Off in the distance, you hear a soft rumble of thunder. Soon fat raindrops hit the ground. Then the wind picks up and rain slashes at the windows. Lightning flashes and thunder booms. Nature is at it again! In the book A Spring Thunderstorm, the students in Mrs. Wigglebum’s class learn about storms, thunder, and lightning, and the dangers that can be associated with these weather occurrences. Two of the most important ingredients for thunderstorm formation are unstable air and moisture.
Thunderstorms can occur year-round and at all hours. But they are most likely to happen in the spring and summer months and during the afternoon and evening hours. It is estimated that there are around 1,800 thunderstorms that occur across our planet every day. Every thunderstorm has lightning (which is what makes the thunder sound).
Since spring is a prime time for storms, take advantage of this teachable moment. Watch our video and make your own spring shower. Read the Fuddlebrook book, A Spring Thunderstorm, to learn more about storms and the dangers associated with them.
Here are some other teaching ideas:
Learn about cumulonimbus clouds (thunderheads) as well as other types of clouds, too. What types of weather does each indicate?
Crunch on a Wint ‘O Green Lifesaver® and make a lightening storm in your mouth! All you need is a mint, a mirror, and a dark room. Explain the science behind this and how it mimics lightening.
Research the inventions of Benjamin Franklin, including the lightening rod. How did he prove lightening was electricity?
Thousands of years ago philosophers such as Aristotle believed that thunder was caused by the collision of clouds. Research the role of thunder and lightning in mythology as well.
Fulminology is the term used to describe the study of lightning. Learn about types of lightning. For example, Green Elves, Red Sprites, and Blue Jets are three different types of high altitude lightning.
Discuss safety procedures in the event of a thunderstorm.
While we may experience spring thunderstorms or other extreme weather, know we’ve got it good compared to others. The worst thunderstorm area in the world is Kampala, the capital of Uganda. Kampala has an average of 240 days with thunderstorms every year
And, just as storms can pop up, they also often quickly end. Read A Spring Thunderstorm to discover the surprise that awaits Herman after the clouds disappear. Have a happy and safe spring!