As a homeschool mom, I love open and go lessons that don’t require tons of prep work from me. Furthermore, I also know the value of being able to teach multiple ages together! Here’s a mini lesson on the Earth’s climate that you can use with multiple ages and complete without any preparation on your end.
It’s easy to use this mini lesson! Just download the FREE handout to use with this lesson at the bottom of this post, and follow the instructions here. Pin this post for later so you can find the videos (or they will also be referenced in the handout).
Note: This lesson is related to climate zones on the Earth and does not discuss climate change in the political sense.
Climate is an important foundational concept for kids to understand in their study of geography. Here’s what they should know.
Introduction to Climate
First, let’s introduce the topic of climate. Depending on the ages of your kids, they might know something about what climate is, or they might be clueless! However, it’s totally okay – ask them what they know already, then watch this video as you complete the first section of your handout.
What’s the Difference Between Climate and Weather?
While weather refers to the conditions outside your window at any given moment, climate refers to the weather pattern of a region over time. You can help your kids work through similarities and differences by creating a simple Venn Diagram.
Next, watch this video by National Geographic which discusses climate vs. weather and have the kids add to their Venn Diagram on the FREE handout.
How Does the Ocean Influence Climate?
Your kids will love this video showing NASA images of the surface of the earth as the narrator explains the way the ocean influences our climate. This video has enough great visuals to wow the younger kids and enough meteorological terms to give the older kids some advanced information they probably didn’t know.
Narration is a great tool to assess learning and works with every level. Have your kids narrate back what they learned from this video. Then, you can create the oral narration into a written narration if you’d like.
Hands-On Climate Activity
Finally, you can download a hands-on climate activity printable and instructions to finish out this mini geography lesson on climate. Your youngest kids will have fun painting (or coloring) a climate zone map. Meanwhile, your older kids can be more detailed with their maps by including key cities around the world, adding in the global ocean currents, and labeling in additional microclimates after a bit of research.
More Geography Mini Lessons
You can download a FREE handout to use with this mini lesson at 4onemore.com in the resource library.
In short, mini lessons work well on days when your normal plan seems to fall apart, days when mom doesn’t feel well, or when you just want to change things up a bit!
If you want other geography mini lessons, they’re here:
- Imports Scavenger Hunt
- Longitude & Latitude Mini Lesson
- World Maps Mini Lesson
- Grocery Store Scavenger Hunt
- The GeoBear Project
Abby is a former public school teacher, now homeschooling her five children. She’s in the trenches just like you and knows it can be challenging to be home with your kids all day while you struggle to keep up with the housework and educate your kids (and maybe even work on the side!). She blogs over at www.4onemore.com and hosts the Homeschool with Moxie podcast.