風が強い。 (かぜがつよい。）(kaze ga tsuyoi)
The phrase above means, “It’s windy” in Japanese. However, it literally translates as, “The wind is strong.” Which is definitely the case where I live in Michigan.
Huron County, the county I live in in Michigan, is home to the largest wind energy operation in Michigan. In fact, the “Thumb” area of Michigan is home to over 2,800 wind turbines. That’s a lot of turbines!
Today’s activity, Wind Around the Home, is brought to you by the nice folks over at Education.com. I’ve used their site often throughout the years to assist with home educating my kiddos, so when I was contacted by them to share an activity on the blog, I was happy to do so.
I’ve also included some Japanese vocabulary words to accompany the lesson, something I do often to tie in Japanese language learning into our daily lives and homeschool activities. Alright, let’s move on to the lesson.
Wind Around the Home
Grade Levels: 4-6
Questions: On which side of the house would you put a windmill? Is there more wind at higher altitudes?
Possible Hypotheses: There is more wind on the south/north/east/west side of the house. There is more wind at ground level/at roof level.
Materials: Pencils with erasers Thumbtack Thread – 25 cm Paper Protractor Compass
1. Draw a diagram of your home. Be sure to draw the things around your home such as trees, shrubs, and other things that might block the wind. Label the north, east, west, and south sides of your home with the help of a compass or parent. Mark sites that represent the areas you will be testing.
2. Make a device to measure wind strength. Push the thumbtack into the eraser of a pencil and tie the thread around the thumbtack.
3. Measure the power of the wind using your device. Hold the device in the air and observe the wind blowing the thread. Record the angle of the thread. The larger the angle, the higher the wind energy at the location. Repeat the experiment several times at different times of the day and in weather.
4. Make a chart to record the time of day, the weather conditions, and the angle of the thread at each site.
Analysis and Conclusion: At what height was the wind strongest? Was this true at different times during the day? Where would you put a windmill around your house to provide the most energy? Is there only one good location or are several locations equally good?
JAPANESE VOCABULARY WORD LIST
Wind: かぜ (風）kaze
Windmill: かぜぐるま (風車）kazeguruma
North: きた (北） kita
South: みなみ （南） minami
East: ひがし （東) higashi
West: にし （西）nishi
Home: いえ （家） ie
Blow/blowing (VERB): ふく （吹く）fuku
-Example sentence: The wind blows. かぜがふく。（風が吹く。）kaze ga fuku
-To learn how to conjugate the verb, fuku, click HERE.
I hope you enjoyed the activity and learning some new Japanese vocabulary words!