THERE GOES LOWELL'S PARTY! by Esther Hershenhorn

     Long ago, before barometers, thermometers, hygrometers and rain gauges, before computers, radar and cutting-edge technology, the very first weather forecasters thought like scientists:  they used all of their senses to observe, estimate, collect data and predict, to classify, hypothesize, investigate and compare, to measure, infer, problem-solve and conclude.  They expressed their observations in salty phrases - weather proverbs eventually proven scientifically-true.

     Ozark Mountain folklorist Vance Randolph collected the Ozark rain-related weather proverbs that appear in THERE GOES LOWELL'S PARTY!  Randolph, too, thought like a scientist:  he observed, classified, investigated and compared.

     THERE GOES LOWELL'S PARTY! is an imagined story, but just like weather proverbs, it too offers more fact than fiction.

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     Read aloud the list of weather proverbs HOW TO KNOW IF IT'S LIKELY TO RAIN on the last page of THERE GOES LOWELL'S PARTY!

Ask students to classify or group the proverbs in varying ways.

Which proverbs pertain to animal behavior? human behavior? plant behavior?

Which proverbs can be observed by seeing? hearing? tasting? touching? smelling?

Which proverbs can be explained by changes in barometric pressure? changes in the wind?
Ask students to find the proverbs hidden in the illustrations.
Ask students to illustrate the proverbs that aren't hidden.

     Read the story.  Then ask students to identify the weather elements described in the story. (Weatherbug -www.Weatherbug.com)

     Ask students to carefully study the three family portraits.  What do the Piggotts have in common?  What do the Crumms have in common?  What do the Slocums have in common?

     Ask students to count the members of each family.  Did everyone come to Lowell's party?  Did extra guests arrive?

     Suggest students interview neighbors and family to collect weather proverbs they know.

     Ask students what might happen if Lowell's birthday was in December?  What parts of the plot would need to be changed?  What kinds of proverbs would the author need to research?

     Ask students to decide what presents Lowell received from his kin.

     How are spring storms in the Ozarks different from spring storms in Florida? What is        the effect of mountains on weather? (Webweather - do-at-home experiments -

     Help students build their own weather equipment (barometer, rain gauge, wind vane, thermometer, hygrometer).  Ask them to measure and then infer the probable weather conditions. (Bill Nye The Science Guy - www.nyelabs.kcts.org)

    Have students keep a journal, charting observable weather proverbs.  Did the proverbs accurately predict the forthcoming weather?

    Share weather proverbs from other geographic/cultural groups.  Are they similar, except for wording and idioms? (The Farmer's Almanac - www.almanac.com)

    Share other children's books that involve rain or twisters or spring storms.

    Darlene Beard, TWISTER (tornado)
    Mary Calhoun, FLOOD
    Jane Kurtz, RIVER FRIENDLY, RIVER WILD, (Flood)
    George Ella Lyon, ONE LUCKY GIRL (tornado), COME A TIDE (flood)

    Visit web sites to track approaching storms.
    (National Severe Storms Laboratory/ Weather Room - ww.nssl.noaa.gov/edu)

    Visit the FEMA website to learn appropriate safety measures for dangerous weather.
    (FEMA For Kids - www.fema.gov/kids)
     Review rules for tornado emergencies.
Written by Esther Hershenhorn
Illustrated by Rosanne Litzinger
Simon & Schuster ISBN:  0-689-82665-6
Written by Esther Hershenhorn
Holiday House ISBN:  0-8234-1642-9  
Written by Esther Hershenhorn
Illustrated by Megan Lloyd
Holiday House ISBN: 0-8234-1603-4