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Kansas Kaleidoscope - February/March 2008

Real People. Real Stories. For kids!

Kansas Kaleidoscope, February/March 2008 Kansas Weather:

Extremes and Everything in Between

Weather is wind, moisture, and energy from the sun. Because Kansas lies in the middle of the United States and is surrounded by different types of land, the weather changes quickly.

For Parents and Teachers:

With the extreme Kansas weather of 2007, students should be more aware of how their lives can be affected by these events. This issue of Kaleidoscope highlights some of the history-making weather of the past year and links it to stories from our past. Students will be able to gain an understanding as to how weather has affected the state’s history. This issue addresses the fourth grade geography standard: Benchmark 3, Indicator 1, where students identify and describe the physical components of Earth’s water, temperature, precipitation, wind, weather, and climate.

Countdown to Statehood

"The climate is certainly very peculiar; subject to the most violent and unaccountable contrasts . . . A fall of 50 degrees to 60 degrees is by no means an uncommon occurrence though far from an agreeable one.”— Letter from John James Ingalls in Kansas to his father, August 21, 1860.

Record Year in Kansas

The year 2007 will go down in history as an unbelievable time for weather-related events. To get an idea of just how amazing the 2007 Kansas weather was, we asked meteorologist Drew Switzer from WIBW-TV 13 in Topeka.

"Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore!”

One of the most famous Kansas tornadoes never actually touched down in the state.

People of the South Wind

As anyone from the western part of the state can tell you, Kansas is windy! The native Kansa Indians, from whom the state takes its name, called themselves “the people of the south wind.”

A Record Breaker

In May 2007 a monster tornado hit Greensburg. The National Weather Service classified it as an EF5 tornado, the first ever recorded.

Strange But True

Tornadoes can create amazing damage while also leaving some things unharmed.

Here Comes the Rain Again

Not long after Greensburg was hit by the tornado in May 2007, southeast Kansas experienced another weather-related disaster. In June several rivers in the area flooded.

Visit History: Forces of Nature

Do you want to learn even more about Kansas weather history? Then make plans to visit the Kansas Museum of History in Topeka. A special exhibit, Forces of Nature, will be on display from March 21, 2008 to January 4, 2009.

The B-B-Blizard

Kansas has experienced big blizzards in its history. In the blizzard of 1886 drifts of six feet or more were common.

Strange But True

In early January 2008 another rare weather event took place in Kansas. Snow rollers were found in fields near Beloit.

Gotta Love Snow Days!

We all love having a day off because of snow. Think about how snow days for kids in the 1800s would have differed from your snow days.

Ice, Ice Baby

Tremendous blizzards can blanket the state with ice and snow. Such storms are a hazard for any living thing caught in the freezing winds.

In This Issue:

  • Extreme Weather
  • Countdown to Statehood
  • On the Cover
  • For Parents and Teachers
  • Record Year in Kansas
  • “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore!”
  • People of the South Wind
  • A Record Breaker
  • Strange But True
  • Here Comes the Rain Again
  • Visit History
  • The B-B-Blizzard
  • Strange But True
  • Gotta Love Snow Days!
  • History Lab
  • Kansas Weather Word Search
  • Ice, Ice Baby
  • Kaleidoscope Challenge
  • Answers
  • Bee a Winner!
  • Book Nook

Teacher Supplement