Wind for Schools Portal/4-6 Curricula

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Wind for Schools Curricula: Elementary 4 - 6

Elementary students are familiar with the wind as something they experience when they are outside or when the weather changes. Our goal is to build on these experiences and explore wind characteristics as a weather phenomenon and start to introduce the idea that wind has been used, and can be used to do useful work.

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 Concepts and Standards

Wind as Weather Phenomenon

As part of a broader weather study, students can:

  • collect and explore data about the wind over time.
  • explore how and when the wind changes intensity and direction over time.
  • make observations about the wind around their school and at different locations around the world.

Wind Can Do Work

Through experiments and design projects:

  • students can construct devices that use the wind to make them move
  • explore the forces (pushes and pulls) at work on objects when they are in the wind
  • improve student design, testing, and experimentation skills

Wind Can Generate Electricity

As many students enter 4th grade, they:

  • start to explore electricity and circuits, allowing the introduction to the idea that wind turbines can convert wind into electricity
  • can expand this understanding by connecting classroom turbines to their simple circuits.
  • can go further and start to design turbine blades that affect electricity production and try to improve their designs to produce more electricity

Literacy Exploration

Picture books and stories about wind can:

  • help students explore their own experiences with wind and then describe and write their own stories

 Learning Pathways

Expand your Understanding

If you have time, you can explore these resources to help you better understand wind energy before you start working with your students.


How to Teach About Wind – Elementary Guide
PBS Video, Wind Power
Department of Energy, Wind 101
Student Energy Wind
Switch Energy Project
History Channel, Modern Marvels-Renewable Energy
BrainPOP, Wind Episode


American Wind Energy Association
Department of Energy, Wind
NREL, Learning About Wind
National Geographic, Wind Power
Union of Concerned Scientists, Wind Power

Books on Wind Energy Concepts

Wind Energy for Dummies by Ian Woofenden

 Explore Materials

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Blowing in the Wind Lesson Plan.pdf
Students will understand how wind is created along with its unpredictable patterns. They will understand how to observe, collect, and analyze data, and they will understand what direction the wind is coming from.
5 resource(s)

Pinwheel assembly activity - wind can do work.pdf
Here you will find several activities for building wind tools that can be used to measure wind speed and direction and a kite to fly!
4 resource(s)

Catch the wind crossword.pdf
This lesson provides several activities for students to explore wind vocabulary.
2 resource(s)

Kite Flying Lesson Plan.pdf
Students will be able to properly create a bumble bee kite and will be able to accurately mark halves and whole inches on their kite paper. Students will be able to understand the effects of wind on their kites and will observe the force of wind currents and the role they play in everyday life
4 resource(s)

MacGyver windmills.pdf
Windmills are the ancient ancestors of modern wind turbines. To understand how wind turbines work, one must first understand a basic windmill. This lesson will help students understand how a windmill captures the energy of the wind and converts it into usable mechanical energy, which is the basis for understanding modern wind turbines. Students will use the engineering design process and the scientific method to design, build, test, and improve their models.
4 resource(s)

This unit utilizes booklets from the NEED Project to teach students about wind. The lessons are broken down into the following sections:
  • Introduction to Wind - Students will be able to use observational skills to describe wind.
  • Introduction to Energy - Students will be able to list basic facts about energy and how it can be used.
  • Wind Energy Bingo - A fun way to explore energy and wind power terminology. A great way to start a wind power unit.
  • Measuring Wind (Meters and Anemometers) - Students will be able to measure wind speed and direction using appropriate tools and units.
  • Wind can do Work - Students will construct a simple windmill out of easy to find materials with the goal of seeing how many paper clips they can lift. Through this process they will be able to explain how wind can do work
  • Wind can generate Electricity - Students will be able to identify items that use or require electricity. Using a firefly (as small wind turbine) Students will be able to explain how wind can be transformed to generate electricity.
  • Introduction to Blade Investigations - Using larger KidWind wind turbine kits Students will be able to explain how wind can do work by lifting weights. Students will be able to list factors that can affect how turbines work.
  • Blade Investigations, Blade Redesign Investigations, and Blade Investigations Conclusions - These are continuations of the Blade Design Investigations.
  • Wind Reflections - This is a evaluation of the entire Wonders of Wind Unit. Includes a post test and reflective elements.
    1 resource(s)

Wind Is Energy Teacher Guide for Primary Students.pdf
Here you will find a set of resources to help teachers teach about wind and to help students learn about wind.
6 resource(s)

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