Wind for Schools Portal/K-3 Curricula

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Wind for Schools Curricula: Elementary K - 3

Getting Started


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.

Expand Your Understanding

 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

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

 Most Popular Activities

Shorter Explorations

If you have 1 to 3 days and want to explore wind energy with your elementary students, here are a few of our favorites.

Making Anemometers
This is a fun way to start quantifying the wind and measuring it around the school.
Sail Cars
Use the wind to push simple cars down a track. Students construct and test simple sails to affect performance.
Wind Picture Books
This can be a rich way to explore wind power and improve literacy. If students have time, they can write their own stories or books about a wind experience.

 Explore Materials

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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!
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This lesson provides several activities for students to explore wind vocabulary.
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Students explore what energy is and how it is used. Students will be able to describe energy. Students will be able to list ways they use energy.
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A continuation of the Energy Lesson.
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Using a pinwheel students explore how there is energy in the wind and can do work.
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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
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Make a kite out of simple materials and use it to understand where the wind is. Use the flags on the tail of the kite to understand wind speed and direction changes with height.
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This is a fun way to start quantifying the wind and measuring it around the school.
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Using simple tools that they construct and that are provided they explore how to measure wind speed and explore the school grounds to find the windiest spot.
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Build a Sail Car using inexpensive materials to demonstrate how wind can be used to propel an object. Gather measurements, record changes in variables, and use simple engineering design concepts to build sails that can push the car the farthest. Serves 8-24 students (8 Sail Cars). Recommended age range between K-12th grade. Approximately 1 class period required.
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Student build a windmill to learn about how the wind can do work! Students use basic materials like paper plates and straws to construct a device that spins in the wind in order to lift weight.
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Here you will find a set of resources to help teachers teach about wind and to help students learn about wind.
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Using a firefly students are introduce to the concept that wind energy can be transformed into electrical energy.
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Through observation students explore evidence that the wind is blowing.
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This can be a rich way to explore wind power and improve literacy. If students have time, they can write their own stories or books about a wind experience. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kampkwamba (Picture Book). This is a great book for older elementary students. It documents the life of young boy in Africa who builds his own wind turbine to generate power, a very inspiring complement to more advanced wind energy activities. There is a picture book, and a student reader is available that is appropriate for middle school students.
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Students reflect on what they have learned in this wind unit.
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By constructing a simple windmill students explore how many a windmill works and how many paper clips it can lift.
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After observing evidence of wind blowing they will document what they see in writing.
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