Subject: Science (with mathematics, language arts, and
social studies integration)
Grade Level: Fourth
This project provides opportunities for students to collect, measure, and
analyze weather data. Working in cooperative learning groups students
will generate forecasts and predictions. Groups will use appropriate
technology to obtain data and will produce a video segment on the weather
for their school's closed circuit "morning show." A school-home connection
will be the development of a severe weather emergency plan.
Sheridan Elementary School is a Title-I eligible school serving 480 students
in grades K - 4. It is located in the small town of Orangeburg (population
45,000) in central South Carolina. The students involved will be
those enrolled in the fourth grade classes. The fourth grade classes
are housed in self-contained classrooms and have the same teacher for all
academic subjects. Demographically the student population is 70%
African American and 30% Caucasian. Eighty-five per cent of the students
qualify for free or reduced price lunches.
Time Frame: 4 weeks; 5 hours per week
Students will be able to measure and collect daily weather data using meteorological
tools (such as Fahrenheit/Celsius thermometer, barometer, weather vane,
anemometer, and rain gauge).
Students will interpret weather data from a variety of sources.(Printed,
television, Internet, etc.)
Students will observe, record and describe daily and seasonal weather patterns.
Students will predict weather based on observations and collaboration with
The student will create and use patterns to solve problems.
The student will explain the relationship between numbers in a table.
The student will select and use appropriate tools to measure temperature.
The student will determine the likelihood of an event and predict common
The student will read, Explain, and make charts, tables, line and bar graphs.
The student will find the median in a set of data.
Social Studies Outcomes
The student will explain the purposes and characteristics of geographic
representations such as maps, globes, graphs, diagrams, photographs and
satellite produced images.
The student will use appropriate geographic tools and technologies such
as reference works and computer-based geographic information systems.
The student will display spatial information on maps and other geographic
The student will define the components of the Earth's physical systems:
the atmosphere, the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, and biosphere.
Language Arts Outcomes
The student will make, confirm, and revise predictions.
The student will paraphrase content of selection, identifying important
The student will make inferences, note details, determine cause and effect,
summarize and paraphrase content, and draw conclusions.
The student will support fact and opinion with relevant details.
The student will connect to personal experiences.
The student will make judgments using evidence to support decisions.
The student will speak clearly using appropriate volume, tone, and rate.
The student will speak increasingly in standard English by applying appropriate
grammar, usage, and vocabulary.
The student will express ideas orally with fluency, elaboration, and confidence.
The student will organize information for clarity.
The student will use effective presentation skills.
The student will use props and other visual aides to enhance presentation.
Structure of Learning:
There is a weekly in-school news show broadcast from the media center to
all the classrooms in the school. There is news, and even morning
exercise, but no weather report. The principal wants to expand the show
to include a weather segment. He has asked the fourth graders produce the
segment to include local and national recaps of the weather for the past
week and predictions for the week to come.
The principal has asked the fourth grade students to produce and "star"
in the weekly weather segment for the closed-circuit school video update.
Because of concern that the students at the school and their families be
prepared for severe weather conditions, he has asked that each report include
information related to this and that the students develop safety plans
for their families.
Students will work collaboratively to identify necessary roles and responsibilities
required to produce the broadcast.
Students will decide what to include in the reports.
Students will decide what data to collect to predict the weather.
Students will identify from what sources they will collect the data.
Students will work collaboratively to identify severe weather conditions
that affect the local area and create safety plans.
The class will brainstorm to determine what elements their weather
segment should include and what possible sources exist for obtaining weather
data. They will also brainstorm to determine what must be done to
effectively communicate weather information to other students and to provide
their families with severe weather safety plans. After the class
has brainstormed, the student-generated ideas will be grouped into four
categories. These categories will serve as the focus for four student
work groups or teams. The responsibilities of the teams might be
identified as: Local Meteorologists (gathering, analyzing, and displaying
local data); On-Line Meteorologists (gathering data and images from
on-line sources); Storm Team ( researching and developing severe
weather plan); and Production Team ( coordinating and producing the
broadcast). The team roles will rotate each week. In the course
of the month-long project, each student will have the opportunity to be
on each of the teams. At the end of the month, the project will move
to another fourth grade classroom.
The students will produce the video segments, the severe weather safety
plan for their homes, and, if time permits, a weather web page. The
importance of these products will be an increased awareness of the world
around them, in particular, the weather and how it can affect their daily
lives. The safety plan will enable the students and their families
to be prepared when there is a threat of severe weather.
Best Use of Technology:
An option will be a field trip to the National Weather Service, Regional
Climate Centers, NOAA facilities, television stations, or other places
where weather data is recorded and interpreted. Classes in other
regions of the state and country that might be interested in sharing data
via e-mail will be contacted. These classes will be identified through
the teachers that have participated in the on-line DataStreme course.
Students will use technology to communicate with experts via e-mail and
Students will use technology to communicate with other schools via e-mail
and the Web.
Students will use technology to obtain data (satellite images, etc.) from
a variety of Internet web sites.
Students will use technology (anemometers, barometers, etc.) available
at their school to collect local data.
Students will use technology (computers, video cameras, television, etc.)
to analyze data and produce reports.
Students will use technology to share the results of their work (television
and web pages).
There will be a pre and post assessment of content knowledge.
The teacher will use a rubric to assess the effectiveness of the collaborative
groups. Groups will also self-assess their effectiveness using the
same rubric. This rubric will be shared with students at the beginning
of the project. Each student will keep a science journal in which
he/she records daily. These journals will be reviewed by the teacher
to assure that progress is being made and to identify areas where assistance
might be needed. A task specific rubric will be designed and used
with each of the four teams. In addition, the production team will
also have the opportunity to create and critique practice tapes.
The quality of the products produced and the mastery of the science content
will be a measure of the effectiveness of the project. The fourth
grade teachers will meet as a grade-level group to discuss the progress
each week. (LInC On-Line administrators will also participate.)
The teacher whose class is involved in the weather project will share what
is working well and what aspects may need adjustments. Since the
project will be repeated for several different classes, iterations will
be made to improve it each time.
Alignment with the Standards:
The student outcomes listed above are taken directly from the fourth
grade Curriculum Standards for South Carolina students. These Standards
can be found on line at the South
Carolina Department of Education web site. Since the South Carolina
Science Standards were developed from the National
Science Education Standards , these learner outcomes also correlate
closely with the National Standards.
Images from www.arttoday.com
Created for the Fermilab
LInC program sponsored by Fermi National
Accelerator Laboratory Education Office and Friends
of Fermilab, and
funded by United States Department of
Energy, Illinois State Board
of Education, North Central Regional
Technology in Education Consortium which is operated by North
Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL), and the National
Authors: Wanda McMichael,
Payne, and Emmie Thirlwell
School: Sheridan Elementary, Orangeburg Consolidated School District
#5, Bamberg-Calhoun-Orangeburg Math/Science Hub
Created: February 25, 2001 - Updated: April 17, 2001