For our weather unit, we made our own instruments. Over spring break, Paula sent us on a scavenger hunt to find items needed to make our instruments. We finished our weather instrument making! The barometers showed a bit of adjustment today since the storm came through last night. We recorded our weather during calendar time which keeps track what the weather is like (windy, sunny, thunderstorm, cloudy, etc) the temp (weather.com) and what kind of clouds are in the sky.
We started by talking about the seasons. This was part of Claire's winter unit so she was already knowledgeable about this. I took an orange and drew the equator on it. Then I poked toothpicks on either end to show that the earth rotates on it's axis. We used the lamp in our room as the sun. We discussed what it looks like in a 24 hour period (the earth rotates once around it's axis) and in a year (earth revolves round the sun once). Jorge piped in that his mom has already taught him this as she (earth) revolved around him (the sun) while she also spun around! The students saw how the light of the bulb reflected on the orange during the different seasons. We went a bit further and discussed how Alaska is dark almost all day in the winter and has sunlight during the summer. I asked BJ if he could explain the seasons to his mom using an orange and he said, "I think so. Why?" I explained that you truly understand something if you can explain it to another person.