We spent the first part of our Physics block studying the dynamics of air and water. Pressure, in all of its various forms, was the main topic of conversation and it was fun to see all of the different ways pressure works when it comes to air and water. (If you want a full run-down of our Physics/Meteorology block, check out this planning post.)
This block gives some great opportunities for outdoor/experiential learning and I think a highlight for the students was our trip to iFly.
These lucky kids got to experience a simulated skydiving jump! They absolutely loved it and there was no better way to experience how surface area influences how air and water work. See how the guide is standing on his feet, while my student is soaring? They all completely understood that it was because they were exposing more surface area to the wind than the guide was.
This kind of thing is so great to do at the end of a block. It allows them to take everything they’ve learned and synthesize it into a unique, one-of-a-kind, memorable, sensory experience. So, pro-tip, wait until the end of the block for those great field trips. They’ll be so much more meaningful.
The iFly trip was the perfect punctuation mark between the two different parts of our physics block. On the Monday after the trip we started taking a look at how the air dynamics that we just finished studying work together to create our weather patterns.
So, what were the great things we learned? (Just as a reminder, my primary resource has been the Golden Guide to Weather.)
The names of the clouds, as defined by mild-mannered pharmacist Luke Howard.
How different types of precipitation are formed.
The layers of the atmosphere, what they’re named and what they’re made of.
How high and low pressure systems work and cause weather.
What tornadoes and hurricanes are and why they form. We took a closer look at Hurricane Katrina and how she managed to cause so much damage.
We also watched our first in-class film, An Inconvenient Truth.
Below are some of the main lesson pages we finished at the end of the physics portion of our block. I’ll follow up with more meteorology pages later.
We’ve got just a couple of days left of this block (we’re building a motor! more on that later) and then we’re on to history.
I really love teaching the sciences because they make for some pretty dramatic observations, but I’m really looking forward to diving into some history. I’m missing story-telling and writing assignments.
Speaking of writing assignments, today I gave my students an Election Project assignment and I’m so excited to see what comes of it!
I’ve taken on a writing project, myself, too. I’m writing an e-book! I’ll post more about it soon, but if you’d like a sneak peek, take a look here.