Marie Curie Math & Science Center
Beth T. Haines-He
The subject and grade level that this unit aims for.
Science - Weather; Grades 1 or 2

Commencement content standard from MST (one or more of the seven):

Standard 4: Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science.

Standard 3: Students will understand mathematics and become mathematically confident by communicating and reasoning mathematically, by applying mathematics in real-world settings, and by solving problems through the integrated study of number systems, geometry, algebra, data analysis, probability, trigonometry.

Standard 2: Students will access, generate, process, and transfer information using appropriate technologies.

Benchmark standards
Content standards


St.4: Physical Setting: 1a: Students will know some of the patterns of daily, monthly, and seasonal changes in their environment

St. 3: Measurement: 5b: Students will use some standard and nonstandard measurement tools in measurement activities.

St.2: Information Systems: 1b. Students will be able to telecommunicate a message to a distant location with teacher help. 1c. The student will be able to access needed information from printed media, electronic data bases, and community resources.
Performance standards

St. 4: Physical Setting: 1a. Students will accurately describe some of the patterns of daily, monthly, and seasonal changes in their environment.

St.3: Measurement: 5b. Students will accurately select and use some standard and nonstandard measurement tools in measurement activities.

St. 2: Information Systems: 1b Students will accurately telecommunicate a message to a distant location with teacher help. 1c. Students will show ability to successfully access information from printed media, electronic data bases, and community resources.
Content standards or outcomes

1. Weather can be observed using the senses.

2. Weather can be measured using the following instruments: Celsius thermometer, rain gauge, wind flag and wind scale.

3. Weather is constantly changing.

4. Weather data can be recorded.

5. Technology can be used to send and access information.

6. Weather is different in different places in the world

Performance measures for unit:

1. Class chart with daily recording of weather data.

2. Making and using individual and class wind flags.

3. Making and using a class wind scale.

4. Making and reading a Celsius thermometer

5. Teacher rubric to assess student's ability to construct and use wind flag.

6. Student weather portfolio including weather instruments, work sheets, recorded

observations in log, journal entries)

7. Observation of student use of E-Mail to send and receive weather data from students

in another school.

8. Observation of student use of internet to obtain daily weather report and forecast.

Enabling Activities:

Describe each day's activity separately or holistically plan for ten days of work. Include all parameters of the setting including grouping, space, time and props. Include some critical directions and questions for the classroom dialogue or attach a worksheet of activity directions. (See Chapter 6)

The following lessons are designed to be used at the beginning of the school year to establish individual as well as classroom weather stations. The classroom weather station may be used through out the year to record, graph and chart various aspects of weather and to help the students discover how weather helps them make decisions about their lives, i.e. what clothes to wear. Integrating activities in the areas of math, language and fine arts can extend this unit.

Some of the ideas and projects in this unit were taken from:

WEATHER AND ME; Teacher's Guide, Field-Test Edition;

National Science Resources Center

Smithsonian Institution

National Academy of Sciences

Arts and Industries Building, Room 1201

Washington, DC 20560; Copyright 1991


1. Students will share what they know about weather and what they want to learn.

2. Students will discuss favorite type of weather and record information on a class chart.

Materials: 4 charts:




4. WET-DRY (to be used in a center activity the following day)

5. Post-It Notes

6. 4 Sheets of paper
Time: 35 Minutes.


To motivate a discussion about weather read "It's Hot" by Shel Silverstein from A LIGHT IN THE ATTIC. Following the reading compare the weather in the poem with the weather of the day. Then share the "Know and Find Out" charts. Fill in the charts by brainstorming with the class. Use different colors strips on each chart. Display charts. During the unit of study refer to charts and as information is covered move strips to appropriate charts. Then give each child a Post-It Note and have them draw themselves wearing hot or cold weather clothes to indicate what weather they prefer. The student then places choice on the appropriate section of the chart. Discuss the information on the chart and then write several sentences describing the chart. A similar chart can be made on "Wet or Dry".

Assessment: Observe students as they work. Emphasis will be on the student's prior knowledge of weather and how students interact in a group discussion.

Lesson 2. OBSERVING WEATHER - Day 2 and Day 3.

Objectives: 1. Students will use their senses to observe and gather data about weather.

2. Students will discuss and record their observations.

3. Students will name different types of weather.

4. Students will discuss why it is important to record weather data.

Materials: l Classroom Weather Chart.

25 Adhesive picture hooks

set of rubber weather stamps

100 3x5 index cards with hole punched in top center

large observation chart showing ear, eye, hand, nose

small observation chart for each student

Time: 2 days - 30 minutes each day

Procedure: Take students on a guided imagery such as the one listed below:

Sit comfortable and relax

See yourself as a scientist in an orbiting weather station

Your equipment is with you to record what you observe

As your satellite begins to leave the ground, feel the dampness of the fog on your face

Notice the layers of clouds

Protect yourself from the rain as you rise 1 to 3 miles high

Feel the colder air...examine the icy spiny clouds

Watch the long feathers of ice curl around your satellite

Reach out and touch the ice crystals as they move to form small balls or flakes

These clouds look like rippled sand

See the sunlight sparkling through

Go down to lower fluffier clouds

They look more rippled with gray and white groups

They are full of water drops

You are going up...up to the biggest large flat topped cloud masses

Enjoy the peace and the beautiful view

Now see yourself heading down through the fluffy white clouds

Come back to the classroom

When I count to three, open your eyes.


from: "Teacher's Manual", WEATHER, Rockland County B.O.C.E.S.

Discuss how we take in information about weather through our senses. Identify senses and type of information we get from our senses. Share large Observation Chart and how each of the senses help in observing weather. Go outside and have students observe weather using their senses. Students then record their own observations on individual Observation Charts. Share and fill in classroom chart.

Day 2: Discuss different types of weather; rainy, sunny, cloudy, windy, snowy, foggy, etc. Show students large Weather Chart, cards, and stamps describing different types of observable weather. (Before class make a large chart by dividing the chart into 25 sections measuring 3x5. Stick an adhesive picture hook at the top center of each of the 3x5 sections. Leave space at the top of the chart to name the month. Use a different color set of index cards for each 25 day time period.) Show students the cards. The class will again go outside to observe the weather using their senses. Then as a group, label the card with the date and the appropriate weather stamp. Refer to the cards as data cards. Place the card on the chart and explain that each day students will be filling in the appropriate data on the cards.

Note: The use of different colored cards will enable the students to compare weather data for different seasons.

Assessment: Student Observation Chart on observing weather and how well each student can observe, record and and report weather date using this chart.

Lesson 3. OBSERVING WIND Days 4 and 5.

Objectives: 1. Students observe wind.

2. Students make a class wind scale and use it to measure the wind.

3. Students make individual flags to measure wind.

Materials: For each student (and a sample for teacher and class weather station).

1. 1 piece of 4"x6" white cloth

2. 1 piece of stiff tagboard (2"x 7")

3. masking tape

4. colored markers

For the class:

1. poster showing class wind scale

Time: 35 minutes each day

Procedure: Motivate by reading several poems describing wind. Discuss how we might tell that the wind is blowing. Decide as a class what we could use to determine wind speed. Discuss use of flag outside school. Using flag as a reference point establish a wind scale. 0=NO WIND;1=LITTLE WIND; 2=SOME WIND; 3=LOTS OF WIND. Go outside and determine wind speed using wind scale. Come into class and add this information to Class Weather Chart.

Day 2: Working in pairs have each student construct a simple weather flag.

How to make a weather flag

1. Decorate the piece of cloth

2. Use two staples to attach the cloth to the top of the tagboard pole

3. Fold the tagboard over so that it is double and hides the staples

4. Tape the flag at the top, bottom, and just below the cloth

Have the students practice using the flags. Then go outside with the flags to determine the wind speed for the day. Using the wind scale decide the wind speed and record this on the Weather Chart. Daily record wind speed along with use of weather stamps on the chart.

Assessment: Use a teacher made rubric with a scale of 1 to 4 to determine the following:

l. The student is able to work independently

2. The student followed directions for making the flag.

3. The student accurately uses the flag and class scale to determine wind speed

4. The student accurately records wind speed on the weather chart.


Objectives: 1. Students are introduced to a Celsius Scale on a thermometer

2. Students learn to read and write temperatures on a model of a


Materials: large model thermometer

several real safety thermometers

teacher made work sheets

Time: 35 minutes

Procedure: List where students have seen thermometers and for what are they used. Display and practice reading large thermometer. Find 0 degree Celsius. Also discuss concept of freezing. Using several safety thermometers find 0 degrees. As a follow-up to the practice of reading thermometers have students work in pairs to use teacher made worksheets to read several thermometers and record the temperature that is on each thermometer. If students have difficulty doing this activity continue the lesson for another day with more worksheets.

Assessment: Work sheets.


Objectives: 1. Students make their own thermometers

2. Students practice setting and reading their thermometers

Materials: For each student: (a teacher made sample)

1. Teacher made model of thermometer made out of paper mounted on


2. 1 white shoelace (flat)

3. red crayon

4. teacher made work sheet with thermometer to mark freezing.

Time: 40 minutes

Procedure: Show student a sample of the thermometer. Discuss materials to be used. Having students work with a partner, assemble thermometers step by step.

1. color front and back of half of shoelace

2. insert shoe lace into holes punched in top and bottom of thermometer

3. tie shoe lace in back of thermometer so lace can be raised up and down to

change temperature on thermometer

4. mark 0 degrees Celsius on the thermometer with a red crayon

Discuss red in real thermometer and how it works to move up and down to give temperature.

Practice using the thermometers. Play guessing games. Is temperature above or below freezing? Would this be a hot or cold day?

Assessment: Observations of how they make thermometers as well as how they can use them.


Objectives: 1. Students practive using real thermometers to read and record temperatures

2. Class Temperature Graph is introduced. (This will be used throughout the


Materials: several safety thermometers

2 teacher made worksheets for each student (one to record outside

temperature and one for inside)

Class Temperature Graph already prepared by teacher

Time: 35 minutes each day

Procedure: Prepare a Temperature Graph large enough to record temperatures daily for 3 school weeks. Group children (4 to a group) Give each group a safety thermometer. Practice reading the thermometer in various situations; room temperature, temperature when finger is on the bulb. Go outside and place each group in a different location. (shade, full sun) Read temperature. Inside, give each student teacher made worksheets one to record outside temperature and the other to record inside temperature. Have the student color in the red on the thermometer as well as write the temperature. Then as a group record the outside temperature to the other information on the Class Weather Chart and Class Temperature Graph. Continue to do this activity on following days until students become proficient at reading and recording temperatures. Now the Weather Chart should show the daily date, weather observation stamp, wind speed. and temperature in Celsius.

Lesson 7 Day 8 and Day 9 MAKING A RAIN GAUGE

Objectives: 1. Students follow directions and make a rain gauge

2. Students learn to read the scale on the rain gauge

3. Students begin to keep a record on rain fall

Materials: Each student: (sample for teacher and for use in class weather station)

l. Strip of 5 one inch connected cubes

2. Clear plastic cup

3. Clear packaging tape

4. Masking tape

5. Scissors and crayons

6. Teacher made worksheet showing sample rain gauge and place to record


For Class

watering can or large plastic jug

Time: 35 minutes each day

Procedure: Discuss rain fall. How can we tell if it has rained? Weather reporters use a scale to show how much rain has fallen. This is called a rain gauge. Show a rain gauge if you have access to one. Working with a partner have each student make a rain gauge in the following way.

1. cut out strip of the one inch cubes

2. cut piece of clear packaging tape slightly longer then strip

3. lay tape sticky side up on table

4. with partners help place strip, cube side down on tape

5. place tape on bottom up of plastic cup (making certain bottom line of first

cube even with bottom of cup

6. put a small piece of masking tape on bottom of cup and write name

Demonstrate how to use rain gauge and practice with class rain gauge

Day 2 With rain gauge go outside. Each student finds piece of flat land on which to place rain gauge. Teacher makes it rain using watering can or large plastic jug. Students bring in their rain gauge and record amount of rain fall using teacher made worksheet described above. Then take class rain gauge outside and place it in protected area to use to measure actual rain fall. This data will be added to Class Weather Chart when appropriate.

Assessment: 1. Student rain gauge

2. Student is able to record rain fall on work sheet


Objectives: 1. Student will be able to, with the help of the teacher, access the local weather forecast

on the Internet and record this information in a Science Journal

2. Using E-Mail with the help of the teacher, student will be able to send and

receive weather date from another school.

Materials: computer

Science Journal

Time: 15 minutes daily

Procedure: When weather reporter of the day arrives for school he or she should locate the weather forecast for the day on the computer. Then as each student arrives he or she will record this information in their own Science Journal. After all weather data is recorded on the Weather Chart for that particular day the weather reporter will send this information to a class in another school via E-Mail. Arrangements to do this has to be made in advance by the two teachers involved. Then the data from the other school is receive by E-Mail and comparisons of the data is made by the class.

Assessment: 1. Ability of students to access information on the Internet (with teacher


2. Ability of students to send and receive data using E-Mail (with teacher


3. Validity of information recorded in Science Journal


Objectives: 1. Teacher will use the portfolio as the unit assessment piece

2. Students will use portfolio as their own individual weather station at home

3. Parents will respond to the portfolio by questioning child about contents

completing the enclosed assessment paper which is to be returned to the


Materials: For each student

1. shoe box

2. variety of materials (construction paper, markers, crayons, scissors, glue, etc.)

3. student made wind flag, wind scale, thermometer, rain gauge

4. all the student worksheets

5. parent response sheet

Time: 45 minutes

Procedure: Brainstorm with class all the various things they have been learning about weather. Make a class list of weather words. Discuss favorite weather, weather reports and forecasts, weather instruments and scales. Then have students decorate their own box to make a container for their weather portfolio. They are to put as much information as possible regarding weather. Then place all their worksheets, instruments and parent response sheet in weather box (portfolio). Teacher assesses each portfolio in an individual conference with each child. The box is sent home. The parent response sheet is to be returned.
Assessment: Weather Portfolio

Parent Response Sheet


Parent Response

In what way did you hear about this unit on weather?

____Homework _______Conversation_______Projects____________Other


Has your child done any home projects connected to this unit?

_____yes, (Please describe): ______no

Did your child do any extra reading about weather?

_______yes ______no

______Magazines __________Newspapers

______Books __________Other (Please list)

How would you describe your child's attitude about science before this year?

How would describe your child's attitude about science now?

COMMENTS: ( I would welcome any comments you would like to make, especially any suggestions for improving and strengthening this unit.)



St. Thomas Aquinas College, 125 Route 340, Sparkill NY 10976-1050