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Weather or Weather Not?


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This project will take place in a fourth grade classroom..The project takes place throughout the school year.It will focus on the standards from the science curriculum.Particularly, it is a inter-disciplinary unit centered around weather.The curriculum goals range from the students gathering information to predict weather to formulating a multi-media presentation to report findings.The length of the unit is about one month.After a month, the project will rotate to another teacher.Each science class period is about 40 minutes.However, since it is inter-disciplinary, parts of the project will be completed in all of the other core subjects.

Beginning/Getting Started

The students are ìhookedî into this project by their principal asking them to produce a weather segment.This segment will be broadcasted on the schoolís morning news and announcements.The students have discussed in their groups how they should tackle the project.They have also discussed how to meet the demand placed on them by their principal.The groups have elected chairpersons and formulated a step by step plan for how they will accomplish their goal.Using, graphic organizers they have developed a flow chart of what must be done first, second, third, and so.The teacher is the facilitator.She asks questions that guide them through the process such as:
·How does the weather help you know how to dress?

·What activities depend on the weather?

·Think about weather broadcasts, you have seen, what do remember about them?

·Where do you think you will get the data for the broadcast?

·What type of information will you include in your broadcast?

Middle/In Progress

The class discusses various weather elements.They pay close attention to high and low pressure, fronts, and weather symbols.They discuss how they will gather and analyze their date for predictions and relevance.They formulate the jobs, roles, and tasks that will necessary to complete the task.With the help of their teacher they decide on four teams.
Local Meterologists: They gather, analyze and display local data.They find sites and information in weather instruments through means of the Internet.They use meteorological tools in the school weather station.They e-mail their data to other schools.

On-Line Meterologists:They gather on-line data and consult experts.They use Internet web sites and e-mail meteorologists to gain information.

Storm Team: They research the types of severe weather that threaten their area.They decide what needs to be in a family severe weather plan.They go the FEMA and Red Cross for information.They also get emergency preparedness guides that are sponsored by local news stations.

Production Team:They investigate what is needed to produce the segment.They become proficient with the equipment.The media specialist, technology specialists, principal, and TV meteorologists are resources.

The teacher monitors each group and offers assistance where needed.She uses a rubric to assess students.She has already explained the various rubrics that will use.The students use a self-assessment rubric to analyze their work as a team members and how their team works together.The teacher shows students how to manage their data.She has the technology specialist to come in and show students how to enter their data into a database.They are shown how to create various charts and graphs to display their data.The technology specialist also trains students on how to use Powerpoint.This is the presentation software that the class will use.The students record their progress and questions in journals that they share at the end of each day.The teacher proofs and edits the presentations for broadcast.


The culmination of the project is the presentation of the broadcast.It is an on-going process, since they must broadcast each day.The groups produce a severe weather safety plan for their homes.The teacher assesses the students using a rubric.Teachers, principal, and students have a round table discussion as to how the broadcast can be improved.

Created for the FermilabLInC program sponsored by FermiNational Accelerator Laboratory EducationOffice and Friendsof Fermilab, and funded by UnitedStates Department of Energy, IllinoisState Board of Education, NorthCentral Regional Technology in Education Consortium whichis operated by North Central RegionalEducational Laboratory (NCREL), and the NationalScience Foundation.

Author(s): Wanda McMichael (sagacious24@hotmail.com)
School: Sheridan Elementary School, Orangeburg, SC
Created: February 15, 2001 - Updated: April 18, 2001
URL: http://www-ed.fnal.gov/lincon/w01/projects/weather/wm_scenaria.html