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Weather Watchers

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Keywords: Weather, Science Observation, Careers in Science
Subject(s): Science
Grades 2 through 5
School: Park Academy, Marylhurst, OR
Planned By: O'Connar
Original Author: Mrs. O'Connar, Marylhurst

Student Learning Objectives:

All students will practice the skills of a weather observer and have an understanding of careers in that field.

All students will practice successful observation of the natural setting and accurately use appropriate scientific tools which measure weather elements (wind, rain, snow, ice, temperature) and technology as needed.

Students will record, compare, and analyze findings from their own observations with the reported findings of others (media: newspaper, internet, television and radio weather reports).

Students will use specific accurate vocabulary to describe and discuss the weather.

Students will understand key elements in reporting and predicting weather for a local area. Students will compare their daily findings with weather in a European town, a town in Argentina, and another in Australia.

Students will design and construct tools that measure weather elements.

Students will understand the water cycle and its role in weather.

Students will gain understanding of the cycles and progression of international weather patterns and be able to make personal connections with the weather in other parts of the world.

Methods of Instruction:

Students will have time each morning to record their daily observations of the weather using drawings, numbers, words, and photos in their Weather Logs. Students have prior knowledge of how to read a thermometer. They will design and build wind direction vanes, rain gauges, and other devices they invent to collect information.

They will set up a Weather Station on school grounds for safe, successful recording of their data. Students will view daily television weather reports, daily newspaper reports, and monitor local and international weather websites daily and record their findings in their Weather Logs.

Students will report their findings to each other in a Weather Watcher Huddle during a morning meeting and offer updates near the end of their school day. Their reports will include the weather in their town abroad. Students have prior knowledge about the globe and weather information on the internet weather sites. They will maintain a classroom bulletin board with weather news and information as well as the current conditions. Students will report their experiences to a school community science fair in the spring.

Students will experiment with evaporation and freezing water to gain understanding of the water cycle.
Students will identify weather-based careers and attempt to create email dialogue with local and international people who work in those jobs.

Project Timeline:

Initiate World Weather Watcher Project.

Discuss ideas about how to talk about the weather. Record thoughts. Discuss questions students have about the weather. Discuss jobs that have to do with the weather.

Pretest on weather vocabulary.

The first week: Practice finding weather information in daily newspaper, learn to watch television weather reports, practice finding weather information on the internet. Begin recording findings in Weather log.

Second week: Expand discussion to include tools we need to report weather. Research design and build wind vanes, wind velocity meters, rain gauges, snow measuring devices. Expand notes in Weather logs to include locally collected data. Keep weather Logs. Individual students act like experts developing presentations of tools for recording and reporting weather information. Give presentations.

Third week: Expand information gathering to world wide weather patterns. Choose towns in Argentina, Europe, and Australia to compare to our town. Begin to compile information on “bigger picture.” Design class bulletin board to display weather news and current conditions. Identify people who have weather based careers and initiate email contact for sharing information. Keep Weather Logs.

Fourth week: (after Winter Vacation) review skills and discuss weather experiences during vacation. Renew skills for weather data collecting and reporting. Recommit to Weather Logs.

Fifth week: Complete identification of international pen pals to share weather information. Send emails about our local weather including pictures and photos. Keep weather Logs.

Sixth week:
Seventh week: Create team reports of weather around the globe. Present reports as a television weather style video. Present video to parents, family and larger school community. Keep weather Logs.

Eighth week: Discuss skills and knowledge gained during study. List jobs that are related to the weather. Compare results with original discussion. Identify further questions.

Method of Evaluation:

KWL charts from initial meeting and final discussion.
Class Journal of experiences, bulletin boards, photos taken of experiences.
Teacher anecdotal notes.
Evaluation of tools designed and built.
Expert presentation of how tools work.
Individual and team reports.
Pre and post tests of weather vocabulary.
Scrapbook of weather jobs and our correspondence with weather workers.
Students who struggle with language disability soar when they are given a chance to learn through doing. In this case, we will become weather forecasters and practice their skills.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Math relating to gathering and displaying data (graphing), reading scientific equipment. Reading internet weather forecasters, listening and understanding television weather casts, writing findings in weather log, vocabulary of weather words.
Connect to schools in other geographical areas and compare weather information. Visit a television studio to see a weather report in action.
Links: Link to Weather Maps in Action
Materials: Digital SLR, Word Processor, Database, Slideshow, Special Education, Video Editing, English and Language Arts, Science, Camera Bags, xD Memory Cards, Digital Voice Recorders, Batteries
Other Items: 1 Inddor Outdoor Thermometer, $ 37.95 each, total of $37.95
1 Barometer, $ 22.95 each, total of $22.95
1 Windmeter, $ 37.95 each, total of $37.95
1 Anemomete, $ 55.00 each, total of $55.00
1 Models of cloud and water cycle, $ 42.95 each, total of $42.95
1 materials for surable weather log (set of 6), $ 30.00 each, total of $30.00
1 supplies for photo developing for final presentation, $ 40.00 each, total of $40.00