Wednesday, 24 April 2013

5 ways to explore Air and Wind

During our unit on weather, we had been Learning about Clouds, Exploring the Water Cycle and learning about 6 ways to Explore Rain, Hail and Snow. My son then wanted to learn about wind and how it works. Here are some of the things we did to learn about air and wind.

We started our learning about Air and Wind by with reading some information books. We read The Magic School Bus Inside a Hurricane, Rides the Wind (early Reader) and Twister Trouble (chapter book). We also read the Science Vocabulary Readers titled Tornadoes and Hurricanes. I find that my son is more motivated to read independently when the books are based on his area of interest.

How and Why Air Moves Experiment
From reading these books, we wanted to know how and why air moves. So we conducted this experiment. Here is what we did:
  1. Fill a large bowl with room temperature water
  2. Fill one cup with cold water from the fridge and add blue food dye/colouring to it.
  3. Fill another cup with hot water from the kettle and add red food dye/colouring to it.
  4. Place a rock in the bottle of both cups and lower the cups, at the same time, into the bowl of water
  5. Observe how the cold, blue water that represents cold air, sinks to the bottom while the red water that represents hot air, rises to the top.  
  6. We concluded that as hot air rises, cold air rushes in to fill it's place which causes the air to move and the wind to blow .

How Air Expands and Pressure Experiment
Now that we knew that hot air rises and cold air sinks, we wanted to see how hot air expands and learn about air pressure. Here is how we conducted this experiment:
  1. Place a balloon over the top of a glass bottle trapping the room-temperature air inside the bottle
  2. Placed the bottle into a saucepan has water in it and turned on the heat
  3. As the water heats up, it also heats the air inside the bottle making the air expanded and flowed into the balloon 
  4. We observed how the hot air expanded the balloon as the air pressure increased.

Tornado Experiment
From reading the book about Tornadoes, it stirred some curiosity in my son as he wanted to know more about how winds and tornadoes worked. I found this demonstration of DIY Tornado in a Jar and had to try it. This is how we did it:
  1. Filled up a glass jar with tap water. 
  2. Added a few drops of dish washing liquid
  3. Put on the lid (don't forget this step!)
  4. Shook the jar from side to side (up and down does not work)
  5. Then watched the tornado funnel form      

We recorded our learning by using an activity sheet I made in order to encourage writing and reflection. You can download the activity sheet by clicking on the picture below.
Wind Crafts
In order to be able to hear the wind, we made Clanking Can Wind Chimes. We dug through our recycling collection and selected cans of different sizes. Here is how we did this:
  1. Using a nail and a hammer, make a small whole in the top of the tin cans 
  2. Use paint to decorate the tin cans
  3. Once the paint is dry, thread string/wool through the hole in the tin and tie a knot around a paper clip to keep the tin cans in place.   
They make a unique sound which lets us know when the air is moving and the wind is blowing.

After making the wind chimes, we got talking about the direction (north, south, east, west) that wind travels. Using more recyclables, a cardboard tube and a plastic bag (stapler), we made ourselves a weather vane. We took our weather vane outside and was able to see what direction (north, south, east, west) the wind was coming from.  

If you would like to see some more activity ideas on weather, visit my pinterest board.

This blog post has been linked up with:
Discover and Explore
Poppins Book Nook

1 comment:

  1. This is a very informative education blog where it has shows 5 different ways to air and wind there is given different example like how air moves , how air expands etc... it is non only informative but also help students for helping in there in their school projects..

    Francois Sainfort