Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What Do You Do Wednesdays

Attention: This isn't a mommy post today. I need everyone's creative brain...

New to "What do you do Wednesday?"

Here's how it started.

From this point, until school starts, I'm going to use the What Would You Do Wednesday posts for entirely selfish reasons.

Most of the time, What Would You Do Wednesday posts are about a general topic. This community of readers puts our heads together and shares our ideas for doing certain things.

So far we've covered Favorite Breakfast Ideas, Favorite Soups, Family Worship, What to do with your kids instead of letting them watch TV, Favorite Internet Sites, How to inspire creativity in kids, Laundry Solutions, favorite recipes to cook when having people over, sleepovers, fevers, an entire series on efficiently running a house, and a whole week of ideas for being frugal.

Although I have mapped out our school year, and have an entire year of lesson plans printed out and organized, my favorite thing about teaching is finding fun activities, field trips, books and movies that go along with every unit. I strongly believe that the most effective way to teach my kids, is by completely saturating their brains with a topic.

Hopefully, although entirely selfish in nature, these posts will help other teachers, mothers of preschoolers and homeschooling moms.

Here's how these posts will work...

I'm going to give out a topic that we will be covering in school this year. Then, I would love for YOU to help me brainstorm great movies, shows, books, field trips, etc. that go along with each unit.

What books on the topic have you enjoyed? Have you ever seen a documentary on that topic? Maybe you could recommend visiting a Habachi grill during the Japan unit...stuff like that.

We'll do two topics a week.

This week's topics...

WEATHER (Meteorology)



Can't wait to hear your ideas.

Remember...we're not looking for units, or the actual "school" things to teach about each topic. Most of us have a curriculum we are already following.

I'm looking for...



field trip ideas



That kind of stuff.

Thanks in advance! Mothers and teachers everywhere will be so happy you shared your creative brains!

I'll add my ideas in the comment section as well.


Trent and Andrea said...

Trent and I went to the Body World exhibit over Christmax break in Houston at the museum and it was fascinating!!! I know they tour the US all year so maybe it is coming back soon! No better way to learn about the body than to see it in real life-I kinda had to psyche myself up in order to not get grossed out but it was so cool!

Courtney said...

Some friends of ours called our local TV weatherman and he gave them a personal tour of the studio. I don't know if yours would do the same-worth a shot!

The Williams Family said...

Ask Matt Mosier if he's got any cool connections at A&M for a weather demo of some kind or field trip idea he might have...he's basically a big kid too, I bet he's got awesome ideas!

Rachel said...

For videos, I like to browse
They have tons of excellent quality videos on a wide variety of topics (you can search by topic, which would be helpful in your case). The only thing is pretty much all info. about science is from an evolutionary perspective. But I'm sure you've dealt with that before. It's all free, so I hope you can find some use for it!

Anonymous said...

My husband would be a weatherman if he weren't a pastor so I bought him a temperature, barometer and humidity gauge at a garage sale. We have fun looking at it each day and its fun to watch the barometer change when a storm is rolling in. You can also make a tornado or hurricane by taking two liter bottles and taping them together. I am sure you could google the directions.

Ricci said...

Josh and I got my dad "When Weather Changed History" (a Weather Channel Series) last year for his birthday. It's a really neat series. Here's the link to the dvds:
If you think you'd want to look them over, let me know. We're going to my parent's home this weekend so I can pick them up for you to look at.

It's a neat way to see how weather has played a part in what has happened in world history. I used to tease my dad about watching Weather Channel, but it's got some cool things.

For Human Body stuff...I agree with Andrea, Body World is suppose to be awesome. We haven't gottena chance to see it yet, but it looks neat. Hayden would probably point out every neat/gross thing about it. I would PAY to see Hayden walk through that exhibit and hear his comments.

Ricci said...

Forgot... this is the direct site to the show. It has episode previews and showtimes. So, maybe you could DVR it if they have new ones that work better!

The Lopases said...

Hurricane Season was always, and still is, my favorite season growing up. Hurricanes FASCINATE me.

One thing my dad and I did one hurricane season was map out and track all the hurricanes. We bought a piece of white poster board and traced the East coastline and the southern coastline in the gulf and all the islands on the tope left side of the poster. then drew the north westernmost coast of Africa in the bottom right. The majority of the poster was just blank, representing the Atlantic. It looked just like the weather channel! and then we cut out those swirly red hurricane symbols that look like those on the weather channel. every time there was a hurricane, I would right its name on a swirly thing and tape it on the board. I watched the weather channel CONSTANTLY, learning about the storm and watching its path. I would move my symbol as the hurricane moved closer and closer to the US, drawing a dashed line with black sharpie behind it so you could see its course. Then when it hit, I would glue it to the spot of the American coast it hit and it would stay there. My whole board was full by the end of the season!! it was the funnest thing EVER! and I also made a chart of each ones progress, so I could track windspeeds and all that. It really got me even more interseted in these storms and I WANTED to learn everything about them and I was glued to the weather channel for the tropical storm updates on the hour.

And to think, I was public schooled and did this for FUN! nerdy, i know...


Landreneau Family said...

National Geographic's website has tons of stuff on lots of topics...check there!

The Mengers said...

There's a Magic School Bus book for every science concept you can think of. The weather one is very good and there's also one on the water cycle that relates very well to weather. There's also one where they take a trip inside someone's body. There may even be several of those.

You can find videos of almost all Magic School Bus shows along with a lot of other very informative videos at

Brandi said...

There are lots of tornado videos on youtube that my kids like to watch. also get a rain gauge and track that, relate it to the garden, etc.

the book "a child is born" by lennart nilsson has lots of intrauterine photographs of fetuses. if you were talking about embryology or development they're fascinating. some photographs may not be age-appropriate (um, conception?) so you'd have to hold the book and show them the photos you wanted them to see. i've been using the book to talk to the kids about the baby. also grab a guinness book of world records. they have tons of great pictures: longest fingernails, tallest man, crazy stuff like that.

Laura Stiller said...

When we studied the human body (I was homeschooled K-12th) we LOVEd the Magic School bus books. I even had to write my own "magic bus" story when we studied the human body one year (as in, pick a system and write like you're traveling through it).

When we studied the ear we actually built an ear we could crawl thru - we used a kiddie tunnel for the ear canal and had all these "makeshift" parts taped around so we could give a "tour" of the ear.

We dissected hogs eye balls (which I believe my Mom got for free from the local Owens Farm) and learned all of the eye ball parts in 3-d (IT WAS AMAZING - I LOVED THAT - even though it was disgusting.) Later on when we were older we dissect a hogs heart to learn all the parts.

Anyways - those are just a few of the fun ideas my Mom did with us.

Anonymous said...

hey Heather. My HS group had the local weather man come out. Maybe for a group of you????

ASLO: When you print out the leasson plans from CORE CIRR. do you print out ALL the peages? Sometimes they are 50-60 pages long. It seems wasteful.....
Just wondering....Love...jana

Hendrick Family said...

Yes, Jana. I print the new units I need every year, but I haven't found that to be wasteful, since they can go in binders to be used when the next child enters that grade. It is so helpful to me to have the units all out and accessible to me, when teaching multiple grades, using multiple units.


beccaellis said...

When I taught health, I had the students trace themselves onto paper and then draw their skeletal systems and lable each bone. They liked it. You could do the same for most of the systems of the body.

missy said...

Check out Houston's Health Museum

Haven't been there yet but planning on it before school starts us again! Looks like a really cool place to visit for both kids and adults!

Hendrick Family said...

For Meteorology...

I contacted the Meteorology dept at Texas A&M. Kaycee is thinking with me about a field trip.

I contacted KBTX. Haven't heard back from them.

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs will be a good read.

The movie is coming out this year too.

For a creative activity, I made time to go cloud watching. We'll watch the clouds together, talk about what we see...and then write a story about another world in the clouds.

We'll do something with cool-whip. It just looks like a cloud, so that will be fun, and tasty.

We have several sayings in our book they can learn during this unit. When it rains it pours. It's raining cats and dogs.

I am buying a rain gauge. A couple of the males in this house will love one of those.

I think the Houston Children's museum has a green screen. That could be a fun field trip.

For Human Body...

All the Magic School bus videos about the body are fantastic.

The Health Museum in Houston is a place we're going.

Also...The Health Museum in Houston does DISSECTION classes for homeschoolers. How awesome! I hope to do at least two of these this year.

For about $9-$20 kids can dissect pigs, cool.

We'll also play operation...just because that's fun.