Around the Year in the Teacher Store
In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb
The story of "In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb" offers students a fanciful, metaphorical look at how weather and wind change as Earth says good-bye to winter and hello to spring. In reality, the changing seasons are due primarily to the combined factors of the Earth's tilted position on its axis and its orbit around the sun. This accounts for the differences in the amounts of heat received from the sun at different times of the year. The more direct the rays from the sun, the warmer the weather over a period of time. Long days and direct rays make for a summer season; short days and slanted rays make for a winter season. Spring and autumn are transitional periods between the extremes. Earth's lopsided trip around the sun is not only responsible for changes in the seasons, but for other phenomena like wind, rain, and life cycles evident in plant and animal life.
Catch the Wind by Gail Gibbons (Little Brown, 1989)
It's Raining Cats and Dogs: All Kinds of Weather and Why We Have It by Franklyn M. Branley (Houghton Mifflin, 1987)
When the Wind Blew by Margaret Wise Brown (Random House, 1979)
Provide each student with a lion-shaped piece of construction paper and a lamb-shaped piece of construction paper. Also, provide each student with one piece of manila paper that has been cut in half lengthwise. Help students tape the manila paper end to end and then tape one end to the lion's head. Fold the manila paper accordion-style so that the folds are concealed behind the lion's head. Tape the lamb's head to the other end of the folded manila paper, thus creating an accordion fold-out book. Students may use the book to draw and label scenes from the pantomime play. Or they may use one side to record signs of winter and other side to record signs of spring.
Signs of Seasonal Changes
Help children sharpen their observational skills by taking them on indoor and outdoor walking trips designed to help them notice any seasonal changes around them. Focus students' attention on changes evident in three or four observable areas in your school or surrounding neighborhood. For example, students may be asked to observe changes in foliage, shop windows, people's outdoor dress, people's outdoor activities, seasonal or holiday decorations, etc. Record students' observations on chart paper. Post the papers on the walls and decorate the borders with snapshots showing students engaged in seasonal happenings. Refer to the charts to remind students of the way things were before looking for new changes to the viewscape.
Visit your local nursery and ask the personnel to help you raise a "forced bulb garden" in your classroom. Many students are not familiar with planting bulbs and will delight in an up-close look at bulbs and how they are raised. Also, think ahead and consider planting bulbs outdoors with students in the fall so they can really look forward to discovering the first sprouts of spring.