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Teaching Weather in Elementary Grades

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Teaching Weather in Elementary Grades

Elementary students are at an age to be encouraged to become good observers of the life around them. The study of weather and weather patterns is a good way to do this. Following are some activities that could be done in the classroom depending on the age and ability of your students.

1. Have students make a chart to observe and record the weather at convenient times during the day. Also, encourage them to record observations at home in the evening and on week-ends.

2. Have students watch the weather forecast either on TV or on a weather site on the internet. They might record the forecast from more than one source, or you could have students use different forecasts and discuss their findings. Have them observe the forecast and the actual weather and compare for accuracy.

3. Have students develop a vocabulary list that they might use learning about weather. They could work independently or in pairs to develop and define the terms.

4. Obtain (buy, beg, or borrow) a few simple weather instruments to use in the classroom such as an indoor/outdoor thermometer, a barometer, or a rain gauge. There are some nice digital weather stations available if you can convince your school to invest in one. Students should learn to read them and record their findings.

5. Discuss with students the difference between weather and climate. Look at climates and weather patterns around the country or world.

6. In our area, a meteorologist from a local TV station is often willing to visit classrooms and talk about his career.

7. There are several weather web sites for children that they can go to and find explanations, games, and experiments: weatherwizkids.com, WebWeather for Kids.com, and the weather channel kids.com are just some.

8. For older students or a a cross-curricular activity, students might pick a country and study about the country and its weather patterns. They could work in groups and prepare a display about the country and include weather/climate information and how it affects the country's culture.

9. This would be a good place to incorporate information about weather safety, i.e. what to do to be safe in case of different types of threatening weather. Local safety personnel might be willing to come speak to the class.

Lesson by Margaret Twitchell

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