Rain, Rain, Go Away......
This activity connects what students know and have recently experienced about local weather to set the stage to learn about weather patterns and predictions. The Weather Underground website provides weather data, both current and historical, anywhere in the country. Demonstrate how to navigate the website and help students create a data table if needed.
An alternative to using the website is to collect the weather page from the local newspaper and make copies for students to use.
2. Click "More" and the "Historical Weather"
3. Enter your location and the dates you would like to record
Choose 5 days in a row of local weather within the last 2 weeks. Create a data table and record: (you may have to scroll down to "Hourly Weather History & Observations" to collect all of the data)
- mean temperature
- air pressure
- cloud cover
- wind direction
- wind speed
Be sure to get data for days that have ended. Do NOT include weather predicted for the future.
You may have to look at hourly data and summarize it for the day.
Abbreviations for wind direction include N for north , S for south, E for east and W for west. For example, NW would mean northwest.
2 Direct Instruction
In this lab, students can work through the Cloud Video Quizzes. either as whole class instruction or independent learning. Optionally, students can complete the first Challenge, Cloud Typing, which quizzes students on cloud types.
Coastal Winds and Clouds Gizmo (format is HTML 5 so is compatible with most devices)
On the ExploreLearning site, copy or link the student sheet (can be modified). This sheet will help students work through the simulation, from making observations to analyzing the data and drawing conclusions.
In the simulation, students observe daily weather conditions in a coastal region. They measure temperatures and wind speeds at a location of their choosing and use this data to map convection currents that form during the day and night. From this they explain the origin of land breezes and sea breezes.
3 Guided Practice
Students work through the next challenge, Inside a Megastorm. This activity uses the tools of a meteorologist to explain the data that is collected as a storm progresses.
If done as an in-class activity, I like to have students work in partners so they can discuss what they see. Alternatively it can be assigned as homework in a blended/flipped classroom.
4 Independent Practice
The final challenge is Storm Prediction. Students determine what tools they will use and what data they will collect to measure, analyze and predict the path of the storm. they may use actual storms from the past or current storms if applicable.
Using Voki Classroom, students create a weather report about the storm they have just analyzed. Providing recordings of weather reports or assigning students to listen to a weather report on the news can be helpful. Using Voki allows students to write a script and record it, even using their cell phones, without the pressure of speaking in front of people. They can start over as many times as they wish to create a quality weather report.
To extend learning, additional videos are available in the video library on the Nova Lab site. Students can learn more about Clouds and Weather, Hurricane Rotation and the Coriolis Effect. They can "meet" scientists who study weather and they can "Join the Conversation ," by sharing research ideas, ask questions, and get up-to-date news about what's happening in the NOVA Labs community.
Key Standards Supported
Speaking & Listening
|SL.6: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas|
|SL.6.4||Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.|
|SL.6.6||Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.|
|SL.7: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas|
|SL.7.4||Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.|
|SL.7.6||Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.|
|SL.8: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas|
|SL.8.4||Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.|
|SL.8.6||Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.|
Key Standards Supported
Earth and Human Activity
|MS-ESS3-2||Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.|
|MS-ESS2-5||Collect data to provide evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses results in changes in weather conditions.|