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TeachNet NYC: Lesson Plans
Meteorology- How's the Weather?

Project URLs:

http://teachersnetwork.org/teachnetnyc/
bglasgold/weather.htm
 

http://teachnet-lab.org/ps101/bglasgold/wind.htm

http://teachnet-lab.org/ps101/bglasgold/airpressure.htm 

HOW IT WORKS

Start the lesson by brainstorming "meteorology" for topics to be used for research from the World Wide Web. From these topics create a semantic web on the computer using SuperPrint. After a lengthy group discussion, students and teacher will decide on the topics to be included for the research database. Students will use a database program (like AppleWorks) to create their database. The teacher will do some research to locate on-line web sites that the students can go to gather this information. The teacher will link the web sites for the children's ease of use. The student, therefore, is using the Internet to access data, and using the computer, AppleWorks, to organize his/her data.

From the topics that were used on the database, the teacher will divide the unit, meteorology, into at least four or five subtopics. For example, wind, air pressure, humidity, cloud formations, and storms. For each topic, students will research that topic, create instruments that we can use to predict the weather, and make scientific predictions about the weather!

THE STUDENTS

The students involved are the fifth grade science classes, and the fifth grade science club. They are of average ability level, and quite capable of doing this work. They will be working in small groups- 3-4 at a time on the research projects as well as the creating of the instruments.

WHAT YOU NEED

AppleWorks, ClarisWorks or any word processing program, Grolier's Multimedia Encyclopedia, KidPix, Netscape Page Composer, SuperPrint, Encarta '99, scanner to scan photographs of instruments made in class, and the Internet.

STANDARDS

Students will produce a report of information (English Language Arts). Students will write in Scientific Notation ( the Scientific Method when doing weather instruments and predictions). Students will build weather instruments (psychomotor). Students will be able to use the Internet as a tool for research (cognitive).

OVERALL VALUE

The overall value of this unit, in addition to teaching children the creative field of meteorology, is to get them used to using the computer in their everyday world. They will be gathering information from the World Wide Web and on-line encyclopedias, learning to navigate their way around the computer at the same time as gathering information. They will learn what instruments meteorologists use to predict the weather, and then are able to make their own predictions about the weather by reading their instruments. I think this unit can be adapted to children as low as second grade level. I have made simple barometers with second graders. It is an excellent method to show scientific thinking.  

Bonnie Glasgold teaches enrichment classes at PS101 in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn and is a TeachNet Project Mentor.

Email BMGLAS@aol.com

Estimated Class Periods To Complete: 4
Subject: Science
Subject 2: Social Studies
Beginning Grade Level: 5
Ending Grade Level: 5

 

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