Monday, February 20, 2012

What's the Weather There?

Download this thermometer here.
Spring break is coming up so I figured it would be fun to take an imaginary trip to five U.S. capital cities. Just the idea of this pretend adventure made my son giddy!

“Where we goin’, Mom?" he asked. From a bowl full of papers printed with each capital city, my son drew one. This was our first stop: Sacramento, CA. (Woo Hoo! On a cool February day in the Midwest, it was a real treat to go there, even if it was just in our minds!)

I handed my son a plastic sheet protector filled with two papers: a map of the United States on one side and a thermometer on the other.

We used Google Maps to locate where in California the city of Sacramento was located. My son made a dot on his sheet protector-covered map with a dry-erase marker. Then we headed over to to see what the temps were like that day. My son wrote the name of the city and temperature next to the thermometer and colored in the mercury up to 65 degrees Fahrenheit with the dry-erase marker.

We made stops at four other capital cities - Juneau, AK; Charleston, WV; Bismarck, ND; and Salt Lake City, UT. What a blast we had on our virtual vacay!

When all the cities were identified on the maps and thermometers were colored, we “returned home” and I asked my son the following:
  • What was the hottest city we visited?
  • What was the coolest?

Then he put the cities (i.e. thermometers) in order from coolest to warmest temperature.

Lastly, I put his subtraction skills to the test and asked him to tell me how much warmer it was from one city to the next.

“Why didn’t we go more places, Mom?” he asked when we were done. It looks like more “vacations” are in order!


  1. This is awesome! Too funny that I just put the same type of activity in my Weather Unit I am just finishing up =-) Great minds think alike, right=-)

    1. Indeed, Beth. This activity was LOADS of fun, so I'm sure your Weather Unit will be a hit too! :) Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Excellent! I loved it. I can see me adjusting this for our family. It looks like it was so much fun.

  3. I LOVE this idea! Saw it in my reader this morning, and was thrilled when you linked it up to Learning Laboratory =)

    I plan to do this with my kiddos, comparing temperatures where family members live!

  4. What a great idea - I especially liked random element of it. I wonder which city was the hottest - I would think it was Sacramento for this time of the year.

  5. Love this idea and will save it for when my kids are a bit older. I like the way it combines geography, comparison, and digital literacy with google maps. Cool!

  6. I love this idea! Thank you for sharing!