Aside from my obsession with new recipes and saving money, my whole goal in life is to trick my second-grader into thinking learning is fun. His teachers have mastered the art of deception. I … on the other hand … well, I’m working on it. Here’s the proof.
The forecast last week called for five consecutive days of rain (ugh!). What better time to learn about lightning, eh? I checked out a few books from our local library to help explain how lightning is made (electricity in the clouds) and what to do to stay safe during a storm.
Most of the books I found explained the science behind storms with more detail and advanced vocabulary than a kindergartener can understand. To solve this problem, I edited the stories a bit, carefully selecting which pages to read to my son. Franklyn M. Branley’s book “Flash, Crash, Rumble, and Roll” did a great job of explaining lightning and providing safety tips.
After we read up on the topic, I gave my son some story paper that had space for a picture at the top and lines for writing below. I told him to draw a neighborhood at the bottom of the picture window. When he was done drawing houses and trees and a postal drop box (don’t ask me why he added this, we have a mailbox), I paper-clipped a piece of paper behind his drawing, on which I had used a hot glue gun to draw 3-D lightning strikes.
With blue and black crayons stripped of their paper, he held them sideways and rubbed them over his drawing to make lightning magically appear in the dark sky. When his stormy scene was complete, I wrote “When it storms, you should …” at the top of the page and let him finish the sentence on his own.