Young children love exploring the fascinating topic of weather, sparking their curiosity about the world around them. Kindergarten is the perfect time to introduce them to the wonders of weather through engaging and hands-on activities. This NGSS-aligned kindergarten weather unit follows the 5E’s of Instruction, incorporating phenomenon, STREAM stations (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, and Math), 3-dimensional lessons, and exciting science projects to show what they have learned about the weather concepts. In this blog post, let’s explore fun weather games for kindergarten students they are sure to love!
The 5E’s of Instruction in Weather Science
My NGSS-aligned weather unit follows the 5E’s of Instruction:
Each stage encourages young learners to ask questions, make observations, and build their understanding of weather vocabulary and phenomena.
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Engage – Capture Their Curiosity by Teaching Phenomenon
To kick off our weather theme, we start with the phenomenon: Temperature rises during the day and drops at night. Ask students to share their experiences with temperature changes throughout the day and night.
Part of the NGSS requires students to analyze and interpret data. Therefore, have the students help record the following week’s morning, afternoon, and night temperatures. Before we begin, I have students predict what they think will happen regarding the temperature. Over the week, record the temperature to analyze. You can use thermometers or online resources.
Grab my free Engage Weather resource to try a phenomenon lesson with your students.
Explore – Dive into Weather Activities
In the Explore phase, we set up STREAM stations that cover Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, and Math. These stations are a great way to provide hands-on experiences for children to learn about different types of weather. Doing one station daily is the easiest way to implement these activities in Kindergarten.
Science Weather Station
In the science center, students match a weather event to its description. Since students in Kindergarten may struggle to read, you might want to do this activity as a whole group. In the example below, students match the picture representing a rainy day to its description. If you do it as a whole group lesson, add the cards to a pocket chart for students to manipulate.
Technology Weather Station
The technology station for this unit is created in Google Slides. In this fun game, students sort weather cards to show the type of weather it represents. However, there are so many online games to help students understand the concept of weather.
Here are some educational games I found:
ABCya – Dress for the Weather
ESL Kids Games – Date and Weather Interactive Chart
PBS Kids – Sid the Science Kid
Epic – Weather Book Collection
Add a few of these free games to your weather lesson plans.
Full disclosure: This post has Amazon links that is an affiliate link, which means if you purchase through that link, I receive a very small percentage of the sale.
Reading Weather Station
Dive into weather books to expand your vocabulary about weather forecasts or words. Here is a list of my favorite weather books.
Come On, Rain!
by Karen Hesse
It Looked Like Spilled Milk
by Charles G. Shaw
May I Come In?
by Marsha Diane Arnold
The Rain Came Down
by David Shannon
When the Wind Blows
by Linda Booth Sweeney
by Sam Usher
by Gail Gibbons
by Gail Gibbons
by Tedd Arnold
National Geographic First Book of Weather by Karen de Seve (on Epic)
Types of Preciptiation (Water All Around Us)
by Nadia Higgons
What Will the Weather Be?
by Lynda DeWitt
Engineering Weather Station
This engineering station is such a fun activity! At least, my grandson thought so. Explore wind speed with Lego Wind Races. Start this station by asking students about sails. Explore different designs and have students create their own. The kids go through the design process to build their Lego car and create their sail. Then, test them out in a variety of wind-powered ways. Some examples include:
- Blowing on the sail (softly or with more force)
- Using a fan
Discuss how students can modify their sails and cars to improve their design. Also, you might discuss how wind direction and speed affected how fast their car crossed the finish line.
Art Weather Station
I’ve always loved the book, “It Looks Like Spilled Milk.” In this station, I have students create cloud designs with cotton balls and then write about their designs. In this example, the cloud patterns looked like spilled milk.
These masterpieces would be a great classroom wall display.
Math Weather Station
Students play a game with dice during this station to create patterns and build graphs. For more advanced or older students, discuss the data using the provided discussion cards once the chart is complete.
See all of the stations in action.
Explain – Weather Lessons
During the “Explain” phase, we dive deeper into weather concepts with the 3-Dimensions of Learning. During the first lesson, students use all three dimensions to identify and describe different weather conditions in their region, analyze a weather chart over time, and look for patterns.
This lesson ensures students analyze and interpret data, which is a Science and Engineering Practice (SEP), and look for patterns (a Crosscutting Concept) while learning about the Disciplinary Core Idea (DCI), which is weather and climate. Check out my video below if you’d like to understand how NGSS is organized.
Students also explored different shelters and used the design process to create a weather shelter. Plus, they practiced what they learned about patterns to create pattern bracelets.
Elaborate – Exciting Projects and Weather Games
During the elaborate phase, students create projects. For Kindergarten, I always have students choose from one of the following:
Weather Poster – Create a weather poster that showcases what they’ve learned about rainfall or sunny days. This project reinforces their knowledge visually.
Weather Collage – Encourage artistic expression by having students make a weather collage using construction paper, cotton balls, and other art supplies.
Book Creator Book – Let young authors shine by having them create a book. This project enhances their literacy skills and allows them to share their knowledge with peers.
Weather Report Video – Foster creativity, listening, and speaking skills by having students record weather reports. I like to use my iPad and DoInk Green Screen for this project.
For younger children, this can be hard to manage, so some ways to modify these projects include:
- Help students in a small group to create one of the projects.
- Have students work in groups to make a collage.
- Have students create one page in Book Create and combine the pages to make a class book.
- Do the weather report video with more advanced students as an enrichment activity.
Evaluate – Assessing Understanding through Performance Expectations
The performance expectation for the standard K-ESS2-1 requires the following: Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time. (Clarification Statement: Examples of qualitative observations could include descriptions of the weather (such as sunny, cloudy, rainy, and warm); quantitative observations have numbers of sunny, windy, and rainy days in a month. Examples of patterns could include that it is usually cooler in the morning than in the afternoon and the number of sunny days versus cloudy days in different months.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment of quantitative observations limited to whole numbers and relative measures such as warmer/cooler.]
What students need to do:
- Use and share observations of local weather conditions and describe patterns.
- They need to do it qualitatively – I provided different weather cards for students to sort to show what type of weather is shown on the card.
- They need to do it quantitatively – Look at the weather patterns that occurred for the month. Students clip the card to show the correct answer.
Teaching weather is a fundamental skills that children should understand. Kindergarteners enjoy learning about this topic in a hands-on way. Following the 5E’s of Instruction and incorporating STREAM stations, games, and projects, you create a classroom environment where young children thrive as budding meteorologists.
With various daily weather games and charts, you’ll make learning fun and foster a deep understanding of an Earth science topic. So, let the adventures begin to explore weather, one game and experiment at a time!
If you would like to teach part or the complete bundle, click on the resources below: