This unit was designed to introduce students to variances in temperature relative to time of day and time of year. Students gather their own local data, use current and archived weather facts from the national weather database and other on-line sites. As part of the Climate and Weather Unit, students will also examine 3 factors that help to determine weather and climate: latitude, elevation, and nearness to large bodies of water.
In developing our lessons and activities, we made some
assumptions about the hardware
and software that would be available in the classroom for teachers who visit the
LETSNet Website. We assume that teachers using our Internet-based lessons or
activities have a computer
(PC or Macintosh) with the necessary hardware components (mouse, keyboard, and
monitor) as well as software (operating system, TCP/IP software, networking or
software, e-mail and a World Wide Web client program, preferably Netscape, but
Mosaic or Lynx). In the section below, we specify any "special"
requirements for a lesson or activity (in addition to those described above)
and the level of Internet access required to do the activity.
The Climate and Weather unit contains activities that encourage and
support student learning about science, especially weather and global
environmental patterns. In developing these lessons, we have considered the
science standards of the National Research Council and the American
Association for the Advancement of Science.
One Computer versus Many
The plans for this unit are tailored to fit teaching situations where students have
access to several computers with Internet access. To accommodate classrooms which
don't have access to a computer lab with full Internet access, students can work
in research groups to explore Internet sites and conduct their research.
If you have only one computer with Internet access, you may choose to do one of the following:
Students can alternate between library research and Internet research. This allows some students to work on the computer using the Internet to do research while others use more tradtional printed resources.
Student research teams can download portions of Websites that are related to their research theme and print copies for all students to use. If you have the capability, you can use either an LCD panel and overhead projector or a video-monitor to project the computer screen for the larger group. This would allow the group to share the interactive nature of the Web, while conducting some basic discussions of what the sites have to offer.
If you have other computers with copies of Netscape, but without an Internet hook-up, you can download portions of Websites and save them to a disc to load onto the computers not connected to the Internet. Students can then open and view the downloaded files within Netscape. This will not allow students to have the full interactive experience of the Web, but will allow them to explore in smaller groups some of the information that is found on the web.