FIAR – Storm in the Night

This story came at just the right time! Hurricane Sandy hit us at some point during the week and we lost power and water for a couple days. I tried to look on the bright side, knowing that a lot of people were faring a lot worse, but it was hard to be patient while trying to cook meals, flush toilets and wash up properly.  Nevermind keeping the kids entertained in the dark!  We lit candles, listened to books on tape and ate cereal a couple times. 

Geography/History/Social Studies
This is a cute story about a boy and his grandfather as they wait out a storm in the dark.  The grandfather tells his grandson a story about when he was little boy and afraid of a storm. 

We read a number of go-along stories, including Thunder Cake, which we all really enjoyed.  Good thing we didn’t lose power before making our own thunder cake!  I made it a bit healthier and used a healthy frosting with banana and coconut oil; the kids loved it and kept counting to see how far away the pretend thunder was.   

We never got thunder and lightning, but as we made the cake it started raining and the wind started howling and whipping around tree branches.  Since both stories dealt with children and their fears, we used the opportunity to talk about things that might make us scared.  We also tracked the weather during the week with weather graph cards. 

Since the grandfather is the caregiver in the story, we also read a story about grandpas.  The kiddos are fortunate to be able to see their grandparents on a regular basis and they enjoy spending time with them.

Language Arts
There were quite a few weather sounds in the story, so we brought out our onomatopoeia song and did the motions as we said it, which is a big hit.  I’ve even heard Gwen singing the song to herself! 

We also discussed punctuation, especially question marks, exclamation points and periods.  We brought out the punctuation activity from our Who Owns the Sun? week and Gwen had to identify which sentences were questions and which were statements. 

We read some cute weather poems, one of which went nicely with our science activity later in the week.  It’s a little song about the water cycle, sung to the tune of “She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain”:

Water travels in a cycle, yes it does!
Water travels in a cycle, yes it does!
It goes up as evaporation,
And forms clouds as condensation,
Then comes down as precipitation yes it does!

Fine Arts
One of the nice things that often comes out of a storm is a rainbow in the sky. We love rainbows!  We’ve done quite a few rainbow stuff in the past and it never gets old.  We did a cute ROYGBIV activity – the kids made a face with rainbow hair and put a “Roy G. Biv” nametag underneath.  Gwen thought it was quite funny; she’s at an age where she gets a lot of the humor.  They each told me what the colors reminded them of – red for roses, orange for pumpkins, yellow for bananas and so forth. 

We stapled cloud-shaped construction paper together and filled it with cotton balls to make it puffy.  Gwen made a rain cloud with blue construction paper and Josiah made a rainbow cloud with different colors.  They had to put faces on their clouds to personify them. 


A fun little match activity from our D is for Downpour week was counting raindrops, which I took out for this week.  We took turns guessing the amount of raindrops, counting out raindrops and so forth.  Since stormy weather makes you want to cozy up underneath a nice, warm quilt, we did a quilt math worksheet, where we colored in the various shapes that constructed the pattern and then counted the shapes.        

One of the neat things that the boy in the story observes is that, when it’s dark, he can hear things better.  The grandfather explains that it’s because he’s not trying to see at the same time; he’s just paying attention to his other senses.  We used boy and girl pictures and labeled the fives senses; I also took the time to explain how people with hearing or sight disabilities often have stronger senses to make up for the one that’s lost.

 We looked at stack of weather-related cards.  First we discussed each term and then I laid them out and asked the kids to find specific ones. 

After reading a bunch of cloud stories we made a cloud flipbook, each of us using cotton balls to create a different type of cloud – cirrus, cumulus and stratus.  This was simple but fun!  We talked about the water cycle and pasted together a simple chart showing the sun for evaporation, a cloud for condensation and raindrops for precipitation.  Of course we sang the water cycle song again!

The kids always have fun with the science activities (especially those involving water), and we made rainclouds in a jar – you simply fill a jar with water, top it with shaving cream and sprinkle on food coloring until it “rains” through to the water.  The simple lesson being once the clouds become saturated, it rains!

They didn’t turn out very cloud-looking since we don’t use white sugar, but we made some meringue cookies that start off looking puffy like clouds.  I used the FIAR cookbook recipe as a base but scaled down on the sugar and add-ins.  They were really yummy with dark chocolate chips and walnuts; the natural rapadura sugar, coupled with the chips and nuts, gave them a caramel-y flavor.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t stop eating them!   

We finished up our Fruits of the Spirit devotional, which we started the previous week.  The kiddos love the file folder game and enjoyed adding a fruit to the basket each day.

Homeschool Share’s Storm in the Night resources
Homeschool Creation’s weekly weather graph
Welcome to Room 36’s onomatopoeia song printable
First Grade Parade’s weather poems, water cycle printable & other activities
Made for 1st Grade’s rainbow printables & art activities
puffy clouds craft inspiration
PreKinders’ weather cards
Crazy for First Grade’s cloud flipbook
cloud in a jar inspiration
Mrs. Ricca’s Kindergarten’s Fives Senses Labeling

Go-Along Books

Grandpa Has a Great Big Face
Franklin in the Dark
What Was I Scared of?
Achoo! Bang! Crash! The Noisy Alphabet
Punctuation Takes a Vacation
Thunder Cake
Franklin and the Thunderstorm
Just a Thunderstorm
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
A Rainbow of My Own
What Can You Do in the Wind?
The Village of Basketeers
Cloud Dance
Little Cloud
FIAR cookbook

*See my D is for Downpour, R is for Rainbow and Five in a Row (FIAR) Pinterest boards for more inspiration.