Science Learning Cycle
Topic: Weather
NSES: Content Standard D, K-4, Earth and Space Science; Content Standard E, K-4,
Science and Technology
Grade levels: 4
SOLs: 4.6 The student will investigate and understand how weather conditions and
phenomena occur and can be predicted. Key concepts include
a) weather phenomena;
b) weather measurements and meteorological tools; and
c) use of weather measurements and weather phenomena to make weather
predictions.
Subject: Weather Instruments
Daily Question: How can we predict the weather?
Procedures for Learning Experience
Engagement:
*This lesson will be set up as a
posthole of Problem Based Learning
unit.
- Begin by asking the guiding
questions.
- Gather the class to listen to an urgent
message from the head meteorologist
at the WAVY Weather Station for the
Tidewater region.
- Play the Voki animation (voki.com).
*Script for meteorologist is attached at
end of lesson plan.
- The teacher will ask students if they
are interested in helping out the
WAVY Weather Station/ their
community members by providing
potentially life-saving weather reports.
- Assuming the students say “yes!” ask
them the guiding questions.
- Tell the students that they will be
working with the people at their table
and moving around from table to table
as a unit to explore the weather
instruments. Each group will have a
pre-assigned Facilitator and Care and
Safety officer. The facilitator’s job is to
make sure everyone in the group shares
their ideas, and has their ideas listened
to. The Care and Safety officer’s role is
Guiding Questions
Is it important to
know the weather
forecast? Why?
What do you know
about weather?
What sorts of
measuring tools do
you think
meteorologist use?
Materials
Needed
Computer
with Internet
access
Projector with
sound to
display and
listen to Voki
Voki Avatar
Evaluation
(Assessment)
Formative
assessment of
student
responses to
guiding
questions
Approx.
Time
5
minutes
to make sure students properly handle
the materials, and make sure stations
are cleaned/ ready for the next group.
- Each group will have 5 minutes at
each and every table so that they will
get to explore all the weather
instruments.
- Each student will record their
observations about each instrument and
make inferences about what they are
used for in their Weather Instrument
Guide. Explain that it is important that
they record their findings into the guide
so that every group member will know
how to use the weather tools in order to
help the WAVY Weather Station find
out what weather system is moving
into the area!
Exploration:
Now that students are engaged and
excited about helping the
meteorologists predict what weather
system is moving into the area, they
will begin their exploration of the
different instruments.
Each group will move around the room
and have a chance to explore an
anemometer, a thermometer, a rain
gauge, and a barometer. The
instruments names will be provided. In
addition to the weather instrument,
there will be additional objects at each
table to help the students figure out
what the tool is used for:
Guiding Questions
on the direction
cards and in the
Weather
At anemometer station: anemometer
Instrument Guide
and a hair dryer
(Ex:
At thermometer station: 3
What units of
thermometers; 2 in cups of water at
measurement does
different temperatures, and one at room your instrument
temperature.
use?
At rain gauge station: one rain gauge
with a measuring cup filled with water. Make an inference
At barometer station: barometer, two
about what this
pictures (one fair weather, one bad
instrument might
Weather
Instrument
Guide
Anemometer
rain gauge
3
thermometers
barometer
Hair dyer,
two cups of
water at
different
temperatures,
water in a
measuring
cup to put in
the rain
gauge, two
pictures, ruler
Formative
assessment of
participation and
engagement at
stations and in
groups.
Formative
assessment of
teamwork skills
in groups.
25
minutes
weather) with barometer readings at
the bottom
The fifth station will have the students
looking at a standard atmosphere table.
They will be exploring the relationship
between altitude, temperature, and air
pressure.
be used for, based
on all the objects
you have in front
of you. )
Guiding questions will be provided on
an index card for further support (See
the Weather Instrument Guide).
Explanation:
In order to ensure that students truly
understand what each tool is used for,
the teacher will call the class back
together and ask them what they
learned about each instrument. Once
the students have shared their
knowledge, the teacher will fill in any
gaps that the students have missed.
Ultimately, the students will know that:
-Anemometer: measures wind speed;
the wind goes into the cups and then
spins the cups as fast as the wind is
going. Measured in mph or kmph
-Rain gauge: the amount of
precipitation over time; Measured in
inches or mm of rain
-Thermometer: measures the
temperature of the air/ how fast the air
molecules are moving; it’s measured in
Fahrenheit and Celsius. If the
“mercury” is low, then it’s cold out; if
it is high, then it’s hot out.
-Barometer: measures air pressure;
measured in millibars or hPa (*point
out that these are one in the same.)
-Standard atmosphere table: when
altitude increases, air temperatures and
altitude pressures decrease.
Before this
activity, had you
ever seen any of
these instruments?
What do you think
the (weather
instrument)
measures? How do
you think it works?
How do you think
it is used?
What kind of
weather is there
when air pressure
is low? High?
How do you think
temperature,
altitude, and air
Anemometer,
rain gauge,
thermometer,
barometer
Formative
assessment of
group
engagement and
participation
10
minutes
After the students fully know the
purpose and functions of each weather
instrument, prompt the students to
think about how these tools are related
and how they might be used together to
predict the weather.
pressure are
related?
Can you think of
any experiences
you’ve had with
varying air
pressure and
altitude levels?
What did you
experience and
why do you think
you experienced it?
What do these
instruments help
the meteorologists
predict?
How are these
tools related?
How can they be
used together to
predict the
weather?
Extension:
As the culminating activity to this
“posthole,” students will act as
meteorologists by using their new
knowledge of the weather instruments
to help the WAVY Weather Station
determine what storm is on its way.
Each group will be given a chart with a
brief list of characteristics of three
storm types, thunderstorms, hurricanes,
and tornadoes.
Each group will also be given an index
card that states:
Your barometer reads…
Your thermometer reads…
Your rain gauge reads…
Your anemometer reads…
What is the air
pressure?
Temperature?
Level of rainfall?
Wind speed?
How is your new
knowledge about
each of these
Chart with
storm type
characteristics
for each
group
Formative
assessment of
group
engagement and
participation
Cards with
scenarios.
Summative
assessment of
Weather
Instrument
Guide
Weather
Instrument
Guide
10
minutes
From this information, students need to
determine what storm is quickly
approaching the Tidewater Region.
They will record their answers in their
Weather Instrument Guide.
instruments (and
how they work
separately and
together!) going to
help you figure out
what kind of storm
is approaching the
town?
What do you now
understand about
how meteorologists
predict the weather
that you did not
before?
Notes: Since students will be working with actual weather instruments, make sure they
know that they must safely handle the equipment. During the Explore Stage, teacher(s)
should monitor each group, making sure they are treating the instruments with care, and
providing guidance and assistance when necessary and appropriate. For the groups, make
sure groups are heterogeneously mixed to provide support for those with lower abilities,
special needs and/or ESL.
Sources:
Met Office. (2011). Fact sheet No. 3 – Water in the atmosphere. Retrieved from
http://library.metoffice.gov.uk/
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center (2012). NASA adds up Hurricane Sandy's rainfall
from space. ScienceDaily. Retrieved
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121101172152.htm
National Academy of Sciences. (1996). National science education standards. Retrieved
from http://www.csun.edu/science/ref/curriculum/reforms/nses/nses-complete.pdf
Sagara, Eric. (2012). Interactive map: Hurricane Sandy rainfall around New Jersey.
NJ.com. Retrieved from
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/11/interactive_map_hurricane_sand.html
Scholastic Inc. (2013). Teacher’s guide. Retrieved from
http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/wwatch/tguide/teaching_35.htm
Virginia Department of Education (2012). Science Standards of Learning: Enhanced
Scope and Sequence, Grade 4. Retrieved
from http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/standards_docs/science/2010/lesson
_plans/grade4/interrelationships_in_earth-space_sys/sess_4.6b.pdf
Voki Animation Script:
Hi students from Ms. Smith’s science classroom! My name is Sarah, and I am a
meteorologist at the WAVY Weather TV station. Every day, people like you and your
family rely on me to report the weather!
You might be wondering why I am contacting you. Well, about an hour ago, a
failure in our weather reporting system occurred! All of the instruments we use to predict
the weather have stopped working!
Ms. Smith told us that your class is starting a weather unit and might be able to
help us out! We really need your help because just before our system crashed, our
instruments indicated that some type of dangerous weather system was headed right our
way! We think it might be a few days before our system is back up and running, so we
would really appreciate your help! The safety of the people of the Tidewater Region is in
your hands!
http://www.voki.com/php/viewmessage/?chsm=455d4e14d1605140db7fb37804d
240d1&mId=1969644
Extension Materials:
Storm Type Associated Weather
Thunderstorm  Heavy Rain
 Strong wind
 Lightening
 Thunder
Hurricanes
 Heavy rain
 Even stronger winds
 High tides
 Huge waves
Tornadoes

Strong, whirling winds in a
funnel-shaped cloud
Other Information
 Winds of 58mph or greater!







Winds of 75mph or greater!
Form over warm ocean water
Often affect places located near
large bodies of water
Low atmospheric pressure
8 inches of rain fell during
Hurricane Sandy last year
In the U.S., they occur mostly in
the middle of the country
Low atmospheric pressure
WHAT STORM IS ON ITS WAY?
Your barometer reads:
940 millibars/hPa (Is this low or high?)
Your thermometer reads:
75°F/ 24°C
Your rain gauge reads:
8 inches (203mm) of rain
Your anemometer reads:
115mph = 185km/h
What storm do you think is approaching? Why?
Record your answer in your Meteorologist’s Weather Tool Guide.
Station 5
Air Pressure (hPa/mb)
Pictures to be at barometer station:
Download

Learning Cycle Weather Instruments final