In This Issue: Wild Weather Hits Los Angeles; Dracula Sneeze and Other Words of 2009
Wild Weather Out West
On January 21, residents of Los Angeles, California, braced themselves for the area's fourth powerful storm of the week. The sopping forecast included winds up to 45 miles per hour and heavy snow in the mountains. Officials continued to urge more than 1,000 people living in already flooded coastal communities to evacuate. Meteorologists from the National Weather Service said that Southern California hadn't weathered a front as powerful as this one since 2005.
Activity Ideas - Seasons, Weather Lore
Visit Yahoo Weather or a favorite weather site. Type in your zip code to bring up the local forecast.
Show your child the different symbols used to represent the weather: sun, clouds, rain clouds, snowflakes.
Have your child come up with and draw his or her own symbols for the weather, according to what he or she would do or feel on that day, i.e., a smiley face could represent a sunny, warm day. A kite could represent a windy day.
Share this saying with your child: "Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky at morning, sailor's warning." Explain that it refers to the color on the horizon at sunset and sunrise.
Together, visit Wikipedia to learn more about the saying. Explain to your child that "red at morning" indicates that stormy weather is on its way, and that "red at night" indicates clear skies ahead.
Suggest that you test this saying. Keep a record of the color of the sky each evening for several days; then record the following day's weather.
Analyze the data together. ASK: Did a red sky at night usually signal a good day ahead?
In 2009, good parents in the U.S. reminded their children to Dracula sneeze, which was especially important during the H1N1 scare. Well-behaved, well-traveled adults, on the other hand, avoided becoming bragabonds. And for anyone who would like to succeed in twenty-ten, take note: don't refer to 2010 as "oh-ten." Don't refer to fish as "sea kittens." And for goodness sake, stop reading slow media! The American Dialect Society has released its annual Words of the Year List, which includes Most Outrageous and Most Creative words, Words Most- and Least-Likely to Succeed, as well as other categories.
Activity Ideas - Language Arts Vocabulary Share the words and definitions from the above paragraph with your child. Dracula sneeze: Covering one's mouth with the crook of one's elbow when sneezing, seen as similar to popular portrayals of the vampire Dracula, in which he covers the lower half of his face with his cape. Bragabond: A person who travels a lot and brags about it a lot. Slowmedia: Newspapers and other paper-based periodicals.
Suggest your child draw a picture that stands for Dracula sneeze, Tweet and/or any other words from the list.
Together with your child, come up with a list of at least two words each to represent least- and most-favorite words of 2009. Then have family and friends vote on their favorite and least-favorite words from your list.
Make up silly, nonsense words with your child. Look at examples of children's authors that have done this: Jack Prelutsky or Dr. Seuss, to name a few.