Weather Out The Window
- View photographs of children experiencing different types of weather, and imagine others’ feelings and experiences
- Use technology to meet a partner class located in another community
- Share about weather-related preferences and stories, and explore similarities and differences in their perspectives
Perspective taking enables us to imagine another person’s situation and understand their thoughts and feelings, even when their backgrounds, experiences, and beliefs are unlike our own. This activity focuses heavily on students’ perspective taking abilities as they explore how weather can affect people in similar and different ways.
To learn more about this skill, and how it promotes students’ healthy growth and the development of empathy, please check out our Empathy Framework.
Empatico offers an exciting opportunity for educators to connect their classrooms with other classes around the world. Once you have connected with another educator in the Empatico community, you can schedule live virtual exchanges to bring your students together. These cross-cultural experiences enable students to share their stories, explore different perspectives, and make new friends in another community.
Empatico exchanges are most successful when educators plan and get to know each other beforehand. To do this, please schedule a video call to connect with your partner educator, and use this opportunity to share your goals for this experience, exchange helpful information about your students, and discuss how you will lead the exchange together. Our "Get to Know Your Partner Educator" resource provides suggested conversation prompts for your meeting.
For more tips on leading a positive, cross-cultural experience for your students, please watch our “Teacher Tips” video.
Prepare: plan for the virtual exchange.
- Display the Weather Slideshow for students, and explain: “We’re going to see how different types of weather affects children around the world. As you view the photos, try to imagine how the child in the photo might feel, and what their experiences might be like. Then, think about any similarities or differences you might share with them.”
- After the slideshow, engage students in a Think-Pair-Share exercise. Students should:
• Think individually about the type of weather that they enjoy most (windy, sunny, snowy, or rainy).
• Pair with a classmate to share their weather preferences, and how it makes them feel. Students might also share how they dress, and the activities that they enjoy doing, in this type of weather.
• Share their responses with the rest of the class.
Record the number of students who select each type of weather, so you can share your class’s favorite weather with your partner class. Encourage students to notice and accept when their peers have different perspectives than them, and to use the “me too” hand signal when they share something in common with another person.
- Then, introduce your students to Empatico by watching this video, and ask them the following questions:
• How do you feel about meeting our partner class? What do you think our new friends will be like?
• Do you know anything about the city or country where our partner class is located? Where can we find more information about their location? (e.g., by using Google Earth to explore their neighborhood, or searching for images of their city online)
• What do you think it might be like to live there? What do you think our neighborhoods might share in common, and how do you think our neighborhoods might be different?
Throughout your conversation, nurture positive feelings such as excitement and curiosity. Explain that it’s normal to notice differences between ourselves and others, and that you will practice doing so respectfully. If any misconceptions or stereotypes arise, gently counteract them and explain how to reframe assumptions by asking questions or making "I wonder..." comments. (e.g., "I wonder what kind of weather our new friends might enjoy.") Ensure that students see this experience as an exciting opportunity to learn from their partner class!
- Ask students to prepare stories and fun facts to share with your partner class. For example:
• The week-long forecast in your area, and what type of weather you usually experience during this season (e.g., high and low temperatures, amount of precipitation, etc.)
• Your class’s favorite weather, and any activities or holidays enjoyed in your community
• A time when they experienced an unusual or severe weather event
- Help students come up with questions to ask their partner classmates, such as:
• What do you do during rainy days?
• How does the weather affect your emotions?
• Would you rather live somewhere really hot or really cold? Why?
• What do you think is the most beautiful season or type of weather? What about the most challenging? Why?
• How is climate change impacting your community?
- Encourage students to write down their stories and questions on notecards that they can reference during the virtual exchange. Students can also fill out the “What’s the Weather?” handout to share with their partner classmates, which can also be accessed through this Canva link.
- Establish and share communication norms for the virtual exchange, such as:
• Keep yourself on “mute” (unless you are talking) to limit background noise, and raise your hand when you want to speak.
• When it’s your turn to speak, come close to the device, say your comment or question loudly and clearly, and remain at the camera to hear your partner classmate’s response. Start by saying your name (e.g., “Hi, my name is ___. My question is...).
• Listen attentively to the speaker and use hand signals (e.g., thumbs-up, “me too” signal, etc.) to indicate agreement or similarities.
• Make sure that others have a chance to speak during the exchange.
Ask students to share additional ideas for how they will show respect to their new friends, and consider leading a practice session so students can practice these strategies and imagine having a fun, positive interaction with your partner class.
For more tips on setting up your classroom for a virtual exchange, please visit this resource.
Interact: meet your partner class over a live virtual exchange.
Facilitate the virtual exchange using Empatico’s built-in Zoom integration, or the video tool that you previously selected, and follow the suggested exchange structure below:
- Start the video call by greeting your partner educator, and express gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity to connect with each other. Then, facilitate an introduction between students in both classes. You might have them introduce themselves, and share about their class grade, school, location, and/or a fun fact about their community.
- Consider leading a quick mindfulness activity to help settle and focus students’ energy, such as Grounding Like a Tree.
- Encourage students to ask their questions and share their stories. Make sure that students in both classes participate equally, and celebrate behaviors that show respect and other strengths, like empathy, thoughtfulness, and humility. For example, express gratitude when students actively listen and thoughtfully respond to each other during their conversation.
- End the exchange by asking students to thank their partner class for sharing a part of their day with them, and for the opportunity to get to know each other a little better. Then, students can say “goodbye” and express excitement for meeting again during your next virtual exchange together!
If students in both classes have individual devices (e.g., mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.)...
Use a platform such as Google Meet, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams which allows you to screen-share during a video call.
One educator should set up the Kahoot! game and share the code with students in both classes by following this tutorial about using Kahoot! in a remote learning environment, and share their screen so everyone can follow along.
If students in either class don’t have individual devices...
Follow the same instructions above, with one educator starting the game and sharing their screen so both classes can follow along.
Instead of students joining the game to answer the questions, they can hold up their fingers, call out their answer, or use a paper template to indicate their response.