K         Unit 1              WEATHER OVERVIEW


A7, A8

Weather-Describe and record daily weather conditions throughout the year. (Try incorporating into Saxon meeting time)



1.  Weather changes day to day.

            2.  Weather includes many features including:

                                    Cloud cover




            3.  Tools used for measuring weather.

                                    Wind scale (sock)


                                    Rain gauges

            4.  Weather can be predicted by patterns.

5.  Weather affects decision we make about clothing and activities.


SKILLS: Be able to do:


1.              Record-(pictures/words)


Observe-(use senses)

Use senses

2.  Understand and use proper vocabulary (try substituting science books during comprehension/vocabulary time and use pre-set objectives)

               Cloud cover (types)

              Precipitation     (rain, snow, sleet, hail)


              Temperature (hot/cold)


3.  Measure using: wind indicator, thermometer, rain gauge.

4.  Record/read and interpret daily/weekly weather patterns to predict future weather.

5.  Interpret weather patterns to determine appropriate clothing and activity choices. (Using senses)




Weather STC kits



Websites-weatherbug, etc.

Wind indicators-flag, sock




1.  What is weather? (Cold/hot, humid/dry, windy, cloudy, percipatation).

2.  What tools do we use to measure weather and how do we use the tools?

3.  How does weather influence our clothing choices?  How does weather influence our activity choices?

4.  What makes a weather pattern?






Lesson 1: Sharing What We Know about Weather

Pre-unit assessment


Goal: Students will share what they know about weather through discussion about today’s weather and about how they decide what to wear to school. (Discussion will be repeated after unit).



Lesson 2:  Observing the Weather


Goal:  Students will use their senses (sight, hearing, smell, and touch) to find out about the weather.



Lesson 3: Recording the Weather


Goal:  Students will begin observing and describing the weather in the first two lesson, focusing on cloud cover and precipitation.  Recording observations on a daily weather calendar introduces student to long-term data collection. At the end of the unit, students will summarize the weather data they have collected.



Lesson 4:  Estimating Wind Speed


Goal: Students will make a wind flag and then learn to use a simple wind scale.  The students will add wind data to their daily weather calendar helping them to acquire a more complete picture of the daily weather.



Students describe how they know when the wind is blowing.

Students observe and describe a flag moving in the wind.

Students discuss and record the speed of the wind.

Students apply a wind scale to the movement of the flag.



Lesson 5: Reading a Thermometer *Lesson 1 of 3


Goal:  Students will explore temperature and be introduced to a thermometer a tool for measuring temperature.  Students will use a really thermometer to discover how a thermometer reacts to temperature and a model thermometer to learn to read the scale.  As they practice reading this scale, they begin to see that the higher numbers on the scale correspond with hotter temperatures and the lower numbers correspond with colder temperature.




Lesson 6:  Making a Model Thermometer *Lesson 2 of 3


Goal:  Students will continue to explore temperature by making their own thermometer. The students will work on reading the thermometer scale and relating the numbers on the scale to hotter or colder temperatures. Students will practice adjusting their thermometers to match temperatures.




Lesson 7: Comparing Inside and Outside Temperatures *Lesson 3 of 3


Goal:  Students will continue their exploration of temperature and thermometer by recording and comparing actual temperature in the classroom and outside.  A classroom discussion helps students recognize that it is the outside temperature that gives them information about the weather.  Students begin to use their second long-term data collection tool, the Temperature Graph, to record the daily temperature.  They will continue recording temperature on the graph throughout the rest of the unit.





Lesson 8: Embedded assessment of student’s growth in learning to read and record temperature. Introduction of thermometer as measurement tool for temperature.


Goal:  Students will be introduced to thermometers as a measurement tool for temperature using real and model thermometers.




Lesson 9:  Experimenting with Color and temperature


Goal: Students will apply knowledge of thermometer reading to experiment with the effects colors can have on thermometer readings. This can help the students determine the color of the clothing they might choose to wear in specific types of weather.




Lesson 10: Making a Rain Gauge *Lesson 1 of 3


Goal:  Students will construct and practice using a rain gauge, which is the third scale the will use in the unit.




Lesson 11:  Exploring Puddles *Lesson 2 of 3


Goal:  Students will explore what happens to puddles (collections of rain) through observation and discussion.  Students will continue to explore their weather knowledge with an historical story about the invention of a special umbrella called the “Mud Puddle Spotter.”




Lesson 12:  Testing Rainy Day Fabrics *Day 3 of 3


Goal: Students will experiment with three different fabrics and explore how they respond.  Through discussion of their results students will use their observations to draw conclusion about which fabric would keep them driest on a rainy day. *Students will be exposed to a story that will help them recognize that rain day fabrics have been the subject of experimentation in the past.






Lesson 13: Observing Clouds *Lesson 1 of 2


Goal: Students will take a closer look at clouds (from their cloud cover on the weather calendar).  The students will increase their awareness of many different ways clouds can look focusing on the diversity of cloud shape and size.






Lesson 14: Classifying Clouds *Lesson 2 of 2


Goal:  Students will describe how clouds look to them. Students will be introduced to the scientific terms for basic types of clouds: stratus, cumulus, and cirrus. Students will see examples of all three types in photographs and then sort them by scientific categories.






Lesson 15: Comparing Forecasts to Today’s Weather


Goal: Students will recognize the close connection between student’s new knowledge about weather and the world of meteorology.   Students will compare their own observations of today’s weather with a meteorologist’s forecast; this will help the students recognize that the observable weather features they have become familiar with are the same features that meteorologists use in their daily forecasts.






Lesson 16: Summarizing Our Weather Observations


Goal:  Students will discuss what they have learned about weather over the past unit. They will determine the weather in the past by using the weather calendar and weather graph.  






A useful structure for inquiry-based learning units follows a LEARNING CYCLE model.  One such model, the “5-E Model”, engages students in experiences that allow them to observe, question and make tentative explanations before formal instruction and terminology is introduced.  Generally, there are five stages in an inquiry learning unit:


·       Engagement: stimulate students’ interest, curiosity and preconceptions;

·       Exploration: first-hand experiences with concepts without direct instruction;

·       Explanation: students’ explanations followed by introduction of formal terms and clarifications;

·       Elaboration: applying knowledge to solve a problem. Students frequently develop and complete their own well-designed investigations;

Evaluation:  students and teachers reflect on change in conceptual understanding and identify ideas still “under development”.

            Assessment 1 asks students to pretend to be a meteorologist reporting the weather and to suggest suitable clothing to go with the day’s weather.


            Assessment 2 asks students to draw a picture and label it in answer to the question “What have you learned about weather?”


BIG QUESTION: How can/do you remember what the weather was like two weeks before?  By examining the data from the Weather Calendar and Temperature Graph, they are able to summarize the weather over the past few weeks.


Culmative project:  Create a daily weather calendar or weather report for the entire school or class room that can be displayed each day for everyone to see.





I know you are wondering where am I going to find the time?  Well you do not need to find time you just need to be creative.  Look at the objectives and see if they can met during a time that already exists.  Why not track the weather during the Saxon math meeting.  Why not write about weather during writing.  Switch or add books to the vocabulary/comprehension block.  Why not add a science reading center you could read, write, label, create, letter match, sound match all about weather.  Why not let them visit www.weatherbug as a reward or let some older students buddy up with your students and explore some of the weather websites.  Train your kids to the weather report daily and then let them share it during announcements at either the beginning or end of the day.  There are many ways to incorporate science/weather into your day without having to create time.






Bibliography of Additional Literature

Fiction and Non-Fiction

Check your school library for these books; you might also suggest your librarian or literature coach



**My Five Senses. by Aliki  (BIG BOOK)


Kids Discover STC Reader : Weather


The Kid’s Book of Weather Forecasting: Build a Weather Station: Read the Sky” & Make Predictions! By Mark Breen & Kathleen Friestad


Weather Forecasting. By Gail Gibbons.


What Will the Weather Be: (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2). by Lynda DeWitt


Oh Say Can You Say What’s the Weather Today?: All About Weather. (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library) by Tish Rabe


The Weather/Eltiempo(English and Spanish Series) (Book #6) (Bilingual). By Gladys Rosa-Mendoza, Carolin Cifuentes, Cd Hullinger, and C.D.


Weather Words and What They Mean. By Gail Gibbons.


Weather ABC: An Alphabet Book (A+ Books). by B.A. Hoena


If Frogs Made the Weather. By Marion Dane Bauer


Weather: Poems for All Seasons. By Lee Bennett Hopkins and Melanie Hall


The Cloud Book. by Tomie DePaola


Little Cloud. By Eric Carle


Cloud Dance. By Thomas Locker and other materials. (Tab 8)