This weather unit is created for a split-level, first and second grade classroom at Yankee Ridge elementary school. It will be implemented on April 1, 1996 over a period of fifteen days. The classroom is made up of twenty-two students of varying learning abilities. The instructional style is very open and child-centered, highlighting rotating centers, independent writing workshops, and whole group activities. The weather unit will incorporate these various learning opportunities. Although weather is primarily a science topic, all subject matters can easily be integrated. There are many activities and lessons on weather that incorporate children's literature, creative writing topics, social studies situations, math concepts, and art projects to strengthen the scientific inquiries. As weather is a very large topic, the lessons represent some of the key concepts and are nowhere near the boundaries of what can be learned in weather. The following description of unit subtopics includes lessons that help students develop a “hands-on, minds-on” experience to weather through creative situations. They are intended for younger students to begin to see the relationships with weather and other issues, and to question why things happen in the phenomena of weather. Such lessons will engage students by getting them interested in weather, while they begin to understand the initial concepts of certain processes.
The lesson plans are in no particular order and the center activities can be grouped in any combination of sub-topics. Activities and/or extensions supporting each sub-topic are also included after the group of lesson plans. The unit is introduced with a K-W-L bulletin board, in which students can contribute their knowledge and questions. Various daily activities will be added to the class to practice reading temperature from a thermometer, using a barometer, weather forecasting, and keeping a daily creative journal/weather log. A parent guest speaker will also come into the classroom to enrich the unit. To end the unit, the students will finish the K-W-L bulletin board with what they learned and compile a class book of weather myths based on their understanding of weather.
Temperature: Students learn to use a thermometer through daily temperature readings. They will also discover the effects of climate on clothing.
Water Cycle to Precipitation: Students learn the steps of the water cycle and will observe it in action through a model. They will discover what materials absorb and repel water, as well as see the effects of rain on art creations.
Clouds: Students will learn the different types of clouds and what kinds of weather each produces. By observing the formation of a cloud, they will better understand what it is made of and how it is made.
Air Pressure/Wind: Students learn to use a barometer through daily readings. They will observe the movement patterns of air pressure and wind and realize the effects on weather changes.
"Wild Weather"/Storms: Students will learn the relationship between thunder and lightning. They will also discuss the effect of such natural disasters on communities.
The general daily schedule is as follows:
[including Fine Arts, Computer Lab, and P.E. at pre-scheduled times]
- Daily Journals and Weather Log
- Calendar, Oral Story, News
- Daily Weather -- Temperature, Barometer, Weather Forecasting
- Daily Oral Language, Spelling
- Unit Activity I
- Writer's Workshop
- Learning Centers ; Free Choice Centers/Reading Groups
- Read Aloud Chapter Book
- Sustained Silent Reading
- Unit Activity II
Return to the Gina Chung's Weather Unit
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