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Storm in the Classroom

Observing the weather can involve all of our senses. In this activity, students simulate the sounds of a storm. 

What might you hear as weather changes?

Can you identify what weather is happening from sound alone?

What kinds of weather make loud sounds, quiet sounds, high-pitched or low-pitched sounds?

The sounds we hear during a storm come from vibrations made by forces in the weather system and we can recreate similar vibrations using our hands and feet. 

Objectives

  • Describe weather in terms of temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind speed and direction.

Materials

  • Per Class or Group:
    open area to sit

Key Questions

  • What are all of the elements of a storm?
  • Can you identify what weather is happening from sound alone?
  • What kinds of weather make loud sounds, quiet sounds, high-pitched or low-pitched sounds?
  • Do the sounds happen at regular or irregular intervals?
  • What combination of sounds can your group make to recreate the storms that happen where you live?

What To Do

  1. Sit in a circle so that everyone can see one another and the leader.
  2. Review the kinds of sounds you hear during a storm (e.g. wind, drizzle, rain)
  3. Practice making different sounds for each element. For example:
  • Rubbing your hands together (wind)
  • Snapping your fingers (drizzle)
  • Lightly slapping your knees (light rain)
  • Light clapping (steady rain)
  • Heavy clapping (heavy rain)
  • Foot stomping (heavy rain and wind)
  1. Create a storm soundscape from beginning to end. Start by rubbing your hands together. Transition step by step to heavier and heavier weather, until you have a full-blown storm (foot stomping).
  2. Quiet the storm by working backwards from foot stomping to rubbing hands together.

Extensions

  • Break into groups that represent each element of the storm and lead the storm “orchestra” by pointing at various groups at different times.
  • Use or build some instruments to add effects, e.g. rain sticks, sheets of metal (to represent thunder).