Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sixteen Tornadoes Touch Down in Norwalk!

This class is so enamored of tornadoes that despite the fact that we do not have that weather phenomenon in our area, we decided to do some investigating. 

We read a very interesting first person account that was actually given by a four year old in 1935.  The children were mesmerized when we read that she climbed down in to her basement and listened to the terrible noises of the storm. When she was able to come back up the stairs, the house was intact, but it had been picked up, spun around and set back down backwards.  The front door was now where the back door had been. 

Finding a gem to read like this does take some work on your part as the teacher. 

First¸ you do need to make a commitment to visiting your local libraries each time your students’ interests change and making good friends with the librarians.  This is key, as you will be testing the limits of how many books they want to comfortably let you check out at a time.

Second, you need read through the material.  Most non-fiction books are not geared to be a read alouds for preschool age children, but they have fantastic photographs!  Don’t lose out on the opportunity to use these books; skim, find appropriate snippets and share them when they fit.

           The activity we chose to help them understand the concept of the cold air crashing against the warm air and starting to spin forming the tornado is the tornado tube.  I have made these before with children and knew they were a big hit, so we decided that each child would want his/her own. 

           This is when it can be tough with emergent curriculum because you often don’t have a lot of time for advanced planning and for one tornado tube you need two empty 2 liter soda bottles.  You have rely on involved parents and send out notes and email requesting what you need and why!  Within a week and a half I had enough to make 16 tubes. 

           For those of you who have never made them:
1.         1.Remove labels from bottles and wash them out.  
                Caps are not needed, but the two bottles 
                 have to be the same shape.
2.         2.Fill one bottle half way with water.
               We added a bit of color for interest.
3.         3.Cover the lid of the first bottle with very strong 
                foil-such as from a takeout container.
4.         4.Poke a hole in the foil about 1cm wide
5.         5.Put the other bottle on the top and seal tightly 
                with duct tape.
6.         6.Turn the bottle over so the water is at the top.
                While holding the middle where the duct tape
                is swirl the top very fast in a circular motion     
                and then stop.  A tornado should begin.

These storms sure brought smiles!!  Give it a try.  Let me know how it goes.

No comments:

Post a Comment