Weather Watchers: Teacher Resources

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  • You can find weather news stories at CNN's Weather page.
  • When your class starts asking tough questions about clouds, use The Cloud Catalog to give you some great background information.
  • Environment Canada's weather page has more information about weather and clouds.
  • If you'd like to include other areas not listed in this unit, Lonely Planet -- Destinations is the main page which lists the locations they have slideshows and information for.

Suggestions:

  1. Bulletin Board design: use a large bulletin space and include the following sections:
    • Daily Weather calendar: use a large calendar to give room on each day to record daily high and low temperatures, weather descriptions for morning and afternoon. Determine how you will organize the information within each day's square given the size.
    • Weather prediction: hang three strings about 3 feet long three inches apart. Place a laminated index card above each. Use an overhead marker to write three different possible predictions for the next day (ask students to suggest ideas). This can be erased with water the next day and changed. Give each student a clothespin to clip to one of the strings for the prediction they agree with.
    • World map: use the largest you can find. Hang student writing, weather news stories, etc. around map and use string to connect to appropriate location.
    • Weather vocabulary: hang a pocket chart or pin index cards as new words are introduced. Put this low on the board for student manipulation.
    • KWL: use cloud shaped butcher paper to list "what we know," "what we want to know," and "what we learned" about weather.
  2. Give a different student every day the role of Meteorologist for recording local weather on the calendar. This person should take thermometer readings throughout the day, recording on a teacher designed recording sheet. Then write the day's high and low on the calendar. You can also teach students to use a rain gauge or anemometer to make other weather observations if appropriate (see Foss Air and Weather module for construction ideas). As a class agree on description of the weather in the morning and afternoon, meteorologist records this on the calendar.
  3. Classroom implementation: For whole class activities, it would be helpful to have your computer hooked to a presentation device such as a TV or projector.For group activities, you may want to arrange upper grade science buddies (one per group) or parents to assist with tasks, organization, etc. You can also give them the task of clicking the "info" button on a region's picture link and gathering information about the region to retell to the group.
  4. Journals: prepare doll journals beforehand. Include one writing page for each day. Consider creating a template writing page that includes an area for drawing, the sentence frame with blanks, and lines for date and recorder's name. Include a calendar for recording weather, perhaps on large paper as a fold-out to give students larger recording spaces for each day. You can also create/purchase weather symbols students can glue/stamp on the calendar that indicate weather conditions, to facilitate accurate recording and recall for graphing.