he puffed with more strength but nothing happened.

Wind: Puff! Huff, puff! Huff, puff, and whoosh!

Eric: I feel a cold wind. Do you feel it?

Sharon: I sure do. I'm really glad I'm wearing my jacket. I need to pull my jacket closer to me to keep out the wind.

Eric: I agree with you. I am also cold and need to pull my jacket closer to me.

Storyteller: As the wind blew harder and harder, Eric and Sharon pulled their jackets closer and BCP DRAFT SCI 17


Wind: I give up, Sun. I'm much too tired to puff out another gust. Let me see what you can do.

Sun: I'll take my turn now, thank you. Please watch me.

Storyteller: Sun came out from behind the cloud and shone brightly down on Eric and Sharon.

Eric: Ah, look! There is the sun. It feels so good after the cold from the wind.

Sharon: I feel so warm now. I am going to take off my jacket!

Storyteller: When Sharon removed her jacket, Sun winked at Wind. Sun knew that the contest was over.

Sun: You see, friend Wind, it is better to show kindness than force to get what you want.


Second Grade - Science - Lesson 8 - Seasonal Cycles


Understand that the earth revolving on its axis around the sun causes the seasons.


A styrofoam ball, a knitting needle, a thumbtack

A source of light that emanates in all directions (lamp without a shade)


The tilt of the earth on its axis determines the earth's three different climates. The Arctic and Antarctic have polar climates. The areas between them and the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn are temperate zones whose climate consists of four seasons (summer, winter, spring, fall). Places between the Tropics have a tropical climate and are warm all year, as the sun's light hits them very directly. When one pole is in daylight, it is dark at the other. Each pole has six months of light, then six months of darkness.


Ask: What benefits do the people on earth get from the sun? (light and heat) Ask the children if they know of other sources of direct heat. Perhaps some of them have seen space heaters or open fireplaces. Ask: When do you feel the most heat from a heater, fireplace, or a match? (when you are very close to it) Ask: What happens when you step away from the heater or fireplace? (You don't feel the heat as intensely.) Ask: Where does the earth get its heat? (from the sun) Ask: When would you feel warmer, when the earth is closer to the sun or when the earth is further away from the sun? (closer to the sun) Discuss the answers. Be sure all children understand that the closer one is to the heat source, the warmer one will be. Consequently we feel warmer when the earth is nearer the sun. Ask: If the earth were always the same distance from the sun, what would you predict about the temperature on the earth? (It would always be the same.) Ask: Do you think the earth is always the same distance from the sun? (no) Why? (because sometimes it is very hot on the earth and and sometimes very cold)

Push a knitting needle through the center of a styrofoam ball to simulate the earth and its imaginary axis. Explain that each year (12 months - 365 days) the earth makes one revolution around the sun. Tilt the needle at an angle (about 23 degrees) to show the children how the earth is tilted as it makes its revolution around the sun. Remind the children that the earth rotates all the way around on its own axis once every 24 hours causing night and day.

Place a lamp, flashlight, candle, or other source of light on a desk. Tell the children to imagine that the styrofoam ball is the earth and the light source the sun. Demonstrate the styrofoam ball going around the light source as though it were the earth going around the sun. (Be careful to keep the knitting needle at the same angle as you move the styrofoam ball.) Now place a thumbtack in the upper half of the styrofoam ball and tell the children to imagine that this is where Baltimore would be on the earth. Ask the children to watch where "Baltimore" is, relative to the sun. Move the styrofoam ball in a circle around the light source to simulate the earth revolving around the sun. Be sure they can see clearly that for half of the journey the tack is tilted away from the light and during the other half it is tilted toward the light. Ask: What difference would we feel in Baltimore when the earth is tilted these different ways? (colder when tilted away from the sun and warmer when tilted toward the sun) When the ball is on one side of the light, rotate it 180 degrees so that the children will see that during both daylight (tack facing the light) and nighttime (tack facing away from the light) the tack is tilted in the same direction. BCP DRAFT SCI 19

Second Grade - Science - Lesson 8 - Seasonal Cycles

Now move the ball to the opposite side of the light (the tack will be tilted in the opposite direction) and repeat the 180 degree rotation. This will reinforce the concept that the rotation of the earth on its axis every 24 hours does not change the tilt of the axis. In the winter months it is cold both during the daylight hours and the nighttime hours. Ask: Why is it usually warmer during the daylight than at night? (because the sun warms the earth during the day)

You might put this illustration on the board.

Put a second marking on each illustration of the earth and discuss which part is having winter and which summer.

Explain to the children when the part of the earth where we live tips toward the sun, the sunlight shines straight down on it, and we have summer weather. Some of the year, the part of the earth where we live leans away from the sun. The light slants across it and so we have winter. Spring and fall are in-between kinds of seasons. In the spring the weather is changing from winter-cold to summer-warm. In the fall the weather is on its way from warm back to cold again.

As a review, ask the children the source of the earth's heat (the sun). Ask: Is the earth's axis straight up and down? (no) Ask: How does the tilt of the earth's axis affect our weather? (It causes seasons.) Ask: Why it is cold in the winter (the earth is tilted away from the sun). Ask: Is the earth tilted toward the sun or away from the sun during the summer? (It is tilted toward the sun, and, consequently, the weather is warm.)