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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Nim's Island Lessons - Chapter 2

~ Wind ~

We started our second week of Island School today by listening to a fun  live island radio station (where, btw, they have help wanted advertisements for the United States CIA clandestine services  - anyone else thinking YIKES).  The kids all enjoyed the fun sounds of the islands while the tiny babies were fed.

This week our focus has been the wind.  "It howled at the door and screamed through the windows; it laughed at Nim because Jack wasn't there, and she didn't know if it was just teasing her or was going to grow into a tree-throwing, hut-smashing storm."   

After reviewing the location of the tropics and it's warm climate,  I explained to the kids how wind forms
  1. The sun warms the areas near the equator more than the areas closer to the poles, therefore the tropics are much warmer than we are at home.
  2. As the Earth warms up, it heats the air above it.
  3. Warm air rises, and as it does so air from elsewhere moves in to take it's place.  This motion is called WIND
The kids were asked to think of some of the jobs of the wind.  Eventually reaching the conclusion that the wind is a source of ENERGY.  

We set up this simple wind & wave experiment.  We discussed how the wind's energy creates WAVES and how waves differ in deep vs shallow water.  The experiment was fun, but we would have needed a much bigger pan to really demonstrate the principle well.  To better illustrate it we showed the kids this great animation of the same principle  (it is the 3rd illustration on the page - make sure to poke around on this site.  There are lots of great activities & games).    

We watched the dramatic effect that waves and wind can have by viewing two videos at the hurricanes site of How Stuff Works.  The kids enjoyed comparing the difference between this hurricane footage and the video shot by Sarah that we looked at last week.  

Professor H's activity video explained that our craft for the day was to make some of Nim's weather measurement equipment.  Specifically, wind-vanes to "measure" wind direction.  Our only addition was a large compass at the base.  This not only made our windvanes more useful, but it also gave us another review of compass directions.  We used a printable compass that we found on Homeschool share.  Afterward we built our own pinwheels and discussed in the very briefest way that that anemometers measure wind speed.  

The printables from the Currclick class have been fabulous if you have the kind of kid who enjoys making lapbooks (and mine love them).   If you haven't registered yet, I highly suggest that you do.  You won't be disappointed.   

Here are a few additional printables:

Want to share our Nim's Island adventure?  Join our Flickr pool to allow your kids to join in the discussion, and share their own photos and videos.


Wendy said...

How lovely to see the all ways you're using Nim! I especially love the pinwheels, and I know Nim would too.

happy reading
Wendy Orr

Tracey said...

WOW Sheryl, Wendy Orr???? That must really make you feel proud of yourself. You are doing a great job! I am getting more by copying what you are doing than anything else. Thanks and keep up the good work.

Sheryl said...

Wendy - Your comment made us smile. Thanks!