Students will learn to:
- Observe and record weather patterns
- Process data by creating graphs/charts
- Compare actual weather data from the Siberian Arctic to local weather patterns, draw conclusions and make future predictions concerning weather patterns.
Why do people need to track weather over time?
You will need a thermometer, tracking calendar, and a weather bar graph.
- Activate prior knowledge- Sing "Head, Shoulder, Knees, and Toes" 2x as a group. Touch your head then your shoulders and stop. Ask, “What comes next? How do you know?” Say: “Patterns repeat themselves over and over again, which makes them predictable.”
- Have a class discussion about the seasons. What weather do we expect in Saratoga, Wyoming (replace with your own location) in the winter? spring? summer? fall?
- Introduce the class to the tool you will be using - a thermometer. Tell them that over the next 30 days we will be using the thermometer to tell us the temperature outside. We will also have to observe and record the weather (sunny, partly cloudy, windy, rainy, stormy, snowy).
- On chart paper, make predictions about anticipated weather and weather patterns for the month.
- Incorporate collecting the temperature and weather as part of your daily routine.
- Record your findings on a blank calendar, as well as the weather bar graph.
- At the conclusion of the month ask students: What do you notice? Are there any patterns? Why is it important to track the weather over time?
- Revisit predictions about weather patterns you made at the start of the month. Did your predictions match your findings?
- Compare your local weather patterns with those of the 2019 June Siberian weather data in the Lesson Materials.
- Allow students to create posters using illustrations and words to demonstrate their conclusions.
- Share findings with another class.
- Ask students what new questions they have.
Select another location. Make predictions about the weather patterns in that location. Track and collect weather data online over the next 30 days and compare your findings to your predictions. Draw conclusions. Share your data with the class.
While this lesson is designed for a kindergarten classroom, it can be easily adapted for upper grades by integrating additional data from various parts of the globe and comparing weather patterns on a larger scale over a longer period of time. Students can also look at warming temperatures around the world using real weather data from resources such as NOAA-National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In the upper grades it is also vital to differentiate between weather (the day to day state of the atmosphere) and climate (the weather of a place averaged over a period of time i.e. 30 years).
Included in the Lesson Materials is:
- Calendar for Data Collection
- Weather Bar Graph
- June 2019 Temperature and Weather Data
- Sample calendar: June 2019 NE Science Station Weather Data
Formative Assessment: Initiate a student discussion "Why do people need to track the weather over time?".
Summative Assessment: Allow students to create posters using illustrations and words to demonstrate their conclusions.
Amanda Ruland, PolarTREC Educator 2019
Saratoga Elementary/Middle School
agr5032 [at] gmail.com
K-ESS2-Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time. [Clarification Statement: Examples of qualitative observations could include descriptions of the weather (such as sunny, cloudy, rainy, and warm); examples of quantitative observations could include numbers of sunny, windy, and rainy days in a month. Examples of patterns could include that it is usually cooler in the morning than in the afternoon and the number of sunny days versus cloudy days in different months.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment of quantitative observations limited to whole numbers and relative measures such as warmer/cooler.]
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