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Ready-Set-Tech: Weather Wise

Jennifer Williams, Miami, FL

Grade Level  3 - 5
Subject Science and Language Arts
Background The weather affects everyone on Earth, from daily to long term planning. The weather is one of the most watched segments in the news. Predicting the weather is big business. In this lesson, students use the Internet to become junior meteorologists. They visit weather web sites and create a database of weather conditions.

The student uses the scientific processes to record, interpret, and predict weather data.
The student uses online resources to create, revise, retrieve and verify information.

Materials Computer with Internet access, Weather Wise work sheet, word processing program with a database application
Procedure 1. Discuss with students the three main types of clouds and their characteristics:

cumulus- white, puffy, and lumpy
stratus- gray, sheetlike, and layered
cirrus- light, wispy, and feathery

2. Discuss the various cloud types and the kind of weather they bring:

cumulonimbus- storms
stratus- overcast day, drizzle or mist
cumulus- fair weather clouds
nimbostratus- rain

3. Distribute Weather Wise work sheet and demonstrate how to set up a database.

4. Ask students to visit various book marked weather sites to check cloud conditions and specific weather locations for several weeks. Some sites to visit:

National Weather Service http://nws.noaa.gov/ - tons of interesting facts

NASA Kids http://kids.msfc.nasa.gov/ - current information and great links

USA Today http://usatoday.com/weather/wfront.htm -rich site with regional weather maps and domestic and international forecasts

5. After accessing weather sites, record information on Weather Wise work sheets.

Evaluation Students will be able to answer the following questions in a short essay: Were you accurate in your predictions? Do cloud conditions really affect the weather? Were you able to identify clouds?


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