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Weather Watchers

Grades 2 and 3
Language Arts, Mathematics, and Technology

Lesson Plan

Overview

After investigating several national sites (such as parks, forests, seashores, and battlefields), students will use the Internet to find the daily temperatures at chosen national sites, as well as their home location.  After recording at least one week of temperatures, students will create a graph to demonstrate the data collected.  Students will then complete a written explanation of the data, including weather trends, comparisons, and predictions.

Objectives

Students will research and record daily temperatures at specific national sites.  Students will display data accurately in appropriate formats.  Students will identify weather trends and compare weather in different locations.

Summary

  • Introduce the concept of national sites through an age-appropriate text you read aloud or through appropriate Web sites.  Describe the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program for background information.  The program is described at www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/atb/.  Tell the students that the back of a coin is called the reverse, and "obverse" is another name for the front.
  • With the students, examine each of the five 2011 quarter designs.  Locate each of the 2011 sites on a class map.  Answer any student questions.
  • Have the students investigate a variety of national sites on the Internet.  If desired, focus on a small group of sites you select.  Students will choose the national sites on which to focus their weather data collection.
  • Review different types graphs, focusing on line and bar graphs as the best options for this project.
  • Have the students track high and low temperatures for at least one week (the worksheet allows for 14 days) using the Internet in the home location and at one national site.
  • After collecting all of the data, have the students create a graph to display the information they gathered.  Students may choose to use a line or bar graph.  Have the students then explain their graphs in writing identifying trends, connections to weather and climate in the location, predictions for upcoming weather, and comparisons between locations.  Have the students share their work with the class.

Assessment

  • Use the students' class participation, research work, and final products to evaluate whether they have met the lesson objectives.
  • Use the rubric to evaluate performance on the graphs and written explanations.

Differentiated Learning

  • Allow students to work in pairs to research the national sites and/or create their graphs and written explanations.
  • Provide a set of data for students to use.
  • Provide a template for students to use in creating their graphs.
  • Allow students to use a scribe or supportive software for their written explanations.

Connection to www.usmint.gov/kids

Print Me

Worksheets associated with this lesson plan

Student

Objectives

  • Research national sites in the United States.
  • Use the Internet to find the daily high and low temperatures in chosen national sites AND in your hometown.  Record these temperatures.
  • Create a line graph or bar graph to display the temperatures in your chosen locations.
  • Write an explanation of your graph.

Step-By-Step Directions

  1. After your teacher introduces your class to national sites and the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program, explore national sites using www.nps.gov.  Your teacher may tell you which sites to study.  Print out the "Exploring National Sites" worksheet and record what you find.
  2. Choose ONE national site's weather to study.  You will study the weather in that national site AND in your home town.  Print out the "Tracking Temperatures" worksheet.  Use the Internet to find the high and low temperatures each day in both places, and record them on this worksheet.
  3. Your teacher will review with you types of graphs and their parts.
  4. Print and read the "Weather Watchers" worksheet.  Make sure that you understand all of the directions.  After you record all the temperatures for the assigned number of days, create a graph of the recorded temperatures and write an explanation.  Use the rubric to make sure you do your best work and include all the elements of the explanation.
  5. Share your work with the rest of your class.

Standards

English

National Council of Teachers of English (www.ncte.org) and International Reading Association (www.reading.org)

  • Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
  • Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
  • Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Math

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (www.nctm.org)

  • Data Analysis and Probability (PK-2): Students should pose questions and gather data about themselves and their surroundings, and represent data using concrete objects, pictures, and graphs.
  • Data Analysis and Probability (3-5): Students should collect data using observations, surveys, and experiments, and represent data using tables and graphs such as line plots, bar graphs, and line graphs.

Technology

International Society for Technology in Education (www.iste.org)

  • Research and Informational Fluency: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.

Side Box

Time

  • Two in-class sessions (30 to 45 minutes) for teacher-led lessons on national sites and graphs
  • Brief, daily Internet access to research daily temperatures
  • One or two independent or in-class sessions (30 to 45 minutes) for completing the graph and written explanation

Materials List

  • Internet access
  • Age-appropriate text that provides basic information about national sites
  • Materials to create a graph (centimeter or inch graph paper, markers, colored pencils, etc.)
  • Writing materials

Keywords

  • National site
  • National park
  • National forest
  • National seashore
  • National battlefield
  • National Park Service
  • Weather
  • Climate
  • Temperature
  • Thermometer
  • Graph
  • Line graph
  • Bar graph

Helpful Hints

  • Limit the number of national sites from which students may choose or assign each student a national site.
  • Using another national site as an example, go through the process of finding the high and low temperatures and recording them using the chart.  Then create a class graph and a sample written explanation together with the students.
  • Provide some examples of completed graphs for the final project.
  • Temperatures can be recorded in degrees Celsius, degrees Fahrenheit, or both.

Student Side Box

What You Need

  • "Print Me" worksheets
  • Internet access
  • Graphic materials

Related Materials

  • Exploring National Sites (worksheets)
  • Tracking Temperatures (worksheet)
  • Weather Watchers (Project Guide)

Related Links


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