Teaching Earth Science with Children’s Literature: Oh Say Can You Say What’s the Weather Today?

Oh Say Can You Say What's the Weather Today?

Oh Say Can You Say What’s the Weather Today? written by Tish Rabe and illustrated by Aristides Ruiz is another educational and entertaining addition to the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library.  The Cat uses silly rhymes in Dr. Seuss style to introduce complex weather phenomena and the instruments that are used to measure and predict weather.  The rhyming text and illustrations simplify the complexity of the vocabulary and terminology.  “First stop is the top of Mount Karakakoo, where they study the weather.  (That’s all that they do!)”  They learn about thermometers. anemometers, wind vanes, and folklore weather predictors like “[f]rogs croak a lot more when it’s going to rain.”  Next kids learn about cloud formations, rain, snow,heat and cold, humidity, thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes.    Each term is briefly explained with occasional supporting explanations and drawings.  And in the end, the Cat leaves no question about the importance of weather.  “You see, weather keeps changing but one thing we know.  It makes life exciting wherever you go.”   A glossary is included at the end end of the book.

Curriculum Connections

This book is a fun  introduction to the terminology necessary to understand the basic types, changes, and patterns of weather (2.6) and the tools used to measure and predict weather conditions and phenomena (4.6).  None of the concepts are explained in depth, but the rhymes are crisp and interesting and the book effectively covers a lot of terminology in the Cat in the Hat’s familiar, simple, and entertaining style.  Used at the beginning of a unit, the book is a wonderful way to engage students in the concepts of weather.

Additional Resources

  • Making Rain – This website includes an activity for teacher’s using Oh Say Can You Say What’s the Weather Today that reinforces the lesson on rain and the water cycle with a tea kettle and a large metal lid.
  • What is Weather Lesson Plan – This lesson plan for lower elementary introduces key weather terminology using Oh Say Can You Say What’s the Weather Today and weather pictures.
  • The Weather Channel Kids – This site includes a broad range of activities and information for kids ranging from an interactive weather forecasting tool that allows you to build your own forecast, to information about weather jobs, a glossary, games, and videos about weather phenomena.
  • Bulletin Board Theme Ideas – This pdf includes a number of ideas for weather related bulletin boards for upper elementary classrooms.

Book: Oh Say Can You Say What’s the Weather Today?
Author: Tish Rabe
Illustrator: Aristides Ruiz
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: 2004
Grade Range: PreK-3
ISBN: 0375922768

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