Week 3: Daily ELA Learning Activities For Grades 1–4

What is the weather like today?

What is the temperature today? Is it cloudy or sunny? Are we expecting a storm? Human beings are obsessed with weather!

Whether it is hot, cold, stormy, or mild, weather affects our everyday lives. In this week’s activities, you and your child will encounter wonderful weather words of all shapes and sizes!

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Day 1: Parts of speech

Self-guided activities (with a little parental help):

1. Parts of speech are the building blocks of language.

They are word categories that help us form sentences and share ideas. Here are some kid-friendly definitions and examples:

What other examples of nouns, verbs, and adjectives can your child name? Bonus points if they are related to weather! Have them write them down in the Thesaurus.com Writing Tool.

2. Parts of speech are also important elements of a dictionary entry!

A word might be used as a noun and a verb, for instance.

  • Look up the entry for thunder.
  • Where are the parts of speech listed?
  • Which definitions go with which parts of speech?

3. Take this parts of speech quiz!

Have your child take the quiz and then take it yourself to create a family challenge!

4. Now watch this video about interesting weather words!

WATCH: Weather Words You Need To Know

5. Ask your child to identify the part of speech for haboob, williwaw, and swullocking.

Watch the video again to look for clues!

Family time activities:

1. Sentence builders.

  • Write down the names of several nouns, verbs, and adjectives.
  • Separate the piles by part of speech and place in paper bags or hats.
  • Have each family member select a noun, verb, and adjective at random and come up with a sentence using all three.
  • To keep the fun going, have family members draw or act out their sentence!

2. Choose a book and flip to any page.

Work with your child to list all of the nouns, verbs, or adjectives on that page. Look up their entries on Dictionary.com to see if you’re correct.

Day 2: Compound words

Self-guided activities (with a little parental help):

1. Compound words are longer words made from two smaller words.

The meanings of the smaller words can help readers and listeners understand the meaning of the longer word. Here’s an example:

  • Write the word snowman.
  • Ask your child to find the two words in snowman.
  • Using the meanings of snow and man, come up with a definition for snowman.
  • Have them check their definition on Dictionary.com!

2. Work together to create a chart with the words snow, rain, day, night, and sun at the top of the page.

Then have your child list as many compound words as they can think of that use these shorter words.

Psst! Stuck? Visit the Dictionary.com entry (linked above) for each word and find the “Words Related to _____” section for some ideas!

Family time activities:

1. Compound word jigsaw.

Help your child understand how compound words work by creating and playing this matching game!

  • Write the following words on index cards: rain, bow, snow, flake, sun, light, summer, time, over, cast, hail, stone. Have your child identify the meaning of each word.
  • Place the cards face down on the table in a random order.
  • Take turns flipping over two cards at a time. If the smaller words form a compound word, read aloud and define the word, then take the cards out of play.
  • The player with the most pairs wins!

2. Using sticky notes or index cards with tape, have your child label items and places in your home that are compound words, such as bookcase, bedroom, and toothpaste.

Turn these compound words into visual puzzles!

  • Take one of the compound words from your home, such as raincoat.
  • Fold a sheet of paper in half.
  • Draw pictures of the shorter words on each half of the page. (for example: a cloud with raindrops on one side and a coat on the other)
  • Have another family member guess the compound word!

Day 3: Synonyms and antonyms

Self-guided activities (with a little parental help):

 1. Hot and toasty; cold and frozen: these word pairs are synonyms.

Synonyms are words that have the same, or almost the same, meaning.

  • Ask your child to look up the word windy on Thesaurus.com.
  • Which words are synonyms of windy?
  • Try using different synonyms in this sentence: It was so _____ outside, I thought I might blow away!
  • Ask your child: “Which word do you like best in the sentence? Why?”

2. Rainy and dry; cloudy and clear: these word pairs are antonyms.

Antonyms are words with opposite meanings.

  • Look up the word dreary on Thesaurus.com, and scroll down to the antonyms section.
  • Which words mean the opposite of dreary?
  • Choose the word that works best in these sentences: The weather is dreary today. I hope it is _____ outside tomorrow!

3. Have you played Guess that Synonym yet? Now is your chance!

Family time activities:

1. Tic-Tac-Toe!

With a few changes, this classic game becomes a chance for vocabulary practice.

  • Write a variety of common verbs and adjectives on index cards or strips of paper. Place the words in a bowl, box, or hat.
  • Decide which player will be X (synonyms) and which player will be O (antonyms).
  • The first player chooses a word and must name a synonym before marking the board.
  • The second player chooses a different word and must name an antonym before marking the board.
  • The first player with three in a row wins!

2. Have family members each write a descriptive sentence and pass it on.

Players then cross out one word and replace it with a synonym or an antonym.

Continue to pass on the sentences 3–4 times. Compare the final sentences to the first sentences. How did the meaning change?

Day 4: Scientific vocabulary

So far, we’ve worked with some simple, descriptive weather words. Weather is an area of science, however, and science has some complicated vocabulary!

Self-guided activities (with a little parental help):

1. Ask your child if they know the word meteorology.

  • Explain that meteorology has two parts. The word meteor comes from a Greek word meaning “something up high” and –ology means “the science of.”
  • What does meteorology mean? It is the science of weather!

2. Dictionary.com is a great resource for scientific vocabulary! Have your child practice using the search tool to find the entries for the following words:

3. Read aloud the following article to your child.

Prompt your child to write and illustrate definitions for cyclone, typhoon, and hurricane on pieces of paper.

Then have them put their papers together to make a book. They can use it to explain the words to another family member or friend!

Family time activities:

1. Science word wall.

Have you ever seen a big list of vocabulary words on a classroom wall? Teachers use Word Walls as a way to help children remember important vocabulary! The more a child is exposed to a word, the more likely they are to retain it. So, why not make your own Word Wall at home?

  • Work with your child to pick out vocabulary words relevant to their studies and interests.
  • Write the words on index cards, sticky notes, or strips of paper. Use a variety of colors and fonts—even illustrations, if you’d like!
  • Decide on a high-traffic location to hang them.
  • Change the words every week or two and watch your family’s vocabulary grow!

2. Encourage your child to keep track of any unfamiliar words as they are reading by writing them down, looking up the definitions, and recording them in a Word Log.

Remind your child to add to their Word Log as they encounter new words in their academic studies and daily interactions!

Day 5: Shades of meaning

Self-guided activities (with a little parental help):

1. Discuss with your child that some words are similar in meaning but may vary in degree or intensity.

For example, a pretty sunset is nice to look at but a gorgeous sunset is even more pleasing to the eye. These adjectives have different shades of meaning.

2. Now watch this video about some words that mean cold.

3. List the different words from the video that mean “cold”: chilly, crisp, frosty, frigid.

Help your child write the words in order from least cold to most cold, and invite them to explain their reasoning. Check the definitions on Dictionary.com if they need help.

Family time activities:

1. Paint shades of meaning.

Do you have any old paint cards lying around your home? The shades of light to dark on a paint card can show shades of meaning, too! You can make your own using different shades of one color (such as green) if you don’t have any from the store.

  • Have your child choose a series of related words and write them on the paint chip, with the intensity of each word matching the intensity of the color.

2. Work with children to write a Goldilocks and the Three Bears-style story about a problem that involves two extremes and finding something that’s “just right.”

For example, perhaps a family wants to go on a picnic, but one day it is frigid and the next day it is sweltering. Then, on the third, day the weather is mild—or “just right.”

Day 6: Figurative language

Self-guided activities (with a little parental help):

1. Ask your child to guess what the phrase dog days of summer means.

Does it have to do with our friendly, four-legged friends? Read this article with your child to find out!

2. Discuss how dog days of summer is an example of figurative language.

A figurative phrase does not have the same meaning as the words in it. It has a meaning that people have come to understand over the years. Talk about what the following examples of figurative language mean:

3. Have your child write and illustrate a sentence using each phrase!

Family time activities:

1. Listen for figurative language in song lyrics, on TV shows, and in movies.

Look up the meanings of each phrase on Dictionary.com. Keep track of who finds the most examples of figurative language!

2. Picture hunt!

Assign family members different figurative phrases, and have each member find an image online, in a book, in a magazine, or around the house that they feel matches the meaning of that phrase.

Then have players guess each other’s figurative phrases based on the pictures they chose! If you are feeling creative, you can draw or act out the phrase instead.

Day 7: Writing

Self-guided activities (with a little parental help):

1. Ask your child to write a story in the Thesaurus.com Writing Tool based on one of these prompts:

  • Severe weather, such as a tornado or hurricane, is headed in your direction. What do you do to prepare?
  • A young kid has superpowers that control the weather. They’ve tried to keep it a secret, but a friend finds out. Write what happens next.
  • What happens when a rainstorm ends and the sun comes out? Describe what you see, hear, smell, and feel.

For more ideas, check out this page of writing prompts!

2. Have your child read this slideshow about more weather words.

The video they watched in Day 1 featured some of the words, but there are many more!

Encourage them to look up the meaning of any unfamiliar words on Dictionary.com.

Family time activities:

1. Family news hour!

Imagine that your family hosts a daily news show. Write a script for the day’s weather report, using a variety of scientific vocabulary.

Visit Thesaurus.com to find descriptive weather words. Then perform and record your news broadcast.

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