Weather Watchers

Weather Watchers

Target Grade Level / Age Range:

Kindergarten

Time:

30 minutes on Monday, 5 minutes each day on Tuesday through Thursday, 15 minutes on Friday

Purpose/Objective:

Students will observe and record weather conditions for one week.         

Materials:

  • Window from which to observe
  • Internet connection to provide current daily temperature
  • Large paper thermometer to record daily temperatures.  
  • Chart paper or white board

Suggested Companion Resources:

Vocabulary:

  • Pattern -  the regular and repeated way in which something happens or is done
  • Weather - the state of the air and atmosphere at a particular time and place : the temperature and other outside conditions (such as rain, cloudiness, etc.) at a particular time and place

Background – Agricultural Connections:

“Weather is the combination of sunlight, wind, snow, or rain, and temperature in a particular region at a particular time.  People measure these conditions to describe and record the weather and to notice patterns over time.” – Next Generation Science Standards

Farmers rely on the weather to help their crops grow. Corn and soybeans, the most commonly grown crops in Iowa, need warm spring and summer temperatures and just the right amount of rain to keep crops growing. Weather that is too cool or too hot, too wet or too dry will prevent crops from growing well. Weather affects crops in other ways, too; severe weather, like strong winds, hail or unexpected frosts, can cause damage to the crops.

Most farmers watch the weather closely every day. The weather gives them an idea of when it is safe to go into the fields. If the soil is too wet, tractors and combines can’t drive through mud and the heavy machines may compact the soil.

Interest Approach or Motivator:

“Would you like to be a weather watcher?  I need your help!  This week, we will keep track of the weather each day.  As we record each day’s temperature and weather, let’s think about if this is a good week for plants to grow.”

Procedures:

  1. Begin by discovering the students’ prior knowledge of weather.  Record what they think weather is on chart paper or a white board.
  2. Read National Geographic Readers:  Weather.
  3. Clear up any misconceptions and note/fix them on the chart.
  4. Explain that students will be “weather watchers” and keep track of the weather all week.
  5. Play and sing the song “What is the Weather Today?”
  6. Begin weather graph and note today’s temperature.  Mark it on our classroom thermometer.
  7. On days 2-5, we will sing the song, observe the weather, and graph it.
  8. On Friday, we will analyze our data and look for any patterns.  We will discuss if this was a good week for the farmers’ crops and animals.  Did the plants get enough sunlight?  Did it rain? Was it warm enough for crops to grow?

Essential Files:

  • Everyday Math classroom thermometer—used to mark the day’s temperature zone.

Extension Activities:

  • Ask students to watch the weather on the news, or check the weather forecast with their parents online.  Compare the forecast with what actually happened.  Was the forecast correct?

Sources/Credits:

  • NRC document A Framework for K-12 Science Education

Authors:

Taryn Ryan

Kelsey Faivre

National Agriculture Literacy Outcomes:

  • Agriculture and the Environment Outcomes:
    • Provide examples of how weather patterns affect plant and animal growth for food.

Iowa Core Standards:

  • Science:
    • K-ESS2-1  Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time.

 

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