Last week we were discussing where rain came from and how it got up there in the first place. A few of the answers were amusing like “It’s God crying” and “Birds carry it up there.” While we celebrated the original thinking we thought about it for a while and then came to conclusions that perhaps birds didn’t actually carry the rain up there as none of us had every seen birds with buckets or anything that they could carry rain in and that perhaps the amount of rain that fell was probably a little heavy for a bird to carry. We also pondered that if it was God crying then why was he really, really sad in winter as it rains more during that time. Following this exchange of ideas we started talking about the water cycle and how the sun heats the water and the water vapour then rises into the air. We all pretended we were little rain drops in the big ocean and the sun came along and warmed us up. We floated up, up, up to the sky. When we got higher we got colder and turned back into raindrops and fell to the ground again. The children enjoyed role playing this and it helped them to consolidate their understanding of how rain is made.
After our discussion we logged into the Bureau of Meterology website to look at the weather radar images in our area for the day. I asked the children which country it was in the pic above and was greeted by silence (which was a little scary!). I asked again and someone said Harvey. I explained that Harvey is a town, not a country. I said it starts with Au…. and then a little light went on and someone said “Australia!” The children were fascinated when I told them that this is a picture of Australia from space. I told them there were satellites orbiting the earth and that they take pictures of Australia. Once we loaded up the radar image and watched the rain that was falling around Western Australia I explained how the colour key at the bottom worked. We looked at the key and found places where it was raining a little, a lot or not at all.
To follow up our talk about rain we made rain clouds at the activity tables. Here’s a step by step walk through: