The Restless Air Mini-Lesson

Objective: Students will learn more about where wind comes from and how it affects weather in different ways.

Suggested Time: 15 minutes

Reading Level: Upper Elementary

Teacher Background

To describe weather, meteorologists measure four properties of air: humidity, air temperature, air pressure, and wind. Wind, or moving MORE

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Print or Project

  1. A Visual Overview: Show the slideshow of photos to your class. Each has a descriptive caption and kid-friendly copy for your students to read. (Please note that there is also more extensive teacher note copy just for you.)
  2. Creative Caption Review: Once you've been through the slideshow for an overview, go back through it again. This time ask students to explain why the captions do (or do not!) work. (Example: Is it a good idea to label the photo of the tornado as a "Whirling Dervish?" Why or why not?)

Click the thumbnail slides below to see the captions and kid-friendly copy up close.

  1. Continue the Conversation: Ask students if they have ever seen a weather vane. Make sure they understand that a weather vane shows the direction of the wind. Ask why it might be helpful to know about wind direction. (Answers will vary and might include using the wind in sports such as sailing and golfing...or predicting that weather will get warmer if wind comes from the south.)
  2. Write about it: Have students write a paragraph describing how the wind might pick up in the park right before a rain storm. Encourage them to use different words, like calm or blustery, to describe how strong the wind feels. Also ask them to describe different objects that tell them the wind is blowing harder such as hair whipping or flag waving.

Extension Activities

Reinforcements: These worksheets will be useful as you further develop your teaching unit. The Word Power worksheet will give your students vocabulary practice with key terms from this mini-lesson and the related activity will help reinforce key concepts on weather.


Word Power Vocabulary
Grade: 4 - 6
Students practice vocabulary relevant to weather and air by using each defined word in a sentence.



Brisk Breeze
Grade: 3 - 6
Students create an anemometer, measure wind speed, and answer questions.



Excerpted from:

Eyewitness: Weather

Discover the world's weather—from heat waves and droughts to blizzards and floods—through spectacular photographs and facts.

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