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Literature Based Lesson Plans for Maps and Globes - Lesson Seven

Weather Words

If you were asked to describe the weather outside today, how would you do it? Would you talk about the sky or the sun or the wind? What kinds of words can best capture the changes that occur in the weather? When we listen to a weatherman or meteorologist we depend on him/her to describe the weather for us. Sometimes he/she uses maps with symbols on them to demonstrate different weather conditions across the country.

Shared Book Literature Source

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Judy Barrett.

In this creative and humorous story, the town of Chewandswallow experiences some unusual weather. It rains soup and juice, snows mashed potatoes, and blows storms of hamburgers. Truly, this tail makes life delicious.

Other Materials Needed

  • Landscape Picture Map
  • Map Markers

Suggested Lesson

As part of a pre-reading activity, ask the children to preview a videotape of a weather report, previously recorded by you. (If you are unable to videotape a weather report, you might consider making an audiotape, having the children listen for information.) Ask the children to identify any specific terms that are used solely by weathermen. When the tape is finished, invite the children to share terms by creating a list on the chalkboard. Next, introduce the story to the children, asking them to listen for additional terms that a weatherman might use in a weather report.

In a shared book experience, read the story with the children to find terms used by weathermen. Ask the children to create a second list of weather terms on the chalkboard and to compare the second list of terms with the first. The second list of terms will be based on the storyline. The humorous twist of terms in the story clearly stands out as being different. Yet, there is a common thread amidst the terminology. Encourage the children to analyze the two lists to see exactly what it is that makes the terms similar or different.

Show the Landscape Picture Map. Ask the children to refer to the Landscape Picture map. Ask the children to create a weather report that would fit the day pictured on the map. Using poster board, encourage the children to use symbols to coincide with each of the terms used. For example, if it seems top be a "clear" day with "sunshine" and a few "clouds," the children might draw a symbol for the sunshine with a small sun and put that up, or they might put small white patches to represent the clouds, etc.

Group the children into smaller groups. Ask each of the groups to create a weather report for the town of Chewandswallow. Use a calendar and report the weather for a week. Ask one group to create a map, with symbols on it. For example, if it were going to "rain gravy" on Wednesday, the children might put brown raindrops next to the word "Wednesday." If on Friday, there was going to be "pea soup fog" the children might draw a small patch of pear green next to the word "Friday." Ask another group of children to write a weather report that would be used in conjunction with the map. Invite the children to approach the activity as though it were being prepared for television. Encourage the children to refer to the list on the chalkboard for ideas, as it captures many of the phrases so cleverly used by the author. When the children have finished, ask a third group of children to deliver the weather report written by the other two groups. This can be videotaped, if a camera is available. If it is videotaped, you can play the tape for the class, asking them to edit it. If enough changes are offered, a second taping might be made. If so, ask the students to compare both tapes

Lesson  .pdf file (Printable Lesson)

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