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5 Creative Ways to Track the Weather with Your Students

We originally started tracking the weather just as a hands on way to help my oldest daughter become familiar with calendars when she was little, but it ended up morphing into much more than that. Over the years we've used our weather data for many different science and math activities. We've counted and tallied weather types, measured and recorded temperatures, made bar graphs, compared how the weather changes from month to month, used our data for simple math calculations, learned about the seasons, made our data into art, and lots more. 

One of my favorite things about tracking the weather, is that it encourages us to slow down and be observant for a few moments every day. This is why I especially love weather tracking methods that include some sort of artistic or creative element. Here are a few of the methods we've used over the years:


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Weather Calendar
When my oldest daughter was kindergarten aged we used a calendar to record the weather. I just printed 12 blank calendars I found online, one for each month, and stuck them in a binder. 

Each day we would talk about the date and the day of week and find it on our calendar. Then I would have her color the square to show that day's weather.


At the end of each month, I would have her count up the totals of sunny, cloudy, and rainy days and use that data to make a bar graph.

Weather Tree
This year we decided to try something new and make a weather tree. I drew up a tree with 12 branches labeled for the 12 months of the year, and each with leaves labeled for each day of that month. At the bottom is a key where we've designated a color for each type of weather. Each day we color the leaf for that day, the color (or colors) to represent that day's weather. For example: today is February 10th and our weather is sunny and breezy. On our key, we designated yellow for sunny and pink for windy, so we would color the February 10th leaf yellow and pink.




Or instead of squeezing an entire year onto one tree, you could do monthly weather trees instead.



If you would prefer a printable weather tree, Free and Unfettered has one here.

Phenology Wheel
Phenology wheels can be a really fun and artistic way to track the weather. To get started, make a circle by tracing a large bowl onto a sheet of paper and divide it into 30 or 31 equal sections, depending how many days in that month (28 or 29 for February). Label the sections 1-30/31, one for each day of the month. 

Each day color the section for that day to show that day's weather. You can also record daily temperatures, moon phase, or even plants and wildlife you come across that month.



Weather Wheel and Tally Mark Chart
Weather wheels and tally mark charts are perfect for preschool aged kids. Our wheel is just a circle cut out of a piece of paper that I divided into 3 equal sections labeled sunny, rainy, and cloudy, with both words and pictures. Then I laminated it and stuck a paper arrow onto the center with a paper fastener. 



It hangs on our wall and each day my preschooler moves the arrow to point to the right weather for that day. Then we add a tally mark to a chart we're using to keep track of how many sunny, cloudy, and rainy days each month. Our chart is just a piece of paper I've divided into three sections, so there's one for each type of weather represented on our wheel. 



Weather Journal 
Another fun way to keep track of the weather and add a little art to your homeschool days is by keeping weather journals. A weather journal is pretty simple. Just have your kids draw a picture or write something descriptive each day about the weather in a sketch journal. 



Extend the Learning 
You can use your monthly, or even yearly weather data for lots of different learning activities. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Use it for simple math by asking your child to calculate things like "how many more sunny days than rainy days in April?" or "what type of weather was there the most of this month?".  

You can use your weather charting to teach preschoolers about the days of the week, months of the year, and the seasons.

Older kids can use their monthly or yearly data to practice their spread sheet skills.

Kids can practice making bar, plot, or pie graphs with their monthly data.

Build a backyard weather lab and record things like temperature, barometric pressure, and wind direction on your weather chart.


If you enjoyed this post, check out:
-Plant Identification With Kids
-Nature Journaling: How to Get Started

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