Theme: Weather

This unit focusses on weather events - the wind, rainbows, thunder, the seasons, drought, floods, storms at sea, fog, flying through the air, and more.

It is vital for teachers to understand the Ziptales 10 stage Reading Scheme, which governs how reading groups can be formed in a way which matches children’s abilities to the appropriate texts. To check on this essential resource - click here.

The 10 Zip Stages cover all levels of reading ability, from Foundation/Prep/Kindergarten through to Year 6. This scheme underpins the whole Themes module.


Learning Components

Focus Stories Comprehension Conventions Writing Speaking & Listening Extension
Zip Stage 1
Bob the Frog
(Short Vowels
Easy Readers)
Worksheet #1:
Ordering Events
Worksheet #2:
Word Match
Write about or draw what would you do if you were lost in a fog. In a small group, read the story aloud (using actions) to an audience. Paint or draw Bob the Frog getting lost in a fog.
Zip Stage 2
What is Bigger Than?
(Simple Digraphs
Easy Readers)
Worksheet #1:
Answering Questions
Worksheet #2:
Adding ‘er’ and ‘est’
Write an imaginative explanation about how thunder makes such a loud clapping sound. Take turns with a partner reading the questions and answers in the story. Create a collage of a thunderstorm using craft materials.
Zip Stage 2
The Princess in the Tower
(Vowel/Consonant Digraphs
Easy Readers)
Draw the main events in the story as a story-map (i.e. as pictures in order). Worksheet #2: Adding ‘es’ to words Worksheet #2 Extension Activities Work in pairs to complete Worksheet #1: Same Letters, Different Sounds Make snowflakes using folded white paper and scissors. Add cellophane for color.
Zip Stage 3
The Gold Ring
(People Like Me
Junior Readers)
Worksheet #2:
Story Focus
Worksheet #1:
Spelling/Grammar Focus
Write instructions to make a simple kite. In a small group, create a chart of things to do outdoors in different types of weather. Make a simple kite using craft materials then test it to see if it works.
Zip Stage 3
The Thirsty Frog
(Stories from Long Ago
Junior Readers)
Worksheet #2:
Story Focus
Worksheet #1:
Spelling/Grammar Focus
Write your own imaginary story about what causes a drought. In pairs, talk about what it's like in a hot summer and how you deal with the heat. Create a poster comparing what the land looks like during and after a drought.
Zip Stage 4
Good Dog
(Adventure)
Describe (in your own words) how the weather changed as detailed on Page 7 of the story. General Worksheet #1:
Crazy Contractions
Write an explanation text about the water cycle. Create a multimedia presentation about the causes and effects of flash floods. General Worksheet #2:
The Key to Mapping!
Zip Stage 4
The Rainbow
(Rhyme Time)
Teacher Strategy B - Imagery Study compound words e.g. rain+bow=rainbow. Teacher Strategy A - Worksheet #1:
The Rainbow
Teacher Strategy C - In pairs, complete Worksheet #2:
My Rainbow Poem
Conduct experiments to make rainbows e.g. a glass of water in the sun; torch on a CD.
Zip Stage 4
The Wind
(Rhyme Time)
Teacher Strategy A – Directed Discussion Questions. Study homographs – e.g. The wind blows/I wind up my toy. Teacher Strategy C - Worksheet #2:
The Wind
In pairs, discuss how different weather types are recognised by our 5 senses. Teacher Strategy B – Worksheet #1:
The Helpful Wind
Zip Stage 5
The Wizard’s Staff
(Fantasy)
Suggest ways Daniel can encourage the wizard to be friendlier. General Worksheet #2:
Wonderword
General Worksheet #1:
Magical Imaginings
(Activity 1)
General Worksheet #1:
Magical Imaginings
(Activity 2)
Create a simple fact file about clouds.
Zip Stage 5
Bubble Gum
(Fantasy)
Explain briefly how the girl telling the story is feeling on each page. Explore irregular verbs e.g. bad/worse; feel/felt; eat/ate; fall/fell; find/found; spin/spun. Use a weather element (e.g. rain, wind) to complete General Worksheet #1. Complete General Worksheet #2 then read or explain the picture to an audience. Research instruments used to measure weather elements e.g. wind speed, temperature.
Zip Stage 5
The Mermaid
(Myths & Legends)
Retell the story in your own words. General Worksheet #1:
Can You See a Silent ‘b’?
General Worksheet #3:
Life Under the Sea
Work together to complete General Worksheet #2:
Fact or Fiction?
How is lightning generated? Present the answer creatively.
Zip Stage 5
A Monster at the Window
(Scary)
Imagine Kate is telling her parents about her scary experience. What does she say? General Worksheet #2:
Wonderword
Write your own scary narrative starting with ‘A strong, gusty wind was blowing...’ General Worksheet #1:
Scary Sights and Sounds
Share responses with a partner or small group.
Make a simple anemometer using straws and paper cups then test it out.
Zip Stage 6
The Marble of All Seasons
(Fantasy)
Use details from the story to complete General Worksheet #2:
My Favourite Season
Study homographs that can be both a noun and a verb e.g. season, wind, water, light. General Worksheet #1:
Crystal Balls
Write about your favourite season giving reasons for your choice then read aloud to an audience. Research why the seasons are different in the northern and southern hemispheres.
Zip Stage 6
The Pirates’ Cave
(Adventure)
General Worksheet #3:
Reporter for a Day
General Worksheet #1:
Speech Marks Galore
Write a poem about being caught in a storm at the beach. Present an oral report about what makes storm clouds dark. General Worksheet #2:
Wanted – Dead or Alive!
Zip Stage 6
The Rainbow Serpent
(Myths & Legends)
General Worksheet #2:
Kindly Kin &
General Worksheet #3:
Recreating the Scene
General Worksheet #1:
Building on Base Words
General Worksheet #4:
Write Your Own Legend
What is Roy G. Biv? In pairs, create other mnemonics for the 7 colours of the rainbow. Research how rainbows are created and present the information in a creative way.
Zip Stage 6
Lost in the Rainforest
(Adventure)
List the positive and negative experiences Mathew and Jade encountered in the story. General Worksheet #1:
Using Commas
General Worksheet #3:
Writing a Recount
Work in pairs to complete General Worksheet #2:
Animal or Plant?
Compare weather in different environments e.g. rainforest, desert, tropical island.
Zip Stage 7
Capsize!
(True Tales)
Use details from the story to create a timeline of events from Sunday – Thursday. General Worksheet #1:
Abbreviations &
General Worksheet #2:
Design a Glossary
Write an informative text about how wind speed can affect the ocean. Complete General Worksheet #3 then explain reasons for choices to an audience. Research facts about a recent severe storm (e.g. date, location, damage caused, long-term effects).
Zip Stage 7
One Wish
(Fantasy)
General Worksheet #1:
Rhyming &
General Worksheet #2:
Making Wishes
Brainstorm a mind map of synonyms for the words ‘hot’ and ‘cold’. Write an imaginary story about being caught in a blizzard (like Maisy on page 7). Present an oral report about how to treat weather related injuries e.g. frostbite, sunburn. Design a poster about the type of clothing & equipment needed in very cold temperatures.
Zip Stage 7
The Little Mermaid
(Fairy Tales)
Summarise how the mermaid is feeling on each page of the story. General Worksheet #1:
Handy Homographs
General Worksheet #3:
Imagine If...
Partner Activity – General Worksheet #2:
Just a Dash
Create a brochure warning people about the dangers of lightning.
Zip Stage 8
The Graveyard Ghost
(Scary)
General Worksheet #2:
Feeling Scared
General Worksheet #1:
Vocab Match
Write an explanation text about what causes mist. In pairs, present the ‘fog in a bottle’ experiment to an audience. Design a detailed diagram of the water cycle.
Zip Stage 8
Two Hours From Town
(People)
General Worksheet #1:
Meddling with Metaphors
Use words from the title to study homophones i.e. two, too, to & hours, ours. Write an information text about the causes and effects of a drought. In a small group, complete General Worksheet #2:
A Different Kind of School
General Worksheet #3:
Outback Emergency
Zip Stage 9
Sinbad
(Adventure
Advanced Library)
Explain how Sinbad escapes the dangerous situations he encounters in the story. Worksheet #1:
Changing Verbs into Nouns
Worksheet #2:
Legendary Monsters
On page 3, Sinbad thinks the sun disappears behind a cloud. Present an oral report about the different types of clouds. Research facts about the real-life ‘treacherous winds’ (pg 6) known as the ‘roaring forties’.
Zip Stage 10
Mayday
(True Tales
Advanced Library)
Explain briefly the sequence of events that led up to the Cookie Cutter being located. Worksheet #1:
Dot, Dot, Dot...
(ellipsis study)
Worksheet #1
Extension Activity 1 – Write an informative text
Worksheet #2
Extension Activities – Present chosen task to an audience
Worksheet #2:
Measuring the Elements
Zip Stage 10
Nightmare Island
(Adventure
Advanced Library)
Worksheet #1:
Action-Packed Adventures
(Task 1)
How are acronyms (e.g. EPIRB) and abbreviations (e.g. SOS) different? Research common examples. Worksheet #1:
Action-Packed Adventures
(Task 2)
Worksheet #2:
Nightmarish Cyclones
(Tasks 1 & 2)
Worksheet #2:
Extension Activities


Assessment Ideas

Spelling/Grammar
  • Generate a spelling list related to the weather for students to learn using words such as: summer, autumn, winter, spring, season, storm, cyclone, flood, rainbow and climate.
  • Use the Word Work and Spelling and Vocabulary Worksheets for the Reading Library stories to improve students’ spelling skills.
  • Use the words weather/whether and other homophones in sentences to show the differences in their meanings.
  • Select a passage from one of the on-line stories as dictation assessing knowledge of high frequency homophones e.g. too, to, two; there, their, they’re.
Reading
  • Complete the Fill the Gaps and Multiple Choice questions at the end of the story (available for the Junior Readers, Reading Library and Advanced Library genre stories).
  • Use the Learning Support Worksheets for the Reading Library stories to practise a range of reading skills.
  • Retell one of the on-line stories using a multimedia storyboard.
  • Create a 3D model of a weather-related event from one of the on-line stories.
  • Display a timeline of events from one of the on-line stories.
Writing
  • Write narratives using the following topics:
    The Day it Didn’t Stop Raining
    Four Seasons in One Day
    Alone in the Desert
  • Compose poetry about a chosen weather-related natural disaster such as a cyclone, tornado or bushfire.
  • Write a diarised account of a person living in extreme weather conditions e.g. Antarctica, the Sahara Desert.
  • Write explanation texts that explain weather phenomena such as: Why does it rain? How is a cloud formed? What causes a tsunami?
Oral Language
  • In pairs, present an oral report to the class about a chosen natural disaster caused by weather.
  • Conduct a class discussion/debate about a weather-related issue such as Global Warming.
  • Orally retell one of the on-line stories as Reader’s Theatre.
  • Students choose a weather-related topic to research and present in a multimedia format e.g. cloud formations, weather measuring instruments, weather charts, extreme weather, weather differences in the Northern & Southern Hemisphere.
Related Ziptales Activities:

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