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ELA GK:M2

Learning through Science and Story: Weather Wonders

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In this module, students build their literacy and science skills as they engage in a study of the weather. The module begins with a story about a young girl named Sofia who is curious about the weather. Sofia wants to learn more about how she can be prepared for any type of weather, and she asks the kindergarten students to help her in this quest. In Unit 1, students study the science of weather through various informational texts. They create a class weather journal and track their individual learning in a meteorologist’s notebook.

In Unit 2, students broaden their study as they think about how weather affects people in different places around the world and characters in a variety of narrative texts. Students engage in close read-alouds of: On the Same Day in March: A Tour of the World’s Weather by Marilyn Singer and Come on, Rain! by Karen Hesse. Students also read and retell several narrative texts about the experiences of children in different types of weather, including Brave Irene by William Steig, Umbrella by Taro Yashima, and One Hot Summer Day by Nina Crews. Students continue to observe the local weather as they write daily entries in individual weather journals.

In Unit 3, students listen to The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats read aloud and continue to think about how the weather affects the choices people make about what to wear and what to do each day. They then use this book as a mentor text for their performance task, in which they plan and write an imaginary narrative about how the weather on a particular day affected what a person wore and did. They revise, edit, and practice reading their original narratives in preparation for sharing them with families and friends at an end of module Weather Expo. This performance task centers on CCSS ELA W.K.3, W.K.5, L.K.1a, L.K.2a, L.K.2c, L.K.2dL.K.6.

Big Ideas & Guiding Questions

  • What is weather?
  • How can I be prepared for any type of weather?
  • The combination of sun, wind, and clouds makes the weather.
  • What is weather like around the world?
  • Weather can be different in different places and at different times.
  • How does weather affect people?
  • How can I write a story that teaches my reader about weather?
  • Weather has a great impact on the daily life of living things.
  • Weather affects the choices we make.
  • People write stories to entertain and teach others.

The Four T's

  • Topic : Weather Wonders: A Study of Weather in Science and Story
  • Task: My Weather Story: An Imaginary Weather Narrative
  • Targets: (standards taught and assessed): W.K.3, W.K.5, L.K.1a, L.K.2a, L.K.2c, L.K.2d, and L.K.6
  • Text: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Content Connections

This module is designed to address English Language Arts standards and to be taught during the content-based literacy block of the school day. The module also intentionally incorporates social studies content that many teachers across the nation are expected to address in kindergarten. These intentional connections are described below. (Based on your state or district context, teachers may also choose to address additional specific social studies or science standards during other parts of the school day.)

Science (based on NGSS):

ESS2.D: Weather and Climate

Weather is a combination of sunlight, wind, snow or rain, and temperature in a particular region at a particular time. People measure these conditions to describe and record the weather and to notice patterns over time.

C3 Framework for Social Studies:

  • D2.Geo.4.K-2: Explain how weather, climate, and other environmental characteristics affect people’s lives in a place or region.

Habits of Character / Social Emotional Learning Focus

  • Central to EL Education curriculum is a focus on “habits of character” and social-emotional learning. Students work to become effective learners, developing mindsets and skills for success in college, career, and life (e.g., initiative, responsibility, perseverance, collaboration); work to become ethical people, treating others well and standing up for what is right (e.g., empathy, integrity, respect, compassion); and work to contribute to a better world, putting their learning to use to improve communities (e.g., citizenship, service).
  • In this module, students work to become effective learners by learning about, practicing, and reflecting on the habits of responsibility and perseverance.

Assessment

  • Each unit in the K-2 Language Arts Curriculum has one standards-based assessment built in. The module concludes with a performance task at the end of Unit 3 to synthesize their understanding of what they accomplished through supported, standards-based writing.

(Create a free account to access assessments.)

Performance Task

My Weather Story: An Imaginary Weather Narrative

In this performance task, students write an imaginary narrative about a character’s experience with the weather, using The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats as a mentor text. Students’ narratives reflect how the weather affects the choices the character makes about what to wear and what to do. Students use group notes, puppets, and oral planning as scaffolding to illustrating and writing their stories. They also revise, edit, and practice reading their original narratives in preparation for sharing them with families and friends during the end of module celebration: A Weather Expo. This task addresses CCSS ELA W.K.3, W.K.5, L.K.1a, L.K.2a, L.K.2c, L.K.2d, and L.K.6.

Materials

  • See each Unit Overview for a list of any unusual physical materials required (such as puppets or props) for module lessons.

Texts to Buy

Texts that need to be procured. Please download the Trade Book List for procurement guidance.


Text Quantity ISBNs
Umbrella
by Taro Yashima
One per Classroom
Brave Irene
by William Steig
One per Classroom
On the Same Day in March: A Tour of the World’s Weather
by Marilyn Singer and Frane Lessac
Six per Classroom
Weather (National Geographic Readers)
by Kristin Baird Rattini
Six per Classroom
The Snowy Day
by Ezra Jack Keats
Six per Classroom
Come On, Rain!
by Karen Hesse
Six per Classroom
Weather Words and What They Mean
by Gail Gibbons
Six per Classroom
One Hot Summer Day
by Nina Crews
One Per Classroom

Module-at-a-Glance

Each module is approximately 6-8 weeks of instruction broken into 3 units. The "week at a glance" chart in the curriculum map gives the big picture, breaking down the module into a detailed week-by-week view. It shows how the module unfolds, the focus of each week of instruction, and where the six assessments and the performance task occur.

Labs

Labs are 1 hour of instruction per day. They are designed to promote student proficiency and growth.

There are 5 distinct Labs: Explore, Engineer, Create, Imagine, and Research. Each of the Labs unfolds across an entire module and takes place in four stages: Launch, Practice, Extend, and Choice and Challenge.

During their Lab time, students break up into smaller Lab groups and go to separate workstations (tables or other work spaces around the classroom). This structure creates a small collaborative atmosphere in which students will work throughout their Labs experience. It also supports the management of materials (since each workstation has its own materials).

Connections to the Labs

Labs continue to provide students with an engaging, hands-on place to build habits of character, literacy skills, and module related content understanding. There are four Labs for the second module: Create, Explore, Imagine, and Research. The labs are directly connected to the content of the module and should be implemented alongside the imodule lessons.

Labs for this module focus on having students:

  • Research extreme weather through close viewing of weather photographs
  • Engage in role-playing experiences with different types of weather scenarios, and act out narrative stories read throughout the module
  • Build structures that can withstand certain types of weather (e.g., wind- or rainproof shelters)
  • Create detailed drawings of weather scenes and people within those scenes

Connections to the Reading Foundations Skills Block

The Reading Foundations Skills Block is an hour of instruction that teaches students how to crack the alphabetic code. This block supports reading and writing conventions necessary for student success in the Integrated Reading block, covering all Reading Foundations Standards and the Language Standards associated with spelling. Research- and Standards-based instructional practices are designed to support teachers as they teach students how to read, write, and analyze words. Built-in instructional supports and resources provide teacher guidance for differentiation in both the Whole and Small Group settings based on each student’s Phase of Reading and Spelling Development. The Skills Block includes one hour of instruction: 15–20 minutes of Whole Group and 45 minutes of Differentiated Small Group instruction.

Skills Block lessons for this module focus on having students:

  • Continue to identify the name, shape, and sound of letters
  • Continue to identify rhyming words and syllables in words
  • Continue to name the onset (beginning sound) and rime (ending chunk)
  • Prepare to use phonemic awareness (identifying the individual sounds in words) and letter sound knowledge to begin to decode simple VC (vowel, consonant) and CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words.

Refer to each cycle overview for more detailed information regarding that cycle, including information about what to prepare in advance and extension opportunities.

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