The four fourth grade science classes are participating in this weather project. Each class is divided into groups for the production of a weather segment on the school's morning announcements. Each class has started about 2 weeks after each other in order to keep the reporting an on-going event on the announcements. Each of the four classes will have the responsibility of producing the weather segment on the announcements for 4 weeks. Language arts, social studies, and math are other areas of the curriculum the project will address.
The fourth grade students have been asked by the principal to produce a weather segment on the school's morning news and announcements. The students have worked as a whole group to brainstorm about what they need to do and know to respond to the principal's request. The student suggestions have been recorded on a chart and posted in the room for the duration of the project. The teacher is asking some guiding questions to help focus students attention.
- Why did you dress the way you did for school today?
- Why is it important to know what the weather will be like?
- What do you need or want to know about the weather on a daily basis?
- What do you need to do and know in order to produce the weather segment on the announcements?
- Where will you get the weather information you will need to make the report to the students?
- Where can you get expert help?
- Do you know any other schools doing this? How can we find some?
- What kind of severe weather have you experienced?
- What precautions must you take in order to stay safe during severe weather? Where can we find out?
The class uses a synoptic map to discuss the various weather elements including high and low pressure, cold and warm fronts, and some weather symbols. Methods of gathering and analyzing data are previewed and discussed. The various jobs, roles, and tasks that are needed to complete the weather segment are brainstormed and the students with their teacher's guidance come up with the following teams and tasks:
The Local Meteorologists are responsible for gathering, analyzing and displaying local data. They are starting to find sites and information on weather instruments using the Internet. They are also using meteorological tools in the school weather station. Students are e-mailing their data to other schools.
The On-Line Meteorologists are responsible for gathering on-line data and consulting with experts. Students are using Internet web sites and communication with television meteorologists as their sources of information.
The Storm Team researches the types of severe weather that threaten our area and what needs to be in a family severe weather plan. They are using Internet web sites from FEMA and the Red Cross as their sources of information. The Emergency Management Agency for the city has been invited to class.
The Production Team is investigating what is needed to produce this segment and is practicing with the equipment. The media specialist, principal, and TV meteorologists are sources of information for this team.
The teacher is facilitating each team and monitoring their work. The teacher is using an informal observation check sheet/rubric to assess students. Students are also using a self assessment check sheet to assess their own work as a team member and how their team is working together. As information is gathered, students need to find ways of managing it. The students are shown how to use a data base and how to make tables. Each groups data base is set up and they begin to input their information. They get excited when they see their information start to come together. The students also are learning how to use a presentation program and how to download so they will be able to show weather maps. Each student group also keeps a journal of what they did that day. As the groups come together to share their work at the end of the period, they use their journals to discuss what they have done and what information they have found exciting and relevant. Questions asked during this time will help direct student work for the next day.
Students are writing their scripts for the weather segment and finding it necessary to learn the names and locations of the states as weather maps do not have states named.
Created for the FermilabLInC program sponsored by FermiNational Accelerator Laboratory EducationOffice and Friends of Fermilab, and funded by United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, NorthCentral Regional Technology in Education Consortium which is operated by NorthCentral Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL), and the National Science Foundation.
Author(s): Emmie Thirlwell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
SCSU Elementary Team, Orangeburg, SC
Created: February 28, 2001 - Updated: April 18, 2001