Introducing the “weather watchers”

I had noticed that the children had been responding well to activities that contain some kind of role play element. (being a hungry spider, looking for sticks in the Magic forest)  With this in mind I wanted to develop my weather theme further. 

I thought about how the children could become a character who would be really interested in the weather and want to learn all about it.

Planning with the children

I asked the children what this person might look like and what might they wear.  Before my eyes James the weather watcher began to appear on the paper.  He was wearing a white lap coat which had weather symbols down the front.  He had black trousers on and had money in his pocket.  He had a variety of weather shaped hats and a huge smile.

Planning with the teachers

In the last delivery session (kites) myself and Anne-Marie delivered the same activity to small groups of children throughout the day.  All the children got the have their turn and we repeated the activity about 6 times.  On reflection I wondered if this was the best use of my time with the children as I have so many ideas for weather related activities.  So I wanted to take a new tactic for this delivery session.  I still wanted all the children to be involved but this time in different ways.  We planned to do a variety of activities throughout the day to see which were the most successful and then these ones could be repeated with the other children at a later date.  As Anne-Marie is learning the activities along with the children she will be very capable of facilitating it when I am not there.  We realised that sharing would be a very important part of this set up, the children will want to know what everyone else has been doing as they will all have different experiences.

After a really exciting planning day I was keen to bring the “weather watchers” to life.

Before the delivery day I put together the weather watchers uniform using the plans the children had made.  I hoped that putting on a costume would help the children to get into the role play and that it would seem like a special experience.  I also put together a weather watchers kit, a box of resources that a weather watcher might need to go about their job.

The weather watchers first secret missions

  The weather watchers came out in small research teams to hear what their secret mission would be, explore the weather watchers kit and to explore the role for the first time.  Once we got over how cute the children looked in their costume we were able to get on with some serious meteorological investigations.  The children first used their eyes and ears to assess the conditions and then each group carried out their own mission.  We decided the missions should be secret firstly because its fun and secondly to make the sharing more special at the end of the day.

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I really enjoyed the freedom to try different things throughout the day and I think the children enjoyed that their mission was special to them.  I hope the children will take ownership of the weather watchers in time and we will see them creating their own learning experiences.

I am looking forward to the next weather watching adventure!

4 responses to “Introducing the “weather watchers””

  1. Hi Sarah….I love the idea of a ‘weather watchers’ kit and your approach to having different activities for each small group. As you discuss, this gives a great opportunity for children to describe their learning to eachother, and a way of exploring how different activities spark different outcomes.
    The children clearly had an exciting day!

  2. They had a great day with a variety of activities. Seeing their animated faces as they changed groups spoke volumes, they were so excited as you led them away in their white coats! It is good to be around with another artist in school, it enriches the whole experience.

  3. Love the lab coats! It’s really interesting to see your practice changing Sarah. I think that it was very perceptive of you to develop an idea that came from the children’s planning in this way. It will be really interesting to see how the children further develop these ideas inbetween sessions and how Anne-Marie supports this to happen. I can’t wait to talk to the Weather Watchers and hope to hear tales of awe and wonder. You are so deserving of cake!!!! 🙂

  4. The children have been carrying on without you Sarah. The white coats are a bit dirtier as they continue being Weather Watchers. They have been making shadows with the sun [yes we have had some] in keeping with our current topic ‘Passage of Time’. We have also had the perfect weather for the children to explore the ‘windy day box’. I think we’ve had enough wind for now.

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