Grade 1:
Changes in the Season

CHANGES IN THE SEASON!

Grade 1: Changes in the Season

Unit Description

This unit integrates and helps to strengthen the arts, science, math, and language arts through innovative first grade projects. Students will engage in the process of examining changes in weather throughout the year. Students will have the opportunity to experience music and theatre as they role play and discover all of the four seasonal changes. They will be actively engaged in an exploration of seasonal poetry through a variety of artistic processes. The students will also learn about the importance of weather forecasting as they use dance/body movements to interpret daily weather events.

Unit Essential Question

What are the differences in the four seasons, and how is a weather forecast created?

Real World Context

Learning about the seasons helps students understand the passage of time and teaches them about change. We all experience the four seasons, and it is important for children to be able to recognize the different changes that occur during the seasonal changes. In this unit, students will explore how the ending of one season marks the beginning of a new season and this repeats annually, again and again. Learning about the weather and how we are able to forecast the weather is important for understanding what our outdoor activities may be, the types of clothing we should wear, etc.

Cross-Cutting Interdisciplinary Concepts

Cycle

Projects

Project 1: Season Role Plays
This project uses music and theatre to investigate the changes in nature during each season. This arts integrated project includes students using their bodies and props to role play activities you may do in the various seasons. Vivaldi’s Four Seasons music arrangements are incorporated into the dramatizations. This project then connects seasonal changes to literature through analyzing how characters and settings change in a story.

Project 2: Season Poetry in Performance
This arts integrated project immerses students in exploring Season Poetry through a variety of different artistic processes. Students engage in writing, rehearsing, and performing Season Haikus and then using this poetry to create a Visual Arts piece. 3-dimensional Season Mobiles are created using their student-created haikus. Additional options to collage and create digital art projects with voice recordings of students’ season poetry are also included.

Project 3: Wonderful Weather Forecasting
In this project, students will record two weeks’ worth of weather data as a whole group. Students will use the weather data to create a tally table and then create a bar graph. The students will focus on weather forecasting and how it relates and affects the real world. Students will use body movements to represent their daily weather findings as well as perform these movements together. The students will also record their own weather data for one week, outside of the school setting. They will then use their data to create and record their own weather forecast.

Standards

Curriculum Standards

ELACC1RL3 Describe characters, settings, and major events in story, using key details

ELACC1RL7 Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events

RL.1.4 Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses

SL1.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and large groups

S1E1. Students will observe, measure and communicate weather data to see patterns in weather and climate

  1. Identify different types of weather and the characteristics of each type
  2. Correlate weather data (temperature, precipitation, sky conditions, and weather events) to seasonal changes

S1CS5. Students will communicate scientific ideas and activities clearly

  1. Use simple pictographs and bar graphs to communicate data

Arts Standards

M1GM.6. Listening to, analyzing, and describing music

  1. Distinguish between contrasts (pitch, dynamics, tempo, timbre) in various pieces of music
  2. Describe music using appropriate vocabulary (e.g., high, low, loud, quiet, fast, and slow)

TAES1.3. Acting by developing, communicating, and sustaining roles within a variety of situations and environments

  1. Makes movement choices in assuming roles
  2. Uses body and voice to communicate ideas, emotions, and character actions
  3. Collaborates and cooperates in theatre experiences
  4. Assumes roles in a variety of dramatic forms such as narrated story, pantomime, puppetry and role play

VA1PR.1. Creates artworks based on personal experience and selected themes

  1. Creates artworks emphasizing one or more elements of art (e.g. color, line, shape, space, form, texture)

D1CR.1 Demonstrates an understanding of creative and choreographic principles, processes, and structures

VA1MC.1 Engages in the creative processes to generate and visualize ideas

  1. Recognizes and discusses how visual images can have multiple meanings.

Character Education

Components

In this unit there are ample opportunities to address the concept of service learning, where students have the opportunity to teach a concept to other students. Consider pairing up with a Kindergarten class and having first grade students perform their plays for kindergarteners. This may help with 3-part retelling, which is a strong kindergarten standard in ELA. Also consider pairing up with 4th grade since they learn about how the earth’s rotation and revolution relate to time of day and time of year in this particular grade level. Perhaps collaboration could occur that helps first graders understand why we actually have four seasons and why we have a cycle. Fourth graders could present/perform for first graders and visa versa.

Attributes

In this unit there are ample opportunities to address the concept of being a tolerant person. As the seasons change, so do people. Every person may have one particular season that they enjoy the most. While others have specific seasons that they dislike. We cannot control which season it may be, just like we cannot control the way others behave. However, we must learn how to tolerate others who may be different than us. There are many pieces of literature available to assist with teaching this concept:

  • Up the Learning Tree by Marcia Vaughan
  • Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton
  • Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
  • Odd Velvet by Mary E. Whitcomb

Summative Assessment Tools

  • Students will use the 3-Part Retell Document (see Downloads) to retell their 3-Part Winter Story. This document could be used as a performance-based task.
  • Students will complete the Season Roleplay Rubric (see Downloads) once they have acted out & performed their 3-Part Winter Story.
  • Students will use the Haiku Template (see Downloads) to create 4 haiku poems for each season. They will then create choreography for their haikus.
  • Students will create a four-season 3D mobile in the correct cycle. They will have the opportunity to paint a season setting or rewrite their season haiku for each section.
  • Students will have the opportunity to record their season haiku’s while reading them aloud for a digital storytelling piece.
  • Students can use a recording device to record their 5-day weather forecast. The class will then view each recorded forecast. (See Downloads for My 5-Day Weather Forecast and the Wonderful Weather Forecasting Recording Sheet.)
  • Instead of the students video recording their 5-day weather forecast, they could present it to the class in person.
  • Students will use the Weather Forecast Rubric (see Downloads) to critique their 5-day weather forecast.

Partnering with Fine Arts Teachers

Music Specialist:

  • Additional support in Project 1: Season Role Plays
  • Assist with providing additional information about the music history and style of Vivaldi’sFour Seasons

Theatre Teacher:

  • Additional support in Project 1: Season Role Plays
  • Assist with teaching proper actor techniques, like strong voice and body movements, to boost students’ confidence for performance
  • Assist with providing “seasonal props” from props storage

Visual Arts Teacher:

  • Additional support in Project 2: Season Poetry in Performance
  • Assist with painting or collage techniques
  • Assist with finding examples of how visual artists have chosen to represent poetry through paintings or collages.

Dance Teacher:

  • Additional support in Project 3: Wonderful Weather Forecasting
  • Assist with suggestions of body movements that could represent the weather

Appendix (See Project Downloads)

  • Pre-Test
  • Suggested Seasonal Props List
  • 3-Part Retell Document
  • Season Roleplay Rubric
  • Haiku Template
  • My 5-Day Weather Forecast
  • Wonderful Weather Forecasting Recording Sheet
  • Weather Forecast Rubric

Credits

U.S. Department of Education
Arts in Education--Model Development and Dissemination Grants Program
Cherokee County (GA) School District and ArtsNow, Inc.
Ideas contributed and edited by:
Robin Hatcher, Jody Staab, Ta-Tanisha Harris, Jessica Espinoza, Richard Benjamin Ph.D., Michele McClelland, Mary Ellen Johnson, Jane Gill

Season Role Plays

Science, English Language Arts, Music, and Theater

Description

This project uses music and theatre to investigate the changes in nature during each season. This arts integrated project includes students using their bodies and props to role play activities you may do in the various seasons. Vivaldi’sFour Seasons music arrangements are incorporated into the dramatizations. This project then connects seasonal changes to literature through analyzing how characters and settings change in a story.

Learning Targets

“I Can…”

  • Use my body and props to role play each season
  • Explain the changes in the seasons
  • Connect the changes in season to changes in a story’s setting

Essential Questions

  • What changes in nature occur during each season?
  • What sort of activities do we associate with each season?
  • How do settings change throughout the course of the four seasons cycle?
  • How can we use key details to describe how the setting changes in a story?

Curriculum Standards

ELACC1RL3 Describe characters, settings, and major events in story, using key details

ELACC1RL7 Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events

S1E1. Students will observe, measure and communicate weather data to see patterns in weather and climate

  1. Identify different types of weather and the characteristics of each type
  2. Correlate weather data (temperature, precipitation, sky conditions, and weather events) to seasonal changes

Arts Standards

M1GM.6. Listening to, analyzing, and describing music

  1. Distinguish between contrasts (pitch, dynamics, tempo, timbre) in various pieces of music
  2. Describe music using appropriate vocabulary (e.g., high, low, loud, quiet, fast, and slow)

TAES1.3. Acting by developing, communicating, and sustaining roles within a variety of situations and environments

  1. Makes movement choices in assuming roles
  2. Uses body and voice to communicate ideas, emotions, and character actions
  3. Collaborates and cooperates in theatre experiences
  4. Assumes roles in a variety of dramatic forms such as narrated story, pantomime, puppetry and role play

Content Vocabulary

  • Seasons (Spring, Summer, Winter, and Fall/Autumn)
  • Change
  • Cycle
  • Setting
  • Illustrations
  • Key details
  • Order/sequence

Arts Vocabulary

  • Tempo (fast, medium, slow)
  • Volume (loud, medium, soft)
  • Instruments (families, such as percussion, brass, woodwinds)
  • Orchestra
  • Scene
  • Role play
  • Vivaldi
  • Characters
  • Props

Technology Integration

Formative Assessment

  • Anecdotal Notes during Class Discussion
  • Small-Group Dramatizations
  • Season’s Visual Arts Project

Summative Assessment

  • 3-Part Retell Document (see Downloads) Season Roleplay Rubric (see Downloads)

Materials

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter); Music player; The Tiny Seed by Eric Carl; 4 baskets of seasonal props (See Downloads for a list of Suggested Seasonal Props.)

Activating Strategy (5-10 min)

  • Play classical music representing each season in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.
  • Four Seasons ~ Vivaldi
  • Ask students to describe what they hear and why that song goes with a particular season.
  • Play a clip of the music for 30 seconds-1 minute. Then pause the music and have a class discussion about what they noticed when listening to the music. Do this four times, once for each season. While students are telling you what they hear or notice, teacher takes notes on chart paper or the board.
Questions to ask between each song:

  • Discuss tempo (fast/slow), volume (loud/soft).
  • What did you hear in this particular season? Did the tempo get faster or slower? Did the music get louder or softer?
  • What instruments do you hear in this particular season, why?
  • What changed between the Spring song and the Summer song?
  • Why do you think the composer made this artistic choice?

Main Activity

Part 1: Read-Aloud Focused on Setting:

  • Keep the class list of words for each season nearby for this next part.
  • Read The Tiny Seed by Eric Carl.
  • As you read, add season words to your existing class list.
  • Ask students to notice closely how the setting changes in each season.
  • Ask students to notice closely how the character changes as the seasons change.

Part 2: Devising Role Plays with Props: *Before this lesson, organize 4 baskets of “seasonal props.” (See Downloads for a list of Suggested Seasonal Props.)

  • Divide the class into 4 small groups.
  • Assign a season for each group.
  • Give each group a basket of props that correspond with their season.
  • Direct students to use their props and bodies to create a 3-part role play for their assigned season.

Ex: The winter play may consist of students first making snow angels, then throwing snowballs, and finally sitting by the fireplace drinking cocoa. Students would act out their 3-part Winter Story.

  • Scaffold your directions to first direct students to work only on determining as a group their first season activity they will roleplay, then focus on determining their second part and finally their third part.
  • Refer to the 3-Part Retell Document (see Downloads) for an assessment of this performance-based task.
  • Direct students to do all of their acting using only props, body movements, and no speaking.

Part 3 Performance:

  • When the groups are ready to share-out their Season plays, ask students to help you come up with a performance order based on the order of the seasons we saw happen in the book we read,The Tiny Seed.
  • During the performance, play the Vivaldi music that corresponds with their season.
  • After the entire 4-season cycle has been performed, announce that you are now going to do something very tricky.
  • Call out a different starting season and see if the students can still perform their plays in the correct order of the cycle.

Reflection Questions

Specific reflection questions for class discussion:

  • How were the characters in our season roleplays different based on the season?
  • How does weather change a setting? What sort of weather did we observe in our different season plays?
  • What was the mood in each season? Why do you think that was?
  • How did acting out your role plays help you remember the cycle of seasons?

Differentiation

Above Grade-Level:

  • Give above-level small groups differentiated instructions when creating their 3-part role play of their season. Ask them to create dialogue in the form of a script for each part of their role play. So the role play would consist of 3 scenes. All scenes must include a spoken line by every group member. The lines should help us understand how characters respond to their setting in this specific season.

Below Grade-Level/EL Students:

  • A week prior to the unit, begin letting below-level and EL students get familiar with grade-level specific informational texts on weather. Help build their background knowledge by introducing weather/season vocabulary.

Activities could include:

Appendix (See Downloads)

  • Suggested Seasonal Props
  • 3-Part Retell Document
  • Season Role Play Rubric

Credits

Season Poetry in Performance

Science, English Language Arts, Visual Arts, and Theater

Description

This arts integrated project immerses students in exploring Season Poetry through a variety of different artistic processes. Students engage in writing, rehearsing, and performing Season Haikus and then using this poetry to create a Visual Arts piece. 3-dimensional Season Mobiles are created using their student-created haikus. Additional options to collage and create digital art projects with voice recordings of students’ season poetry are also included.

PROJECT DOWNLOADS

Download Project

Haiku Template

Learning Targets

“I Can…”

  • Use a haiku to describe each season
  • Create a haiku using my season vocabulary
  • Use a haiku to express seasonal changes
  • Place the four seasons in an order that makes a complete cycle

Essential Questions

  • How can I use poetry to express the seasons and how they change throughout the cycle?

Curriculum Standards

RL.1.4 Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses

SL1.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and large groups

S1E1. Students will observe, measure and communicate weather data to see patterns in weather and climate

  1. Identify different types of weather and the characteristics of each type
  2. Correlate weather data (temperature, precipitation, sky conditions, and weather events) to seasonal changes

Arts Standards

VA1PR.1. Creates artworks based on personal experience and selected themes

  1. Creates artworks emphasizing one or more elements of art (e.g. color, line, shape, space, form, texture)

TAES1.3. Acting by developing, communicating, and sustaining roles within a variety of situations and environments

  1. Makes movement choices in assuming roles
  2. Uses body and voice to communicate ideas, emotions, and character actions
  3. Collaborates and cooperates in theatre experiences
  4. Assumes roles in a variety of dramatic forms such as narrated story, pantomime, puppetry and role play

Content Vocabulary

  • Seasons (Spring, Summer, Winter, and Fall/Autumn)
  • Cycle
  • Change
  • Poem
  • Poetry
  • Haiku
  • Key details

Arts Vocabulary

  • Volume
  • Tempo
  • Pitch
  • Expression
  • Rehearse
  • Perform
  • Texture
  • Collage
  • Layer
  • Sound scaping
  • 3-dimensional mobile

Technology Integration

  • iPads

Examples of Digital Story-Telling Apps:

  • Adobe Voice
  • Voicethreading.com
  • Scratch

Formative Assessment

  • Questioning
  • Teacher Observations during Artistic Process

Summative Assessment

  • Haikus (See Downloads for a Haiku Template.)
  • 3-Dimensional Season Mobile
  • Digital Storytelling Piece

Materials

Season Poetry selections (see Additional Resources); Cardboard pizza trays; Scissors; Glue; Tape; Ribbon; Paint; Coloring utensils; Scrapbooking materials; Magazines

Activating Strategy (5-10 min)

  • As a class, read aloud some preselected Season Poems (see Additional Resources for a suggested book list).
  • Direct students to sound-scape the sounds you may hear in the poems as you read.
  • Model how to perform poetry using an expressive voice: you may find words that you want to say softly/loudly, quickly/slowly, high pitched/low pitched.
  • Read a poem a few times modeling different musical elements you can apply using your voice.
Classroom Tip:

  • Discuss tempo (fast/slow), volume (loud/soft).
  • When doing the soundscaping, give students visual cues that indicate you want to hear sounds (Ex: Cup hand to hear) and another cue when you want students to silence (Ex: finger on lips).

Main Activity

Part 1: Give students directions on how to write a Haiku:

  • A haiku should contain only three lines, totaling 17 syllables throughout. The first line is only 5 syllables. The second line is 7 syllables. The third line is 5 syllables again.
  • Direct students to create a haiku for each season. (See Downloads for a Haiku Template.)
  • Remind students to refer back to the class list of season words we created during Project 1.
  • Perform your haikus either in small groups or as a class.

Possible Extension:

  • Allow students to then work in small groups to create choreography for their haikus.
  • Review locomotive and non-locomotive movements they could use to develop their choreography.

Part 2 (OPTION A):

  • Give students a large circular cardboard cut-out (pizza pie size).
  • Poke a hole in the center of the circle.
  • Partition the circle into fourths.
  • Talk about each fourth of the circle representing a season, in the correct order of the cycle.
  • Students either paint a season setting for each fourth OR rewrite their season haiku for each fourth.
  • Give out ribbons, strings, construction paper, glue, and tape.
  • Direct students to use the ribbons and paper to create items associated with the season that could then hang down from each season quadrant.
  • This mobile could then be attached to a coat hanger to hang.
  • Students could see how the cycle moves through the seasons.
  • Exhibit the mobiles in a place where other students can come see.

Part 2 (OPTION B):

  • Use a digital storytelling app to record students reading aloud their Season Haikus.
  • Direct students to create a photo collage that represents each season.
  • Magazines, children’s book sleeves, dried flowers, and scrapbooking materials can be used.
  • Take a photo of the artwork.
  • Voice thread the student’s voice recording to each illustration.
  • Provide an opportunity for these Season Digital Storytelling Projects to be viewed together as an audience.

*This project could be done in groups of 4 students (each student can represent a different season) or done independently if time permits.

Reflection Questions

  • How were the characters in our season roleplays different based on the season?
  • How does weather change a setting? What sort of weather did we observe in our different season plays?
  • What was the mood in each season? Why do you think that was?
  • How did acting out your role plays help you remember the cycle of seasons?

Differentiation

Below Grade Level:

  • You could place students in groups of four and direct each student to write a haiku for each of the four different seasons.
  • They could just focus their energy on one season and then work together as a group to determine what order they should perform their poetry, in sequence with the cycle of the seasons.

Above Grade Level:

  • See the “possible extension” on part one. Students can take poetry and then stage choreography to the words in their haikus. They could rehearse and perform their poetry in motion.
  • Also the above-level group could do more with integrating the digital arts into their study of the seasons. They could work on recording their voices reading their poetry and then add images for each season. This digital storytelling project could be an ideal project for above-level students.

EL Students:

  • Work with EL students before they write their haikus to remind them of key vocabulary words they may choose to use in their season poetry.
  • Review with them how to clap out the syllables.
  • Together identify the number of syllables in the words they choose to use in their poems so that the writing of the haiku is easier.
  • Also see below grade level instructions for ways to modify the small group project.

Additional Resources

Books:

  • Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber
  • Handsprings by Douglas Florian
  • Spring-An Alphabet Acrostic by Steven Schnur
  • Weather: Poems for all Seasons by Lee Bennett Hopkins

Appendix (See Downloads)

  • Haiku Template

Credits

Wonderful Weather Forecasting

Science, Visual Arts, and Dance

Description

In this project, students will record two weeks’ worth of weather data as a whole group. Students will use the weather data to create a tally table and then create a bar graph. The students will focus on weather forecasting and how it relates and affects the real world. Students will use body movements to represent their daily weather findings as well as perform these movements together. The students will also record their own weather data for one week, outside of the school setting. They will then use their data to create and record their own weather forecast.

Learning Targets

“I Can…”

  • Understand the importance of the weather
  • Forecast the weather
  • Create & perform body movements to represent daily weather happenings
  • Collect 2 weeks of daily weather data
  • Use a tally table and bar graph to tabulate weather data
  • Collect and record 1 weeks’ worth of daily weather happenings
  • Organize, create, and present/video-record my own weather data forecast

Essential Questions

  • What are the different types of daily weather happenings and their characteristics?
  • Why is forecasting the weather important to people around the world?
  • Why is recording daily weather events important in order to make a weather forecast?

Curriculum Standards

S1E1. Students will observe, measure and communicate weather data to see patterns in weather and climate

  1. Identify different types of weather and the characteristics of each type
  2. Correlate weather data (temperature, precipitation, sky conditions, and weather events) to seasonal changes

S1CS5. Students will communicate scientific ideas and activities clearly

  1. Use simple pictographs and bar graphs to communicate data

Arts Standards

D1CR.1 Demonstrates an understanding of creative and choreographic principles, processes, and structures

VA1MC.1 Engages in the creative processes to generate and visualize ideas

  1. Recognizes and discusses how visual images can have multiple meanings.

Content Vocabulary

  • Meteorologist
  • Weather report
  • Precipitation
  • Temperature
  • Forecasting
  • Predicting
  • Tally chart
  • Bar graph
  • Data
  • Sunny
  • Cloudy
  • Scattered showers
  • Thunderstorms
  • Snow
  • Ice

Arts Vocabulary

  • Body movements
  • Representation
  • Unison
  • Facial expression
  • Choreography

Technology Integration

Formative Assessment

  • Daily class participation in accumulating weather information as well as the body movements/dances that correspond with each specific type of weather event.

Summative Assessment

  • Video recorded weather forecast
  • 5-day weather presentation
  • Weather Forecast Rubric (see Downloads)

Materials

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett, chart paper, computer, projector, various writing utensils, video camera

Activating Strategy

  • Teacher will show the class the cover of the book, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett. Teacher will ask the class: What do you think the title and cover of this book has to do with weather? Discuss as a whole group.
  • Read Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs. After you reach the part in the book where there is an example of a “real” weather forecast, spend a few minutes having a class discussion on what the students know and or do not know about the topic of weather forecasting.
  • Complete the rest of the book.

Main Activity

Part 1:

  • Review the YouTube video clip of a real world example of a weather forecast on the evening news with Jason Brewer, a meteorologist from Florida: Here
  • Show the students the example of the Wonderful Weather Forecasting Recording Sheet (see Downloads), either via the computer & projector or you could recreate this sheet on a large piece of chart paper or butcher paper.
  • Explain to the students that for the next 2 weeks they will be observing the weather, recording the weather on a daily basis, as well as coming up with a body movement/dance (choreography) that goes along with the weather. (Example: A sunny day could be represented by putting your arms above your head in an arch to make a circle, and the students could have a big smile on their faces while their arms are raised in a circle like figure.) As a whole group they will record their observations on the recording sheet.
  • To keep it simple, use the following list for weather observations: sunny, cloudy, scattered showers, thunderstorms, snow, ice.
  • This activity will be done on a daily basis for 2 weeks: recording the weather and using the body movement that corresponds with the weather that day.

Part 2:

  • On the 10th day of recording the weather as a whole group, the class will create a tally chart tallying the daily weather observations. Then the class will use the tally chart to create a bar graph. Using the collected data, a class discussion can take place on which weather observations happened the most or least. Remember to use the body movements/choreography as you review the 2 weeks’ worth of weather data.
  • Review with the class what weather forecasting is. There are several books in the Additional Resources section, as well as video clips in the Technology Integration section, to assist in this class discussion.
  • Explain to the class that they will be creating their own weather forecast, recording their weather observations for 5 days, and then performing their weather forecast for the class and or video recording the forecasts.
  • Each student will receive a copy of the My 5-Day Weather Forecast Planning Sheet (see Downloads). Review the directions as a whole group.

Part 3:

  • On the 6th day the students should return to school with their weather forecasting sheets already completed.
  • At this point the teacher can decide how creative they will allow their students to get in regards to sharing their own 5-day weather forecast. It could be as simple as the students reading their forecasts in front of the class to adding more creativity to the project by adding props and recording the forecasts to reflect an actual weather forecast that is done on television.

Reflection Questions

  • How were the characters in our season roleplays different based on the season?
  • How does weather change a setting? What sort of weather did we observe in our different season plays?
  • What was the mood in each season? Why do you think that was?
  • How did acting out your role plays help you remember the cycle of seasons?

Differentiation

Below Grade Level:

  • These students could do their illustrations for their 5-day weather project. They could also write the weather word being illustrated instead of using it in a complete sentence.

Above Grade Level:

  • This group of students could do research on specific weather events such as: hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, cold fronts, etc. They could in turn share this new information with the class as a whole and or in small groups.

EL Students:

  • These students would highly benefit from having several different children’s weather books as a resource throughout the project. They could also be partnered with an on grade-level or above grade-level student to assist with the actual presentation of the 5-day weather forecast/report.

Additional Resources

  • Oh Say Can You Say What’s the Weather Today? By Tish Rabe
  • Weather Forecasting by Gail Gibbons
  • What Will the Weather Be Like Today? By Paul Rogers
  • Freddy the Frogcaster and the Terrible Tornado by Janice Dean

Appendix (See Downloads)

  • Weather Forecast Rubric
  • My 5-Day Weather Forecast Planning Sheet
  • Wonderful Weather Forecasting Recording Sheet

Credits

Grade 1: Changes in the Season

Additional Resources

Books

  • Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber
  • Handsprings by Douglas Florian
  • Spring-An Alphabet Acrostic by Steven Schnur
  • Weather: Poems for All Seasons by Lee Bennett Hopkin
  • Oh Say Can You Say What’s the Weather Today? By Tish Rabe
  • Weather Forecasting by Gail Gibbons
  • What Will the Weather Be Like Today? By Paul Rogers
  • Freddy the Frogcaster and the Terrible Tornado by Janice Dean
  • Seasons by Marie Greenwood
  • True or False? Seasons by Daniel Nunn
  • Winter by Ailie Busby
  • Spring by Ailie Busby
  • Summer by Ailie Busby
  • Fall by Ailie Busby
  • Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner
  • Summer Is Summer by Phillis & David Gershator

Grade 1:
Exploring Our World through Lights & Shadows

EXPLORING OUR WORLD THROUGH LIGHTS AND SHADOWS

Grade 1: Exploring Our World through Lights and Shadows

Unit Description

In this unit, students will use the arts to experience the mysterious science behind lights and shadows! By integrating the visual arts, the students will work in teams of three to create a painted triptych showing the relationship between light and an object’s shadow in the morning, noon, and afternoon. Using music, students will demonstrate durations of light using instruments. Students will get on their feet and dance in order to create and perform shadow dances with movement.

Unit Essential Question

  • What are sources of light in our environment?
  • How can we use light to create shadows?
  • How can we measure shadows from the light source to the end of the shadow?

Real World Context

  • Students will watch video “How do solar panels work?”
  • Teacher will discuss video in relation to the real world.
  • Teacher will ask “What is solar energy?” “Where would you find solar panels?” “Why are they important?”
  • The students will build solar ovens. (Please preview links beforehand):
  • After the ovens are built, place in the sunlight to “cook.” While students enjoy the s’mores, ask the questions: “How did you use the sun to make an oven?” “How does your oven compare to the solar panel?”

Cross-Cutting Interdisciplinary Concepts

Cause and Effect

Projects

Project 1: Dancing Shadows
In this project, students will use dance to perform a role illustrating a shadow. Students will explore how shadows are cast and how they can grow and shrink in size. Dance and light will help bring this concept to life!

Project 2: Waves: Lights and Sounds
In this project, students will work in small groups to create a painted triptych showing the relationship between an object and its shadow in the morning, noon, and afternoon. Students will then have the opportunity to analyze how and why the shadows changed throughout the course of the day.

Project 3: Sounds of Shadows
In this project, students will demonstrate durations of light using musical instruments. The students will discover shadows through movement and sources of light to demonstrate that morning has short shadows, noon has longer shadows and night has shortest shadows. They will use their bodies, objects (balls, rulers, etc.) and rotate while observing where their shadows go. Students will create sounds using long, short, and medial lengths of sounds that demonstrate the time of day. Students will create sounds, long and short, that will demonstrate how shadows crescendo and decrescendo throughout the day.

Standards

Curriculum Standards

S1P1 Students will investigate light and shadows.

  1. Recognize sources of light.
  2. Explain how shadows are formed.

ELAGSE1W2 Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts, and provide a sense of closure.
Arts Standards

D1CO.4 Demonstrates an understanding of dance as it relates to other areas of knowledge.

  1. Explores commonalities of essential concepts shared between dance and other subject areas.

TAES1.5 Directing by conceptualizing, organizing and conducting rehearsals for performance.

M1GM.4 Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments.

  1. Improvise simple body percussion patterns.
  2. Improvise soundscapes (e.g., weather, animals, and other sound effects).

VA1MC.3 Selects and uses subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

Character Education

Components

  • Partner with another class to participate in a gallery walk of the shadow paintings.
  • Partner with another class to participate in viewing of the shadow dances.

Attributes

  • Self-Discipline
  • Teamwork

Summative Assessments

  • Pre/Post-Test

Partnering with Fine Arts Teachers

Music Teacher:

  • Assist with the music vocabulary instruction, specifically in “Waves: Lights and Sounds” project.

Visual Arts Teacher:

  • Assist with the visual arts vocabulary instruction, specifically “Dancing Shadows” project.

Appendix (See Project Downloads)

  • Pre/Post-Test

Credits

U.S. Department of Education
Arts in Education--Model Development and Dissemination Grants Program
Cherokee County (GA) School District and ArtsNow, Inc.
Ideas contributed and edited by:
Catherine Shaw, Tammy Owen, Erica Hagood, Jessica Espinoza

Dancing Shadows

Mathematics, Science, Music, Theater, and Dance

Description

In this project, students will use dance to perform a role illustrating a shadow. Students will explore how shadows are cast and how they can grow and shrink in size. Dance and light will help bring this concept to life!

Learning Targets

“I Can…”

  • Create a shadow using my body
  • Explain how shadows are made
  • Use dance to demonstrate how shadows work

Essential Questions

  • How can I use movements to create a shadow?
  • What would happen if a light source is blocked?
  • How can I use dance to explore science through shadows?
  • How are shadows made?

Curriculum Standards

S1P1 Students will investigate light and shadows.

  1. Recognize sources of light.
  2. Explain how shadows are formed.

ELAGSE1W2 Write informative/ explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts, and provide a sense of closure.

Arts Standards

D1CO.4 Demonstrates an understanding of dance as it relates to other areas of knowledge.

  1. Explores commonalities of essential concepts shared between dance and other subject areas.

TAES1.5 Directing by conceptualizing, organizing and conducting rehearsals for performance.

Content Vocabulary

  • Light
  • Shadows
  • Light Source

Arts Vocabulary

  • Level: one of the aspects of the movement element space. In dance there are 3 basic levels: high, middle and low.
  • Pathway: the designs traced on the floor as a dancer travels across space; the designs traced in the air as a dancer moves various body parts.
  • Shape: refers to an interesting and interrelated arrangement of body parts of one dancer; the visual makeup or molding of the body parts of a single dancer; the overall visible appearance of a group of dancers.
  • Symmetrical: a visually balanced body shape or grouping of dancers.

Technology Integration

Formative Assessment

  • Teacher will observe shadow dances for the understanding of shadow formation.

Summative Assessment

  • The teacher will assess the performance of the shadow dance and illustrations using the rubric.

Materials

  • White shower curtain or drop cloth
  • Spot light

Activating Strategy (5-10 min)

Main Activity

Part 1:

  • Introduce the science and dance vocabulary. Discuss the meaning of the vocabulary words in relation to the video “Shadow Dances.”
  • Encourage and assist the students in picking out the key vocabulary in the video. Make a list of the vocabulary terms that are found/recognized in the video.

Part 2:

  • Review the chart with the dance and science vocabulary.
  • Divide the students into pairs.
  • Direct students to create a three-part dance illustrating sizes and placement of shadows in different parts of the day (morning, afternoon and night) using only their bodies and no sound with their movements. The movements will be a reflection of movements for that part of the day. “What happens in the morning, afternoon and evening?”
  • Students will use the three-part document to illustrate dance movements. After illustrating, depending on their role in the dance, students will write a sentence about their movements and or shadow.

Part 3:

  • When the students are ready to share their shadow dances, the teacher will ask the following questions:
    • How would your movements change if the light source moved?
    • Did your shadow have the same shape as the original movement?
    • Was the original image and shadow symmetrical?
    • Did your dance include a pathway?

Classroom Tips:

  • Discuss self-discipline in relation to working in a group and performing together.

Reflection Questions

  • How are shadows related to light?
  • Can you predict the outcome if there is no light?
  • How did you apply what you learned to developing a shadow dance?

Differentiation

Accelerated:

  • Using the poem “Shadow Race” by Shel Silverstein (A Light in the Attic), students will decide which hypothesis would be true:
    1. The shadow will win the race because the sun is behind me.
    2. The sun will win the race because the sun is front of me.
  • Have the students go outside and run the race to confirm/reject the hypothesis.
  • The students could also predict the outcome if the race were done in a different location or at a different time of day (confirm if possible).

Remedial/EL Students:

  • Part 2: Allow EL and remedial students who need visuals to have their drawings in front of them as a visual aid to remember their movements. When writing their sentence, the students may use a “sentence frame” to focus learning on specific vocabulary.
    • Ex. My dance movement for (morning/afternoon/night) was _____________ because __________.
  • Part 3: Ask students 2 questions, using simplified vocabulary, with verbal and visual cues. Allow students who struggle with vocabulary to answer their questions toward the end so they are provided with modeling of correct answers.

Additional Resources

  • Dancing Shadows Rubric
  • Dancing Shadows Illustration Handout

Appendix (See Downloads)

  • Frayer Model Graphic Organizer
  • Shared Research Sheet (if needed)
  • Tableaus Come to Life Rubric

Credits

Waves: Lights and Sounds

Mathematics, Science, and Visual Arts

Description

In this project, students will work in small groups to create a painted triptych showing the relationship between an object and its shadow in the morning, noon, and afternoon. Students will then have the opportunity to analyze how and why the shadows changed throughout the course of the day.

Learning Targets

“I Can…”

  • Create a painting using canvas that shows shadows at various times of the day
  • Work in a group of three to demonstrate and explain shadow progression throughout the day

Essential Questions

  • How does the time of day affect the relationship between an object and its shadow?

Curriculum Standards

S1P1 Students will investigate light and shadows.

  1. Recognize sources of light.
  2. Explain how shadows are formed.

1.MD.A.2 Students will measure the length of objects using nonstandard units.

Arts Standards

VA1MC.3 Selects and uses subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

Content Vocabulary

  • Light source (manmade & natural)
  • Shadows
  • Measure
  • Nonstandard unit

Arts Vocabulary

  • Media: the tools and materials an artist uses
  • Subject matter: the things that are represented in a work of art such as people, buildings, and trees
  • Emphasis: in a composition, developing points of interest to pull the viewer’s eye to important parts of the body of the work
  • Triptych: a picture or relief carving on three panels
  • Sketch: a simple drawing giving the essential features without the details
  • Still life: a representation of inanimate objects, as a painting of a bowl of fruit
  • Background: the area of artwork that appears furthest away and is smallest

Technology Integration

Formative Assessment

  • Observe the accuracy of how groups demonstrate the progression of shadows throughout the day.
  • Questioning

Summative Assessment

  • Waves: Lights and Sounds Rubric (See Downloads)

Materials

Activating Strategy (5-10 min)

  • Gallery Walk on Google Cultural Institute (see technology link)
  • Ask students activating questions:
    • What do you see in this artwork?
    • What do you see that makes you think that?
    • What more can we find?
    • What do you think the light source is for this artwork?
    • How can you tell? What evidence do you see?
    • Do you see a shadow?
    • Based on the shadow, what time of day do you think it is? (Refer to shadow exploration from outside activity if needed.)

Main Activity

Part 1: Shadow Exploration

  • Tell students that we are going to explore shadows.
  • Ask students what they already know about shadows. Make a chart of their responses.
  • Take students out three different times of day (morning, noon, and afternoon).
  • Students will choose a partner. One will trace the shadow of the other. (Have them write their name on the shadows so they remember which one is theirs.)
  • Take students out at noon and in the afternoon.
  • After each time they will trace the shadow, they will measure the shadow with a nonstandard unit such as student chairs.
  • Students will record the lengths of their shadows at each time of day for comparison (see resources).
  • After all comparisons have been made, in a class discussion, ask students what they now know about shadows.
  • Record student responses with the original responses and discuss findings as a class.

Part 2: Looking at Van Gogh

  • Show students gallery from Google Cultural Institute (see link in technology).
  • As you progress through the artwork, focus on the light sources, how the background relates to the time of day, and shadow placement.
  • Examine Van Gogh’s style of painting. Zoom in and look at brush strokes and differing colors used in background to give the art some depth.
  • Tell students that they will create their own artwork showing the relationship between shadows, objects, and time of day.

Part 3: Painting

  • Set up still life by manipulating a light to set to up the time of day.
  • Tell students to pay close attention to the size relationship between the still life and the canvas panel.
  • Students will then sketch lightly with a pencil to their object and the shadow that it cast, paying close attention between the two.
  • Students will then paint their sketch using acrylic paints. (Wear smocks during painting.)
  • Tell students the background should correspond to the time of day being represented. Refer back to Van Gogh paintings if needed.

Classroom Tips:

  • Review proper handling of paint and painting tools, process of painting, and clean up procedures. Make paint pallet with a disposable plastic/Styrofoam plate. Cover with saran wrap to save for following days.

Reflection Questions

  • Students will write what they learned about shadows.
  • Students will record their thoughts (using an iPad or video camera) on how the project helped them understand how shadows are created and move through space.
  • Reflection questions:
    • Did this project help you understand lights and shadows more than others we have done? Why?
    • If you could do this project over, what would you do differently?
    • How can you prove to the teacher you know the objective?

Differentiation

Accelerated:

  • Advanced students could create their “shadow pictures” in colors representing the different times of day. For example, the morning shadow might be a cool color because the temperature is cooler in the morning, the afternoon might be a neutral color, and the late afternoon might be a warm color.

Remedial/EL Students:

  • Part 2: Preview in small group Van Gogh’s paintings with remedial and EL students before doing whole group lesson. Review content and visual arts vocabulary. Have the students restate vocabulary definitions in their own words.
  • Reflection:
    • Use simplified vocabulary, with verbal and visual cues.
    • Allow students to use sentence frames to form their sentence about what they learned.

Additional Resources

  • Waves: Lights and Sounds Rubric
  • Shadow Recording Sheet

Appendix (See Downloads)

  • Frayer Model Graphic Organizer
  • Shared Research Sheet (if needed)
  • Tableaus Come to Life Rubric

Credits

Sounds of Shadows

Science and Music

Description

In this project, students will demonstrate durations of light using musical instruments. The students will discover shadows through movement and sources of light to demonstrate that morning has short shadows, noon has longer shadows and night has shortest shadows. They will use their bodies, objects (balls, rulers, etc.) and rotate while observing where their shadows go. Students will create sounds using long, short, and medial lengths of sounds that demonstrate the time of day. Students will create sounds, long and short, that will demonstrate how shadows crescendo and decrescendo throughout the day.

Learning Targets

“I Can…”

  • Create sounds, long and short, that will demonstrate the durations of shadows throughout the day
  • Demonstrate how the movement of the light source changes the length of the shadows throughout the day

Essential Questions

  • How can we create sounds that will demonstrate the duration of shadows throughout the day?

Curriculum Standards

S1P1 Students will investigate light and sounds.

  1. Recognize sources of light.
  2. Explain how shadows are made.

Arts Standards

M1GM.4 Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments.

  1. Improvise soundscapes (e.g., weather, animals, and other sound effects).

Content Vocabulary

  • Light
  • Shadows
  • Light Sources

Arts Vocabulary

  • Crescendo: gradual increase in volume, soft to loud
  • Decrescendo: gradual decrease in volume, loud to soft
  • Forte: loud
  • Piano: soft
  • Mezzo: medium soft (piano) or loud (forte)
  • Duration: how long or short a sound is produced
  • Dynamics: refers to loud and soft sounds; volume
  • Largo: long and connected sounds
  • Staccato: short and detached sounds

Technology Integration

Formative Assessment

  • Students will be observed when given direct instructions to hear if they can make accurate sounds to create shadows that reflect morning, noon, and night.

Summative Assessment

  • Students will be able to create notations and perform their sounds of shadows that follow the progression of the day (Morning, Noon, and Night).

Materials

  • Slide whistles
  • Recorders
  • Drawings of the same picture with variations of shadow movement
  • Triangle
  • Tone bloc
  • Gong
  • If there are no instruments present at your school, you can substitute vocal sounds with body percussion or found sounds (anything one can find, ex: pencil tapping the desk).

Activating Strategy (5-10 min)

  • Watch video of a tree’s shadow (see technology for links)
  • Listen to parts of Dvorak’s New World Symphony Movements 2, 3, & 4 (in the order of 3, 4, & 2) while looking at a picture of various shadows (see Downloads).
  • Ask EQs and review “I Can Statements” to explain to students what this project in the unit is about.

Main Activity

PROCESS: Apply the idea of long and short sounds representing shadows through music.

Part 1:

  • Revisit science vocabulary and introduce music vocabulary.
  • Students will create shadows through movement and sources of light to demonstrate that morning has longer shadows, noon has shorter shadows and night has shortest shadows.
  • They will use their bodies, objects (balls, rulers, etc.) and rotate while observing where their shadows go.
  • The musical element would include different instruments to represent both the time of day and length of shadow:
  • Watch videos of shadow progressions and have students describe on chart paper or interactive science journal on the variations of the positions of the shadows based on the main object.
  • Morning: Triangle: Represents the longer shadow produced in the morning with a prolonged, high pitched sound that is legato (long and connected). The timbre (sound of the instrument) of the triangle is representative of the bright light of the morning sun.
  • Noon: Tone block: Creates short, staccato (short/detached) sound, which represents the length of the noon shadow.
  • Evening: Gong or Metallophone (Orff instrument): Creates a warm, long, low (timbre) sound which represents the length of the evening shadow and the time of day.

Part 2:

  • Listen to Dvorak’s New World Symphony Movements (see Downloads).
  • Students will brainstorm on each movement as to which part of the day it might represent (morning, noon, or night) and where the shadow would be at that part of the day. Each movement will have elements of long, slow, fast, loud, and soft sounds. Just use the first few minutes of each movement.
  • Students will look at a basic picture with variations of lights and shadows to discuss which movement would be more likely to go with the picture.
  • Students will strike a gong to simulate morning shadow (long), triangle to simulate afternoon (short), and tone block to simulate evening/night (shortest).

Part 3:

  • Students will create sounds of shadows with the aid of slide whistles and recorders.
  • Short blasts of the recorders will simulate short shadows and slide whistles will simulate long shadows.
  • This should not be about the quality of the sound, but the durations of each of the sounds to simulate shadows.
  • Students with the teacher will come up with notations that represent the time of shadows. (i.e. Long lines=Long shadows=Longer part of the day; Short lines or (any other geometric shape) will represent the shorter shadows and shorter part of the day.
  • Students will then discuss what part of the day, morning, noon or night, where shadows are the shortest and longest.

Classroom Tips:

  • With modeling, students should be able to do this at their desk with writing musical notations and performing musical instruments.

Reflection Questions

  • How does music help you understand how shadows change throughout the course of a day?
  • Describe the relationship between the light source and the shadow at specific times throughout the day. In general, why did the shadow grow or shrink?

Differentiation

Accelerated:

  • Students will create and write individual short and long sounds approved notations on paper for others to follow.
  • Advanced students could pretend to have a “pen pal” in different areas of the world (northern vs southern hemisphere or eastern vs western hemisphere, etc).
  • They will be given different times of day (morning, when you go to school, lunch time, bed time), and will be asked to predict if they were to message their pen pal, how would the pen pal describe the amount of light at that time.
  • Map of the earth and where sunlight is shining: http://www.die.net/earth/
  • Additionally, students could research what time zone their “pen pal” was in, and what the time difference would be.

Remedial/EL Students:

  • Teacher will model “I do, We do, You (Student) do” sounds of long and short shadow sounds.

Additional Resources

Appendix (See Downloads)

  • Sounds of Shadows Rubric
  • Dvorak’s New World Symphony Movements Music Files

Credits