As you know, JaNee is a curious puppet, one of those who comes up with all kinds of questions. The nice thing about her questions is that they are questions that often resonate with children as well. Indeed, some of the questions come from children, she heard a child ask them and therefore the question stuck in her mind. He sticks there because she would like to know the answer herself.
This question was one of those: “How do I know how much rain is falling?” She asked after seeing an empty paint bucket full of rainwater outside. Was that rain from 1 day, or from several days?
That’s quite a good question, don’t you think? I had to think about it for a while because I don’t have a rain gauge or anything, so how could I still give it some insight?
The paint bucket offered a solution; if I put dashes in it, JaNee could see how much rain had fallen. Not quite to the millimeter exactly and I wouldn’t know if it’s correct with weather stations measurements then either, but hey……it’s all about the idea. Not everything has to be perfect, this was simple, doable AND JaNee liked the plan. So said, so done.
This was the result:
This became our rain gauge and JaNee has been very active with it for weeks. Because after she knew how much rain had fallen, she wanted to capture it somehow, and we devised a grid where she could color in boxes each day. That way she could see how much rain had fallen all week or all month.
Such a survey usually lasts as long as JaNee likes and feels like keeping up with it. The interest in a subject can disappear as quickly as it came, and that’s fine. She learned something from it and now knows that rain does not fall every day, nor does rain always fall equally. She has found a way to write it down and keeps learning something that way. She shares her enthusiasm with the children in class, and they then want to do the same in class. So then we make a rain gauge there too and keep track of how much rain falls there too.
Until something else is more interesting and the rain fades into the background.
Would you also like to do this with your class? This is our rain schedule, you can borrow it.