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Elementary Science

Teach kids (K-2) about wind

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Jacob Germain Jacob Germain 495 Points

Hello, I recently taught a workshop in my science class with some colleagues pertaining to air and weather. Here is a fun way in which students can be engaged in understanding the concept air: Have students use materials and learn how to make a pinwheel. Bring in a box fan (or go outside weather permitting) in order to test the pinwheels to show these young students how cool wind can be. Hands-on activities are a great way to teach just about anything in science. A good anticipatory set to the activity could be reading a page or two from a trade book that contains real world connections to pinwheels in some way. I used "Experiment with Air" by Bryan Murphy. There is a page or two in the book that briefly discusses wind mill farms and the connection to electricity. Below is a great example on how to create a pinwheel (pinwheel cut-outs can be found under Google images). Fossweb.com provides access to a wide variety of learning opportunities for students. -Click the "Grades K-2" tab -Click "Air and Weather" -Click teacher/parent info -Click teacher resources -Click teacher prep videos -The Pinwheel example is under Investigation 3 - Wind Explorations I would advise cutting the pinwheel cut-outs for students prior to doing the activity in order save some time. Thanks for reading! -Jake

Jocelin Reyes Jocelin Reyes 1245 Points

That is a great way to teach about wind. I found a great book to go along with it and some other resources as well. This will work out just right for my kids. Especially because it is a hands on activity. I have always found those to be more fun and more engaging. Thanks for the help.

Betty Paulsell Betty Paulsell 48560 Points

Jake, I just found an article that would I believe would go well with your wind unit. It deals with windmills and also has some variations on pinwheels. I will attach it to this posting.

Maureen Stover Maureen Stover 41060 Points

Hi Jake, Thanks for posting such a detailed recap of the workshop you taught. Are the FOSS web resources you used available to everyone or are they part of the FOSS kits access? I really like the way you included a book as an anticipatory set. Excellent suggestion! I've found that young, K-2, students sometimes find it difficult to understand "air" because they cannot see it, feel it, hear it, or taste it. On the other hand, when it's windy the kids can feel the air. I agree that anything hands on is a great way to teach science! I also begin my units on air by introducing wind. Your idea to use a box fan, if it's not windy outside, is an great idea! I've attached a collection of articles from the NSTA Learning Center that I've found useful when writing lessons. Thanks for starting this thread! Maureen

wind Collection (5 items)
Chad Johnson Chad Johnson 70 Points

Yes this is a good resource for that age group. Sue Garcia, a great teacher in Texas has used this along with many other resources for wind energy. If you are looking for more resources, KidWind Project has taken the complexity out of wind energy, allowing for students to get involved and learn how wind can do work and how we are able to harness that. We do commonly have the same challenges with the younger age levels, but working with them with wind turbines and the ways we scale up the understanding has allowed KidWind to develop lessons and kits that help students absorb and understand the concepts behind wind energy.

Maureen Stover Maureen Stover 41060 Points

Chad,

Thanks for adding the information about Kid Wind. I had not heard of this organization before, but after a quick look at the web site, it looks pretty fantastic! I was very impressed with the free teacher resource section. Thanks for passing along this great resource!

Maureen

Chad Johnson Chad Johnson 70 Points

No Problem Maureen. Thanks for checking it out.
Be sure to check out the videos Docs/Videos page. This page is a quick reference for all of out product videos and instruction manuals Power Points and other resources.

We also have a completely FREE wind Curriculum.(pist...keep it a secret tho. ;) hehe) It can be found here at WindWise Curriculum. A great lesson for elementary that you can do with stuff found in your classroom is WindWise UNIT 3 How Does a Windmill Work?.

Let me know if you have any questions or would like more specific info on what would be most appropriate for a certain grade level.

Elena Snow Elena Snow 595 Points

Great idea with the windmill! I have had success with creating kites with my kindergartners in the past, but haven't thought of windmills. Thank you for the inspiration!

Chad Johnson Chad Johnson 70 Points

Great Hope you like them I have some easy to use and set up ideas for the young ones. Send me a notes about the "KidWind Hub Clips" one of our newest employees created them and they make windmills with little ones that much easier. The windmill drag race is awesome as well. I would love to share this, let me know if you are interested... Also if you are placing an order send me a note as well and I may be able to help with a discount. Chad@kidwind.org

Chad Johnson Chad Johnson 70 Points

Great Hope you like them I have some easy to use and set up ideas for the young ones. Send me a notes about the "KidWind Hub Clips" one of our newest employees created them and they make windmills with little ones that much easier. The windmill drag race is awesome as well. I would love to share this, let me know if you are interested... Also if you are placing an order send me a note as well and I may be able to help with a discount. Chad@kidwind.org

Lilian Franklin Lilian Franklin 945 Points

As we begin to have more windy days to chart on our preschool calendar, I am excited to have come across this topic in the community forum. I have been working in the SciPack Resources and Human Impact and have begun thinking about ways I can help my young students start to learn and think about earth's natural energy resources and how we can all do our part in protecting them.

Jake's pinwheels and Elena's kites are great ideas to start off with introducing the concept of wind with my preschoolers. The children are already familiar with these "toys" and so we can begin discussing how they work. They'll figure out, if they haven't already, that wind is the source of energy for making these toys work. Betty, Maureen, and Chad, thank you for your resources as I am sure I will discover more ideas and activities to use with my young scientists as they learn about wind being more than just a weather phenomenon.

Chad Johnson Chad Johnson 70 Points

Lilian, Thanks for the post. Feel free to tap me as a resource for ideas and materials. I have worked with teachers of all grade levels to find what works best for them. Pinwheels are a great start but there are also very simple exercises to identify the wind doing work and showing the students how the mechanism works. this is the first step for the young ones that we have here at KidWind. give me a call or shoot me a email if you would like to know more. Chad

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