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Potlatch Weather Reporter

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Keywords: Video, weather, climate
Subject(s): Earth Science
Grades 8 through 9
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Potlatch Jr Sr High School, Potlatch, ID
Planned By: Laura Wommack
Original Author: Laura Wommack, Potlatch
Lesson Plan Template
Name: Laura Wommack
Course: Earth Science
Grade: 8
Unit: Weather and Climate – Predicting the Weather

Big Idea (Key concept): Air masses causing changing weather patterns; their movement can be used to predict weather.

Lesson: Creating Video Weather Reports

Learning Objective(s):
Students will be able to Use National Weather Service and local weather data to predict the weather trend for a three-day period.
Students will be able to Communicate their weather prediction in a scientific manner, as a meteorologist would, using appropriate scientific terms to explain their predictions.

Idaho Standards (or National Standards if no Idaho Standards exist):
1.2.2 Develop models to explain concepts or systems.

Lesson in Context:
Students have learned about the atmosphere and its composition. They have looked at small-scale weather factors such as wind, heat transfer and precipitation. They have practiced weather data collection over an extended period of time. They have had an introduction to air masses and fronts.
Instructional Materials, Resources: Student Notebooks. Textbook. Computers, video cameras and editing software.

Engage/Introduction: (approximate time: 5-10 min )
Students will have previously been asked to watch an evening weather report on the news and report back about what they saw. They will be asked where they think the meteorologist on the evening news got their weather data.

Explore/Learning Activities: (approximate time: 3-7 days )
Students will be dismissed in groups of two or three to use the computers and see what types of weather data they can find. They should ultimately discover satellite and radar imaging. Hopefully, this research will occur on a day when there is “weather” occurring so they can interpret what they see.

Students will report back in groups of 4-6 about what they found out about collecting weather data. The teacher will circulate and verify that they are using authoritative sources for weather collection and use questioning to see if they understand how to use the information they find.

They will be asked to create a data table to collect weather data both online and on our school weather station. They will be asked to make a 24-hour prediction each day about the weather, based on the data they gathered and what they saw. They will be asked to identify air masses and fronts as well as identifying the effect they think those will have on the weather in the near future.

Students will collect and interpret data and make a weather prediction each day for three days. At the end of the three-day period, they will be asked to make a 3-day prediction of the weather.

Small student groups will report back to each other about whether they were successful in predicting the weather or not why they think this was. If they were unsuccessful, they should be able to explain why and how they could improve, or discover this in discussion with another group. Successful groups should be able to lead less successful groups to a better understanding.

Explanation/Closure: (approximate time: 1 day (differs by group) )
The larger student groups will report out to the class as a whole about what they think was most effective in predicting weather over a three-day period.

As a culminating activity, students will be assigned a subsequent time period to create another three-day weather report which they will video tape, edit and we will post to the school’s digital electronic bulletin board.
Materials: Flip Video, Flash/USB Drives, Animation
Other Items: 3 Flip Video Cameras, $150 each, total of $450.00
3 Video Editing Software, $150 each, total of $450.00