At-home fun with meteorology for grade schoolers

By Children’s Librarian Genevieve Grove

Whether we are signing “What’s the Weather” in kindergarten or wondering what we should wear each day, meteorology is on our minds!

Meteorology studies the atmosphere to learn more about weather processes and systems, and to use that information to forecast what’s coming. Observable weather events are called “meteorological phenomena” and are affected by variables in the Earth’s atmosphere, including:

  • temperature
  • pressure systems
  • water vapor
  • the interactions of those variables on each other

We don’t just need to know if it’s time for a heavier coat; meteorologists can save lives when their predictions point to dangerous storms on the way!

Check out these items from the Oak Park Public Library to learn more about meteorology and have some fun with the weather.

Read these books

Everything Weather

Meteorology kit

What’s the weather today? This kit has a rain gauge, an anemometer (it measures wind speed!), a tornado tube to create your own storm with plastic bottles, and Everything Weather

Did you have any snowball fights this winter? We’ve also included 30 soft “snowballs” to have your own indoor battle any time of year!

Storm Scientist

Storm Scientist: Careers Chasing Severe Weather

Meteorologists and storm chasers brave wild weather all over the world, from the tropics to the Arctic. Readers find out how scientists analyze and predict dangerous weather to help keep people safe, and learn if they have what it takes to be a storm chaser, too.

Full-color photographs and dazzling text take readers right into the heart of the storm.

Wild Weather

Wild Weather: Storms, Meteorology & Climate

Graphic novels aren’t just for superheroes! We love them for learning about science and history in a fun, visual way. 

As snowpocalypse descends once again, one temperamental weatherman is determined to set the record straight on the myths and misconceptions surrounding the elements.

  • What is the difference between weather and climate?
  • How do weather satellites predict the future?
  • Can someone outrun a tornado?
  • Does the rotation of the Earth affect wind currents? And does meteorology have anything to do with meteors?

Stormin Norman Weatherby is gearing up to answer all your wildest questions!

Snow Sounds

Snow Sounds: An Onomatopoeic Story

Can you tell a story using only sounds and pictures? In this nearly-wordless book, a young boy, eager to reach a much-anticipated holiday party on time, listens to the sounds of the shovels, snow plow, and other equipment used to clear his way.

I Survived the Joplin Tornado, 2011

I Survived the Joplin Tornado, 2011

This is the story of a young boy in the middle of one of the deadliest tornadoes to strike the United States since 1947. The I Survived series is always popular, and Midwestern kids are always extra curious about tornados. Author Lauren Tarshis grew up in Joplin and shares extra insight in her afterword.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Is this really meteorology? Who cares, when it’s so much fun to imagine food falling from the sky! Whether you’re more a fan of the original book or can’t get enough of the animated movies (like Miss Genevieve), you’re in for a treat.

Explore this blog

Ask Tom:

Ask Tom

Chicago weather fans are passionate about meteorologist Tom Skilling! His enthusiasm for all things weather really shines through. If you’re curious about any weather trivia or history, Ask Tom on the WGN blog is an in-depth resource.

Genevieve Grove

About Genevieve

Genevieve is a Children’s Librarian who’s constantly on the hunt for great graphic novels, innovative ways to get books into kids’ homes, and the perfect cookie recipe. She’s pretty sure that none of those missions will ever feel “finished,” and that’s just fine by her.