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First Graders Make Weather Predictions

Curious what the weather might look like this winter? First grade students in Mrs. Vickers class made weather predictions using persimmon seeds. Based on what they found in the seed kernels, predictions include a very cold winter with little snow.

Photo caption: FACS students examine seeds to begin grouping for weather predictions.

Photo caption: Results of sorted seeds, which students then used to make predictions.

What’s a persimmon, you ask?

A persimmon is a small fruit, like that of a plum, from the deciduous tree Diospyros virginiana, commonly known as the Persimmon tree.

How to predict the weather like FACS first graders using the persimmon seed:
  1. Find a locally grown persimmon tree.

  2. Pick the persimmon fruit when it is soft - almost mushy. An unripened fruit has an unforgettable, astringent taste.

  3. Open the fruit and cut open the seed.

  4. Look at the shape of the kernel inside. Here’s what the shapes may mean:

    • Spoon-shaped: There will be plenty of snow to shovel (e.g. a harsh winter)

    • Fork-shaped: Plan on a mild winter with powdery snow.

    • Knife-shaped: Be on the lookout for rigid winds that will “cut” like a knife.

Using the persimmon seed is a fun way to make weather predictions and engage students in the world around them. Student learning will continue when they compare their predictions to ongoing local weather forecasts.

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