Climate and Weather Unit

Lesson One
Lesson One: Where to look

  • Brief Description
  • Objectives
  • Materials and Resources
  • Activity Description
  • Internet Resources

  • Brief Description

        In this lesson, students become familiar with weather terminology and different representations of data as they explore various on-line weather sites. They will be given an opportunity to practice using and interpreting data, while determining the effects of the time of day, time of year, as well as on temperature. Up to Contents

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        Students will:

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    Materials and Resources

        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 dial-up software, e-mail and a World Wide Web client program, preferably Netscape, but perhaps Mosaic or Lynx). In the section below, we specify any "special" hardware or software requirements for a lesson or activity (in addition to those described above) and the level of Internet access required to do the activity.

    1. Special hardware requirements: None.
    2. Special software requirements: None.
    3. Internet access: Medium-speed (28,000 BPS via modem) or higher.
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    Activity Description

        Before beginning this lesson, have students bring in magazines, newspaper articles, and library books that relate to weather.

    1. Introduce the Climate and Weather unit by visiting several of the Internet Resources listed below.

    2. Use the available resources, (e.g., one of the sites listed in the web resources below) to review basic weather terminology with students, such as temperature, average temperatures, and precipitation.

    3. Identify the units of measurement for temperature and precipitation.

    4. Explore a weather database to find the ranges, extremes, and patterns in the data.

    5. Introduce the NOAA and explain how NOAA keeps detailed records of weather observations from hundreds of location over a long period of time.

    6. Ask students to make predictions based on their existing knowledge of weather. For example, ask them:

      • What time of day is the hottest? The coldest?
      • What month of the year is the hottest? The coldest?
      • What month has the most precipitation? The least?
    7. Students may want to keep an accurate log of all activities in their Science Journal.

    8. Arrange the class into small groups where they can discuss their predictions and form a hypothesis based on those predictions, example: ________is the hottest time of day.

    9. Have students test their hypothesis against the data available or students can gather their own data to find the temperature changes during a twenty-four-hour day. They can do this by measuring the temperature at various times during the day over a period of several days, or they can look at one of the resources available on-line. If they measure it themselves, they might consider using computer temperature probes - frequently available from the high school science laboratory.

    10. In order to answer the long-range questions such as the hottest time of year, or most rainfall, students will need to rely on information provided by local/national weather organizations.

    11. Encourage students to form conclusions based on the information and data provided. Write their conclusion in their journal.

    12. Gather as a large group to discuss their findings. Were their predictions correct? Why of why not? What evidence did they find to support their conclusion? Is it reliable? What makes a reliable source? Emphasize the importance of using reliable sources and accurate data when forming a conclusion.

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    Internet Resources

      On-Line hourly data

      Archived monthly/yearly data

      Termonology Resources

      General Weather Sites

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