Kindergarten Integrated NGSS
Temperature, Water and Weather


Observing wind and determine the direction of where wind comes from


         Observing wind.
         Determining the direction of wind.

wind vane


soapy water and small container for each child
         wire or pipe cleaners to make rings for bubbles


Wind can be defined as "moving air." Windmills can be used for generating electricity or grinding grain or pumping water. Winds push sailboats and windsurfers. The main reason we study wind is  their importance in weather. Prevailing winds from the sea, like monsoons, carry rain, and winds from the desert bring heat. Strong winds can cause a lot of damage. Large cyclonic storms are called hurricanes in the Atlantic, typhoons in the Pacific, cyclones around India and willy-willies in Australia.

Winds are normally described by speed and direction. Wind speed may be described in miles per hour, which is measured with an anemometer. Wind causes the arms to rotate, and their speed can be measured. The direction of air movement, is in part, controlled by air pressure. Warmer areas tend to have a low pressure (warmer air is less dense, molecules are farther apart, hence low pressure) and cooler areas tend to have high pressure (cooler are more dense or compact).

High pressure is usually associated with dry weather because as air sinks and warms, water in the air will evaporated. Low pressure is usually associated with moist weather because as air rises and cools, water vapor tends to condense.


    1. Ask students to describe wind.  Is wind wet, gas, or solid?  Can wind push you down?  Yes, if it is going fast enough. Can wind cause damage?  yes, if associated with a wind storm like a tornado. 
    2. Have students blow on their arm.  Can they feel the wind?  Can they see the wind?  Have students move something by blowing on it (can be hair or a pencil or whatever is at hand).
    3. Wind is a a mystical thing and it was very difficult to understand what it is.  Early peopleuse to make  stories.  You may want to use the following information to tell a story.  Winds come from different direction and  usually bring different types of weather.

      Ancient people had many beliefs about the winds. The ancient Greeks thought that the winds were the children of the sky and the Earth. Unfortunately, the winds were very unruly, so Zeus decided that they needed a dependable guardian. He chose Aeolus, who kept them in a hollow cliff far out to sea. When one of the gods called for a wind, Aeolus would punch a hole in the cliff wall with his spear. Then he plugged up the hole until it was time for the wind to return. The North Wind was ice and wild. The South Wind dripped water from his beard, and would spread fogs that the sailors would get lost in Zephyr, the West Wind. Zephyr was gentle wind. He would clear the sky of clouds and give beautiful weather.
    4. Discuss how to find the direction of the wind by wetting a finger and holding it up or by watching the direction of a kite, pinwheel or bubbles. You always describe the directions by north, south, east or west.  So a West Wind is coming from the west.

      Tell students you are going to take them outside to find the direction of the wind.  If there is no wind then you should be able to detect that by lack of movements.   Before you go outside practice with the students how to determine. 

      a.  Wet Finger test.   Wet your finger (usually you lick the finger with your tongue or you can have them wet their finger on a sponge bowl of water) and blow on it.  It feels cool. 

      b.  Bubbles.   Give groups a small cup of dish detergent.  Use a wire with a loop at the end (or a pipe cleaner) with a loop at the endstraw and dip it into a soapy mixture.  Then blow quickly.

      c.  Pinwheel.  It you turn the pinwheel directly into the wind it will move, if you do not, it will not spin.  Have the students inside make their own wind by either blow on it, or capturing the air by moving the pinwheel.  A  "figure 8" motion is perfect to create wind.  Please note:  This is difficult if children have never used a pinwheel. 
    5. Go outside with students and find the wind direction with the students by using their fingers, bubbles, and pinwheels. Most students are not aware how to find out where the wind is coming from. The name of the wind refers to the direction its coming from. A west wind moves west to east. If you have an anemometer show the students how it works. Students can make bubbles by using a straw and put a little soapy water and blow softly. Have the students observe which way the bubbles go.
    6. Discuss their results to see if they agree on the wind direction.



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