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Weather Watchers

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Summary

After investigating several national sites (such as parks, forests, seashores, and battlefields), students will use the Internet to find the daily temperatures at chosen sites and at 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.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America The Beautiful Quarters

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.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Math
  • Technology

Grades

  • Second grade
  • Third grade

Class Time

Sessions: Four
Session Length: 30-45 minutes
Total Length: 121-150 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Individual work

Terms and Concepts

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

Materials

  • 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

Preparations

  • Limit the number of national sites from which students may choose or assign each student a national site.  Bookmark sites such as:
  • 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.

Worksheets and Files

  1. Introduce the concept of national sites through an age-appropriate text you read aloud or through appropriate Web sites.  Attend to any unfamiliar vocabulary.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Have the students investigate a variety of national sites on the Internet.  (If desired, focus on a small group of sites you select.)  Have each student choose one national site on which to focus their weather data collection.
  5. Review different types of graphs, focusing on line and bar graphs as the best options for this project.
  6. 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.  Temperatures can be recorded in degrees Celsius, degrees Fahrenheit, or both.
  7. After collecting all of the data, have the students create a graph to display the information they gathered.  Allow the students to choose between using 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 the locations.
  8. Have the students share their work with the class.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • 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.
  • 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.
There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

Discipline: Math
Domain: 2.MD Measurement and Data
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Represent and interpret data
Standards:

  • 2.MD.9. Generate measurement data by measuring lengths of several objects to the nearest whole unit, or by making repeated measurements of the same object. Show the measurements by making a line plot, where the horizontal scale is marked off in whole-number units.
  • 2.MD.10. Draw a picture graph and a bar graph (with single-unit scale) to represent a data set with up to four categories. Solve simple put together, take-apart and compare problems using information presented in a bar graph.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: SL.2 Speaking and Listening
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • SL.2.4. Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audibly in coherent sentences.
  • SL.2.5. Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
  • SL.2.6. Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification. (See grade 2 Language standards 1 and 3 for specific expectations.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: SL.3 Speaking and Listening
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Comprehension and Collaboration
Standards:

  • SL.3.1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
    • Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
    • Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
    • Ask questions to check understanding of information presented, stay on topic, and link their comments to the remarks of others.
    • Explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.
  • SL.3.2. Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
  • SL.3.3. Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail.
  • SL.3.4. Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SL.3.5. Create engaging audio recordings of stories or poems that demonstrate fluid reading at an understandable pace; add visual displays when appropriate to emphasize or enhance certain facts or details.
  • SL.3.6. Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification. (See grade 3 Language standards 1 and 3 here for specific expectations.) 

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.2 Language
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.2.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Use collective nouns (e.g., group).
    • Form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns (e.g., feet, children, teeth, mice, fish).
    • Use reflexive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves)
    • Form and use the past tense of frequently occurring irregular verbs (e.g., sat, hid, told).
    • Use adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.
    • Produce, expand, and rearrange complete simple and compound sentences (e.g., The boy watched the movie; The little boy watched the movie; The action movie was watched by the little boy).
  • L.2.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Capitalize holidays, product names, and geographic names.
    • Use commas in greetings and closings of letters.
    • Use an apostrophe to form contractions and frequently occurring possessives.
    • Generalize learned spelling patterns when writing words (e.g., cage --> badge; boy --> boil).
    • Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.3 Language
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.3.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general and their functions in particular sentences.
    • Form and use regular and irregular plural nouns.
    • Use abstract nouns (e.g., childhood).
    • Form and use regular and irregular verbs.
    • Form and use the simple (e.g., I walked; I walk; I will walk) verb tenses.
    • Ensure subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement.
    • Form and use comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.
    • Use coordinating and subordinating conjunctions.
    • Produce simple, compound, and complex sentences.
  • L.3.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Capitalize appropriate words in titles.
    • Use commas in addresses.
    • Use commas and quotation marks in dialogue.
    • Form and use possessives.
    • Use conventional spelling for high-frequency and other studied words and for adding suffixes to base words (e.g., sitting, smiled, cries, happiness).
    • Use spelling patterns and generalizations (e.g., word families, position-based spellings, syllable patterns, ending rules, meaningful word parts) in writing words.
    • Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: K-2 Data Analysis and Probability
Cluster: Develop and evaluate inferences and predictions that are based on data.
Grade(s): Grades K–2
Standards:

In K through grade 2 all students should

  • discuss events related to students' experiences as likely or unlikely.

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: K-2 Data Analysis and Probability
Cluster: Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer them.
Grade(s): Grades K–2
Standards:

In K through grade 2 all students should

  • pose questions and gather data about themselves and their surroundings;
  • sort and classify objects according to their attributes and organize data about the objects; and
  • represent data using concrete objects, pictures, and graphs.

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: 3-5 Data Analysis and Probability
Cluster: Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer them.
Grade(s): Grades K–2
Standards:

In grades 3–5 all students should

  • design investigations to address a question and consider how data-collection methods affect the nature of the data set;
  • collect data using observations, surveys, and experiments;
  • represent data using tables and graphs such as line plots, bar graphs, and line graphs; and
  • recognize the differences in representing categorical and numerical data.

Discipline: Technology
Domain: All Research and Information Fluency
Cluster: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
Grade(s): Grades K–2
Standards:

  • Plan strategies to guide inquiry
  • Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media
  • Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks
  • Process data and report results

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Use of Spoken, Written, and Visual Language
Grade(s): Grades K–2
Standards:

  • Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Writing
Grade(s): Grades K–2
Standards:

  • 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.

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