University of Illinois Extension

Riding the Winds with Kalani - University of Illinois Extension

The Earth Leans -

Teacher's Guide

Riding the Wind with Kalani is designed for 5-8 year olds to gain knowledge about the weather.  The site provides information on:

  • Basic Earth movements such as rotation and revolution.
  • How the tilt of Earth's axis, and its revolution create seasons.
  • What temperature is.
  • What are basic types of clouds.
  • What precipitation is.
  • What lightning, thunder, and tornadoes are.

The student section of this site is designed for young readers to go through each screen and read the words or listen to the narrative. Animations have been provided to enhance the learning of weather processes.  The story of Billy the Air Bubble is meant to be read to students. There are various coloring pages that accompany the story.

Illinois Learning Standards

Language Arts

STATE GOAL 1:  Read with understanding and fluency.

A.  Apply word analysis and vocabulary skills to comprehend selections.

1.A.1b  Comprehend unfamiliar words using context clues and prior knowledge; verify meanings with resource materials.

C.  Comprehend a broad range of reading materials.

1.C.1b  Identify important themes and topics.

1.C.1f  Use information presented in simple tables, maps and charts to form an interpretation.


STATE GOAL 3:  Write to communicate for a variety of purposes.

B.  Compose well-organized and coherent writing for specific purposes and audiences.

3.B.1a  Use prewriting strategies to generate and organize ideas (e.g., focus on one topic; organize writing to include a beginning, middle and end; use descriptive words when writing about people, places, things, events).

C.  Communicate ideas in writing to accomplish a variety of purposes.

3.C.1b  Create media compositions or productions which convey meaning visually for a variety of purposes.

Listening and Speaking

STATE GOAL 4:  Listen and speak effectively in a variety of situations.

A.  Listen effectively in formal and informal situations.

4.A.1d  Use visually oriented and auditorily based media.

B.  Speak effectively using language appropriate to the situation and audience.

4.B.1b  Participate in discussions around a common topic.


STATE GOAL 5:  Use the language arts to acquire, assess and communicate information.

5.A.1b  Locate information using a variety of resources.


STATE Goal 6:  Demonstrate and apply a knowledge and sense of numbers, including numeration and operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division), patterns, ratios and proportions.

B.  Investigate, represent and solve problems using number facts, operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) and their properties, algorithms and relationships.

6.B.1  Solve one- and two-step problems with whole numbers using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. 


STATE GOAL 12:  Understand the fundamental concepts, principles and interconnections of the life, physical and earth/space sciences.

E.  Know and apply concepts that describe the features and processes of the Earth and its resources.

12.E.1b  Identify and describe patterns of weather and seasonal change.

F.  Know and apply concepts that explain the composition and structure of the universe and Earth's place in it.

12.F.1b  Identify daily, seasonal and annual patterns related to the Earth's rotation and revolution.

STATE GOAL 13:  Understand the relationships among science, technology and society in historical and contemporary contexts.

B.  Know and apply concepts that describe the interaction between science, technology and society.

13.B.1a  Explain the uses of common scientific instruments (e.g., ruler, thermometer, balance, probe, computer).


Kalani Adventure Story
Ask the students to write a short story about Kalani and her travels. Include some discussion of the temperature, clouds, or other aspects of weather that she encounters.

Highs and Lows
Keep a listing of the high and low temperatures each day for one week. Use the local newspaper or Internet to research this information. Have students subtract the low temperature from the high, and show the difference for each day. For higher grades have students add all the high temperatures together and divide that number by the number of days that temperatures were tracked. This will give an average high temperature for the week. Do the same for low temperatures.

Catch the Rain
Have the students use a rain gauge to measure precipitation for a day, week or month. It should be placed in a very open spot not under a tree or a building overhang.

What's the Weather Today?
Use the worksheet What's the Weather Today? to chart the weather for the week.

Catch a Cloud
Students can be cloud watchers. Use the Catch a Cloud worksheet to observe the clouds and stimulate imagination. Students should not look directly at the sun.

Learn Your Letters Writing Worksheets
Use the Learn Your Letters worksheet for students to practice their letters and writing words.

Weather Creations
Use the Snowday, What's Behind the Cloud, and Draw a Snowflake worksheets to stimulate the student's imagination about weather events. Make a weather gallery in your classroom with the worksheets.

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