Daily activity 51: Climate change and weather patterns

June 1, 2020

This week’s theme:

Unsolved Mysteries – Climate Change

This week’s colouring in sheet:

Download and print this week’s colouring sheet here. This week’s features Greta Thunberg, the young Swedish environmental activist.

Fact of the day:

Climate change is the increase in the planet’s temperature due to human-made emissions of greenhouse gases. The increased temperature means that there are changes in the world’s weather patterns and more common extreme weather events.

Resources list:

Woolly hat and scarf, hot water bottle, blankets; plastic cups and water; tin foil, torch, sun cream, sunglasses; water, washing up bowl, rice; jar, water, washing up liquid, vinegar; toilet roll tube or orange, fat, birdseed; Youtube.

Activity 1:

The planet is heating up due to global warming. Experiment with different temperatures. Get wrapped up in woolly layers, hats and gloves, and hold a hot water bottle, wrapped in a blanket or duvet. If you felt that hot all the time, even in the middle of summer on an already hot day, would it feel comfortable?

Activity 2:

Greenhouse gasses (like carbon dioxide) build up in atmosphere and act like the glass in a greenhouse, letting the heat from the sun in but not back out again.

Create a mini greenhouse using plastic cups (or a jar with a lid). Pop a plant in it if you like, or else you could fill one of the cups with water. Once it has been sat on a warm windowsill with the sun’s light on it for a few hours, carefully lift off the top cup and see how much heat has been trapped inside – does it feel hot inside and does the water feel warmer than when you added it? This is a bit like how the earth is heating up.

Activity 3:

The ozone layer is an invisible layer of gas around our planet that sits between the sun and us. It is being destroyed due to human-made emissions and chemicals.

Hold a piece of tin foil (your ‘protective layer of ozone gas’) to a torch, can you see anything through it? No, because the harmful ‘light’ cannot pass through your ozone. Pierce holes in the piece of tin foil – hold a torch to it, can you see anything through it? Yes, light is passing through, with some of its dangerous UV rays because your ozone layer has been damaged.

Ozone acts as sunscreen and sunglasses for the earth, protecting it from the UV rays of the sun. Smell some suncream, and if it’s sunny today, rub some into your skin and pop on your sunglasses to protect yourself for any harmful UV rays that have not been stopped by the earth’s ozone layer.

Activity 4:

The increased temperature on our planet means that there are changes in the world’s weather patterns and more common extreme weather events such as forest fires, flooding, typhoons, tornadoes and hurricanes.

Make a sound scape of flooding, typhoons and hurricane wind and rain sounds. Slosh water in buckets or bottles, drop pebbles in a washing up bowl of water to make the sound of heavy droplets, make a rice shaker to hear persistent rain sounds, howl like the wind, hold onto your hat and act out getting blown away, stand in front of a fan. Make pattering sounds with your hands on your thighs. Drop rice onto paper to make rain sounds.

Activity 5:

Watch a full sink of water swirl down the plug hole; or swirl a bottle of water, the spiral is a bit like the wind in a tornado.

Try this tornado in a jar science experiment.

At the beginning of the ‘Wizard Of Oz’, Dorothy’s house gets picked up by a tornado. Try spinning and swirling like Dorothy in a windy tornado – don’t get too dizzy. Twirl fabric scarves in the air in a swirling tornado motion.

Activity 6:

Extreme weather can be trouble for birds. Scientists have noticed that when extreme weather happens, fewer birds show up in the places they call home, they avoid the extreme weather occurring there and move to a friendlier area. If birds are moving to other areas because of climate change, they may need our help to protect them in their new habitats.

Different birds may be visiting our gardens and will need food. Try rolling a toilet roll tube in cooking fat and then rolling it in birdseed. Thread ribbon through the tube and hang on a tree. Or, cut and orange in half, eat the contents and then fill the skin with fat and birdseed to hang in a tree.

Activity 7:

Increased extreme temperatures in heatwaves and a lack of rainfall can create drought. If there’s a drought crops can’t grow, there’s not enough water to drink, and animal’s habitats change. Native Americans have traditionally performed a ‘rain dance’ to encourage and bring the rains. You can hear Cherokee rain chants here – join in with the drumming with your palms on a table or box or with your feet stomping on the floor.