Why Should You Use Weather Songs in Schools?Blend Images - KidStock/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
Teaching students to appreciate the Arts is valuable in education today, especially since many art programs are being ousted from the curriculum due to increases in the amount of time needed for testing requirements. Funding is also an issue in keeping art education in the forefront of excellence in education. According to The American Arts Alliance, "Despite overwhelming support for arts education, school systems are focusing largely on reading and math at the expense of arts education and other core subjects of learning." This means less time is available in the curriculum for supporting creative programs in schools.
But that doesn't mean teachers have to give up on art education. Many resources exist for integrating art into the core subject areas in any school. Therefore, I present to you a unique and simple way of increasing student interaction with music education through a weather lesson plan designed to teach basic weather terminology through modern music. Simply follow the steps below to find songs for your classroom and create a well-structured lesson. Please be aware that some of the lyrics may be too suggestive. Please choose which songs to use carefully! Other songs have words that are too difficult for younger students as well.
Introducing a Music and Science Lesson Plan: Teacher and Student InstructionsFor the Teacher:
- Separate students into 5 groups. Each group will be assigned a decade of weather songs. You may want to make a sign for each group.
- Gather the list of songs and print out the words to each song. (See Step #3 below - Downloading Weather Songs)
- Give each group a list of the songs they can modify for the lesson. Students should be prepared with scratch paper for recording song ideas.
- It may be beneficial to print the words to the songs out with double or triple spaces between the lines so that students can modify the songs line by line.
- Distribute a series of vocabulary terms to each student. (See Step #4 below - Where to Find Weather Terms)
- Discuss the following idea with students - Most of the songs listed for each decade are not truly "weather songs". Instead, some topic in weather is simply mentioned. It will be their job to fully modify the songs to include multiple weather terms (the quantity and level of terms is up to you). Each song will retain the original rhythm, but will now be more educational in nature as students try to make the song actually explain the weather terms.
Downloading Weather Songs for a Lesson Plan
I cannot provide you with free downloads of the weather songs listed below due to copyright issues, but each link will take you to a location on the web where you can find and download the words to the songs listed.
Where to Find Weather Vocabulary
The idea is to immerse students into weather terminology through research, reading, and alternative use of the words. It is my firm belief that students can and will learn vocabulary without even realizing they are learning. When they work together as a team, they are discussing, reading, and evaluating terms. Often, they must also re-write the definitions to the terms to fit them into a song. For that reason alone, students are getting lots of exposure to the true meanings of weather terms and topics. Here are a few great places to find weather terms and explanations…
- The About.com Weather Glossary
- The NOAA National Weather Service Glossary
- The Washington Post Weather Glossary
- Weather Teacher Tutorials
- EarthStorm from the Oklahoma Climatological Survey
- The BBC UK Weather Center Glossary
Assessing Meterology Songs for a Classroom Presentation
Students will enjoy this lesson as they collaborate on creating unique songs full of weather vocabulary. But how do you assess the information? You may choose to have students present their songs in a variety of fashions… So, here are a few simple ideas for the evaluation of student performance.
- Write the songs on poster board for display.
- Make a check-off-list of the required terms to be included in the song
- Reward students by offering to publish their work here! I will publish student work here on my site! Join the weather message board and post the songs, or email me at [email protected]
- If students are brave enough, they can actually volunteer to sing the songs. I have had students do this and it is a great time!
- Give a brief pre- and post-test on the words so students can easily see the amount of knowledge gained just by reading and re-reading the vocabulary terms.
- Create a rubric to assess the quality of word integration in the song. Hand out the rubric ahead of time so students know what to expect.
These are just a few ideas. If you use this lesson and would like to offer your tips and ideas, I would love to hear from you! Tell me… What worked for you?