How’s the Weather Inside and Outside?

Unit Plan

How’s the Weather Inside and Outside?

About This Resource

Summary Our emotions and feelings are like the weather, ever-changing and dependent on many causes and conditions. This unit helps students understand their emotions and the impermanent nature of phenomena, while teaching coping skills and strategies, and ultimately cultivating self-awareness, compassion, and improved focus.
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How’s the Weather Inside and Outside?

TOPIC: Weather/Feelings

INTRO: This unit was created by Kelly Peck during movement exploration at the Middle Way School.

AGE: Can be adapted. This was taught to preschool-3rd grade

UNIT: Refuge (but works for Impermanence, Interconnection)

BIG IDEA: Our emotions and feelings are like the weather, ever changing and dependent on many causes and conditions. However, there is always a blue sky above the clouds. You can’t change the weather but you can use tools to protect yourself: if it’s raining you could wear a rain jacket. You can move into child’s pose for protection.

DURATION: Flexible; this can be a one-week theme or something that extends throughout the year.

TAGS: emotions, weather, impermanence, interconnection, sky

Essential Question

How does observing the weather help us understand our emotions?

Guiding Questions

  • How do you feel?
  • What does the weather feel like inside of you?
  • What is the weather like outside?
  • How do you react if you don’t like the weather? Do you wear protection? Do you stay in it and know it will change soon? Do you find shelter?
  • How do you react if you like the weather? Do you enjoy it and stay in it? Do you invite friends or family to come join you?
  • What are some words to describe the weather?
  • What are some words to describe your feelings?
  • Are feelings permanent?
  • Where do feelings exist?

And Then? Why is teaching this important? How is it relevant to their lives?

Self-regulation is essential, if we can help teach coping skills and strategies, these students will have more self-awareness, compassion, and improved focus. Forming a connection with themselves and their environment will help create a sense of inner security. Understanding that we all experience these feelings will build a connection to community.

Objectives

 

Know

At the end of the unit, all students should know…

Understand

At the end of the unit, all students should understand that…

 

Do

During this unit, students will…

 

The names of different kinds of cloud formations.

 

Names of the four seasons.

 

Name different weather patterns from another culture.

 

Name feelings with new vocabulary.

 

Culturalization for describing feelings.

 

How to connect the weather with feelings.

 

Strategies to help manage emotions.

 

You can always take refuge in your sky-like mind.

 

You are not your feelings, you have them.

 

Clouds change depending on the weather just like feelings depend on circumstances.

 

Sometimes it rains/we cry; sometimes it’s sunny/we are happy.

 

Not everyone feels the same about the weather or about different situations.

Perspective.

 

How weather affects your lifestyle.

 

Weather cycles and how our emotions have cycles and how does that affect our environment.

 

 

 

Study the clouds each day, continue throughout each season. Discuss and compare the difference.

 

Draw and write observations of clouds.

 

Keep a weather diary.

 

Apply regulating strategies for emotions.

 

Make a weather report about internal emotions.

 

Discuss how and why feelings change from the beginning of the day to the end.

 

 

Pre-Assessments

What do you know about the weather?

What is your favorite season and why?

What do you do when you have a strong emotion? (sadness, anger, frustration, excitement)

How many emotions can you name?

Learning Activities

      

  1. Cloud Experiment
  2. Predict the weather for later in the day. Predict how you may feel later in the day.
  3. During winter: Create different names for the snow/create different names for your feelings. Set up a chart in the classroom.
  4. Set up a weather station for feelings in the classroom or home.
  5. Create a space for movement and artwork. Gather books with cloud pictures (see book reference) and display them on the art table for inspiration. Have paper and drawing materials (crayons, colored pencils, pastels and markers) ready. Have the students come in and find a spot in the open space. Explain that you will take them on a cloud journey (Anytime Yoga). They can lay down and close their eyes if they feel comfortable. After the journey have everyone come together for a sun circle (The Kids Yoga Deck). Now play some of the songs from the playlist (suggested below) and the students can freely move. Guide the creative movement by describing clouds: floating, puffy, full, heavy, circling—and ask what happens to the clouds after a rainstorm? Show what that would look like in your body, how would that feel? Pause the music and ask the students to find a cloud shape. Keep the music playing and end this activity by drawing their experience.
  6. Creative movement; play Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Can anyone guess what season the composer is representing?  Why? How do you feel about that season?  What music would you choose?
  7. Art; hand out a piece of paper and ask the students to draw or write anything that comes to mind. Let the whole page be filled up, over lapping and layering. Start to observe how each new thought creates more substance in the drawing. Now have them close their eyes and image they put the piece of paper on a cloud and it floated away then ask them to turn the paper over. Letting go (storm) of the attachment to the thoughts creates an open mind/sky.
  8. Make an emotional chart wheel. These can be fastened with a brad and an arrow and posted on their fridge at home so they can inform family how they feel.

Audio, video, links and other resource

Yoga/ Movement/Meditation books:

Sitting Still Like a Frog, By Eline Snel

Anytime Yoga, by Ulrika Deze (Into the sky)

The Kids Yoga Deck, by Annie Buckley

Feeling books

Sometimes I feel like a Mouse, by Jeanne Modesitt

Charlotte and the Quiet Place, by Deborah Sosin

When Sophie gets Angry, by Molly Bang

Cloud Books

Sky color, by Peter Reynolds

Outside, Inside, by Carolyn Crimi

What Kinds of Clouds by Nadia Higgins

Cloud Dance by Thomas Locker

Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld

It Looked Like Spilled Milk by Charles Shaw

The Cloud Book by Tomie dePaola

The Cloud by Hannah Cumming

Songs

Sky Inside

Blue Skies, by Ella Fitzgerald

Singing in the Rain, by Gene Kelly

Sunny Day, by Elizabeth Mitchell

Night Mantra, by Renee & Jeremy

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and for teachers Why You Should Listen to the Four Seasons Ted Talk

Raga (winter raga)

Planet drum, by Mickey Heart

Native American snow song:

Art

10 Cloud Crafts for Kids

For Teachers

Article about Raga Music and Seasons

Types of Clouds

A very interesting account about a lama who could change the weather.

Have more resources? Let us know! Email contact@middlewayschool.org

Across the Domains

Science Design and create a barometer.

Cloud Experiment.

Identify different clouds.

Predict the weather for later in the day. Predict how you may feel later in the day.

Seasons/planetary movement

Humanities History of when people started to tell the weather.

Universal language of feelings and weather.

How to say the different seasons in different languages.

Embodiment

Cloud shape: during cloud observation students trace the cloud shape with different body parts.

Example; can you draw the line with your elbow or how about your knee.

Show how you feel, during creative movement.

Rain Dance, how do you move in the rain? How do you move to make the rain come? Use rain sticks during this activity.

Sun circle (look to yoga deck).

What’s above the clouds…eagle pose (from yoga deck).

Art Draw the sky.

Show me what feelings look like, explore what colors go with emotions.

Create a cloud world.

Draw your inner weather report.

Make rain sticks.

Clay clouds.

Contemplative/Dharma

Cloud Meditation.

There is always a blue sky above the clouds; you can connect with your inner true self anytime.

Each day starts again.

“I see how my mind is creating my experience, and how experience is my mind”

 

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