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Weather Report

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Keywords: Maps, Weather, Film, Foreign Language, Spanish, Geography
Subject(s): Speech and Language, Journalism, Earth Science, Geography, Technology, Social Skills, Foreign Language
Grades 7 through 12
School: Cedar Hill High School, Cedar Hill, TX
Planned By: Daniel Audi
Original Author: Daniel Audi, Fort Worth
This will vary signifiicantly depending on class level and amount of student interest, but the teacher should allow no fewer than three full class days, though some classes may easily take over a week to complete this project.

~~~~~~Authentic weather reports from Spanish-speaking countries (online newspaper should suffice).
~~~~~~Butcher paper or projector/Smart Board/Promethean Board
~~~~~~Video recording device and a way to show video
~~~~~~OPTIONAL: a videotape of a local weather report

1. Students initially learn vocabulary related to weather (e.g. "hace calor", "nieve", "hace viento"). Authentic weather reports are a good source for this. The teacher should point out Fahrenheit/Celsius conversion and teach students how to do this.

2. If possible, the teacher shows a recording of a local weather report to get students familiar with all the elements involved (display of maps, five-day forecasts, transitions among anchors, etc.).

3. The students are formed into groups of four. The expectation is that all four members are heavily involved in the whole process, though each one has a specific role. Two will be in front of the camera giving the report; one will be filming; and one will be the "producer" (in charge of the script and the general flow of the project. The students either choose a country or are assigned one.

4. Students begin researching the weather in their country. The teacher should make it clear that students will create a script and edit it heavily before filming occurs. The students should also create graphics (maps, five-day forecasts) on butcher paper/projectors/smart boards.

5. After the script is edited, groups begin filming. Let students know that it may take several takes, but put a limit to the amount of class time they can use.

6. Once students have their final product, show the videos in class. This is an automatic high-interest activity as students love seeing themselves and their peers. Make sure you capitalize on the educational value and use it as a teachable moment. Ideas for extensions are below.

7. You may want to grade the groups in number of areas: participation, thoroughness, accuracy, creativity, etc. Whatever your criteria are, make sure you provide a clear rubric before the project begins.

~~~~Groups can grade other groups' presentation for accuracy, creativity, and style.
~~~~Make a contest to see who can create the best presentation. Bring in an independent panel to judge the videos. Award prizes.
~~~~After all the videos are presented, students can vote on the country with the best and worst weather. This can lead into a discussion on tourism.
~~~~Submit outstanding videos to your principal for brownie points ;-)
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This activity is great for teaching or reinforcing geography of Spanish-speaking countries. It also helps with map reading and communication/public speaking.
Materials: Tripods, Flash/USB Drives, Flip Video