Title: Graphing the Weather
Designer: Audra Nelson
Grade Level: 4th Grade
Example Graphs: Line Graph
This information literacy unit will be implemented within an interdisciplinary 4th
grade unit on Weather and Data Collection and Analysis. The unit will address Standard
3 for Student Learning: The student who is information literate uses information
accurately and creatively. As a part of the new GPS for Science, fourth grade students
must be able to collect and analyze weather data. In order to accomplish this task, the
media specialist will teach the students how to use different technology resources to
gather and organize data so it can be carefully analyzed. The classroom teacher will
cover the Science Standards during Science class. The media specialist will then help the
students understand how graphs, charts, and tables can be used to organize data to
communicate results. The students will use technology, choose an appropriate format,
and create a product that allows them to analyze the data and share their information with
Stage 1 – Desired Results
Information Literacy Standard for Student Learning:
Standard 3: The student who is information literate uses information accurately and
Indicator 1: Organizes information for practical application
Indicator 2: Integrates information into one’s own knowledge
Indicator 3: Applies information in critical thinking and problem solving
Indicator 4: Produces and communicates information and ideas in appropriate formats.
S4E4. Students will analyze weather charts/maps and collect weather data to predict
weather events and infer patterns and seasonal changes.
S4CS4. Students will use ideas of system, model, change, and scale in exploring
scientific and technological matters.
c. Identify patterns of change in things—such as steady, repetitive, or
irregular change—using records, tables, or graphs of measurements where
Understandings: Essential Questions:
Students will understand that…
Organizing information into tables, How can you organize information
charts, and graphs makes it easier to so that it is easier to understand?
analyze data. How can organizing information
Organizing data makes it easier to help you communicate results to
communicate results to others. others?
Technology resources are available How can technology resources help
to help organize information. me gather, organize, and analyze
Students will know…
The different kinds of graphs and their purposes.
The components of creating a graph using NCESKids Graphing website
Students will be able to…
Identify the different kinds of graphs.
Choose an appropriate graph for given data.
Create a graph using a technology resource.
Analyze data once it has been organized.
Communicate results to others.
Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence
Performance Task: Other Evidence:
The students will collect weather data and Pre-Assessment: Information Survey
use the NCESKids Graphing website to
construct their own graphs. The students Skill Check: Graph It! What Are the Types
will use their graphs to analyze the data and of Graphs?
communicate the results to others in a
PowerPoint Presentation. Skill Check: Organizing Information:
What did you learn?
Stage 3 – Learning Plan
1. Introduction: Begin the lesson by asking the question, “How many of you like
Skittles?” Then ask, “How many of you have a favorite color Skittle?” Explain
that we are going to start our lesson today by doing a survey. Ask the students to
define “survey.” Discuss ways that we could do a survey about students’ favorite
skittles colors (show of hands, voting on paper, asking individuals, etc…).
Conduct the survey and have students complete the pre-assessment “Information
2. Then ask, “How can we make sense of the votes that are made?” Lead the
students to understand that we have to be able to organize data in a way that
makes it easy to interpret and understand. Explain that we will use a table to
record the students’ favorite skittle colors. Conduct the survey with a show of
hands for each color. Record the results in the table on chart paper and discuss
the results with the class.
3. Ask the students to tell you what they have been studying in Science. Summarize
the Science objectives for the students. Science: Students will analyze weather
charts/maps and collect weather data to predict weather events and infer patterns
and seasonal changes. How is that related to the introductory activity?
4. Explain that using a table is one way to organize information. State the objective
for the lesson: Learn different ways to organize information so that it can be
interpreted and communicated to others.
5. Make a connection with the introductory activity. Point out that part of using
scientific methods involves deciding how to gather and record data, recording
data, creating charts or graphs of your data, and analyzing data so you can draw
conclusions and communicate your results. Explain that they are going to learn
about different graphs that can be used as they study weather. Refer back to the
“Information Survey” and briefly discuss students’ thoughts on organizing
6. Give each student a “Types of Graphs” handout. Students will go to “A Maths
Dictionary for Kids” website to find out more about the different kinds of graphs.
Students will look up the graphs and complete the handout.
Attachment for step 3: “Graph It!!! What are the types of Graphs” worksheet
7. After students have learned about the basic types of graphs, ask them to decide
which graph would work best for organizing our survey data. Help the students to
understand that they could use a bar graph, a picture graph, or a circle graph.
Discuss why a line graph would not be appropriate.
8. Explain that there are many resources they can use to make graphs. They can
make their own using paper and pencil, they can use the program The Graph
Club, or they can find Internet sites that allow them to generate graphs. Using the
LCD projector, demonstrate how to use the information on the favorite color
candy chart to create a graph at the National Center for Education Statistics
Create a Graph website:
Create a bar graph and a circle graph using the same data.
9. Discuss how using the website to create graphs helps them to organize and
interpret the information. Discuss how this would make communicating their
results to others easier.
10. Do the “Graphing Candy” Activity. The students will predict which color M&M
will occur most often. They will sort and count individual bags of candy and then
combine their results to get a class total. As a class, we will answer the questions
on the handout, which the students will use when they create a graph on the
11. Use weather data (average precipitation for each month) to demonstrate creating
another graph on the website. Discuss why a line graph or bar graph would be the
best types of graphs to use.
12. Students will use the “Graphing Candy” handout to practice creating a graph on
the website. Students will then use the data from the “Graphing Weather Data”
handout to continue creating more graphs.
13. Students will use weather information they have collected over the past two
weeks to make graphs. The students will use their graphs to analyze their weather
data. Students should be able to identify patterns of change and make predictions
about future weather patterns using their graphs.
14. Discuss how organizing this data in a graph makes it easier to understand. Review
the different kinds of graphs. Lead a discussion about how we could take our
information analysis one step further. Pose the question, “How could we take our
organized information and share it with parents or other students? How could we
present our graphs so that we can communicate it with others?” Brainstorm a list
of ideas: posters, tri-boards, Power Points, research paper, etc…
15. Explain the PowerPoint Project: The students will work with a partner to create a
PowerPoint using one type of weather data (temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind
speed, barometric pressure, etc…) The students will create and insert tables and
graphs into their slideshows. The students will present the PowerPoint
Presentations to the class.
16. Have students complete the assessment, “Organizing Information: What did You
Computers with Internet access
“Graph It” handout
“Graphing Candy” handout
“Graphing Weather Data” handout
Student Weather Logs
“Information Survey” handout
“Organizing Information – What did you learn?” handout
Assessment of Student Learning
Before the lesson was taught, the students were given a survey to assess what they knew
about organizing information. The questions were presented as a survey and not as a
grade. I explained to the students that I wanted to know what they thought about the
topic and that there could be more than one right answer. I didn’t call it a pre-test
because this often intimidates students. This survey gave me an idea of the students’
background knowledge on the topic. At the end of the lesson, I gave another assessment
called, “Organizing Information: What Did You Learn?” This worksheet included open-
ended questions that correspond to the survey questions.
By using these assessment tools, I was able to compare what the students learned
following the lesson to what they “thought” prior to the lesson. According to the survey,
most of the 4th grade students realized that you could organize information in graphs,
tables, and charts. Most of the students even knew which kind of graph was used for
which purpose. What I did find that they learned as a result of the lesson was when you
need to organized information, why you need to organize information, and what tools you
could use to accomplish this task. After the lesson was taught, more students seemed to
understand that using graphs was not just a Math skill. In the survey, many students
indicated that Math is a subject where you need to organize information. Following the
lesson, many more students seemed to understand that this is a skill that can be used in all
subjects and in real life.
In addition, more students stated that it is important to organize information so you can
share it with others following the lesson. Before the lesson, many surveys showed that
students felt like it was important so they could understand it better. The students seemed
to broaden their views as a result of the lesson.
Following the lesson, most students could name at least two specific technology
resources they could use to make graphs. The survey indicated that most students
realized that computer programs and the Internet could be used. However, during class
discussion, I realized that they couldn’t site specific examples and had very little
experience using these tools. Following the lesson, most were able to name the website
they used during class and name the program, The Graph Club.
The student-created graphs were also used for assessment. Most of the students were
able to independently use the website to create graphs using data. Some of the students
did need help choosing the appropriate graph for their data. The NCES website does
prompt the students so that they included all of the necessary graph components. Based
on the graphs that students created during the lesson, I think that most students could
return to this resource to create more graphs for a variety of purposes.
In addition, the PowerPoint Presentations were assessed as a means of communicating
the information. Most students were able to use this type of media in the synthesis
process. They were able to organize the information into a slide show and use it as an aid
to communicate the information to others.
The first step of this process involved approaching a teacher about collaborating on a
unit. I explained to the teacher that I wanted to integrate some information literacy skills
into a unit that she would be teaching. Once she understood that I wanted to teach her
students within the context of her curriculum, she was very receptive to my help.
We met early in the semester so that I could get a scope and sequence of the topics she
would be covering and to see what her needs might include. This 4th grade science
teacher has her students participate in many different research projects. We began by
discussing the implementation of the new Georgia Performance Standards in Science.
She was in the process of restructuring many of her existing units to reflect the new GPS
and was open to my suggestions. The new Science GPS require students to apply their
knowledge through a variety of performance tasks. Based on a previous information
literacy lesson that I had taught, I suggested the integration of Standard 3 into one of her
units. Standard 3 states that the student who is information literate uses information
accurately and creatively. Because her students will be required to do research, analyze
data, and present the information in a variety of projects, this standard was applicable.
We discussed the different topics and decided to collaborate on a Weather unit.
We decided that she would address the specific Science GPS within her classroom and I
would supplement her unit with several lessons that integrated the information literacy
standards. In addition, I provided her with a bibliography of weather-related resources,
which she could use in teaching her unit. She used these resources to have students look
up and record weather data. I then taught my information literacy lessons, using this
weather data as the context.
Overall, the unit was successful. While time is always a factor, I was able to meet with
this teacher during her planning period and after school to collaborate. We were able to
work together so that the students learned the information literacy skills in the context of
classroom content. The skills were not taught in an isolated “library skills” lesson.
Instead, we integrated the skills into the real-world topic of weather, and the students
really seemed to make the connection. The working relationship I developed with the
teacher was very positive. Feedback from the teacher indicated that she appreciated my
expertise and would like to do more collaboration in the future.
I feel that this collaborative unit will have a positive impact on student achievement as
they seek to use information accurately and creatively.
What are the types of Graphs?
Directions: You can use several types of graphs to help you organize
information. Use the following website to find out more about these
Click on the first letter of the graph name. For example, click on “b” and it
will show you a list of math terms beginning with the letter “b”. Then click
on the type of graph and complete the following activities.
1. Find “bar graph.” What is a bar graph used for?
Choose your own data and make your own bar graph.
How many “blue” did you enter on your graph? ______
2. Find “line graph.” What is a line graph used for?
Use the line graph example to answer these questions.
1) What was the Spelling Test result for week 5? ______
2) Were the results higher or lower by week 10? ______
3. Find “picture graph.” What is a picture graph used for?
Choose your own numbers and make a picture graph showing
different eye colors. How many people have blue eyes on your
4. Find “pie graph.” What is a pie graph used for?
Use the graph to answer these questions.
1) What percentage of the sea creatures seen were turtles?
2) When you add all of the percentages together, what is the
Make a hypothesis: Which color M&M do you
think occurs most often? _________________
Let’s find the answer!
Fill in the table using the M&Ms you have been
Number of Candies in an Individual Bag
Total Number of Candies in the Class
Answer the following questions before you create your graph.
1. How many different colors did the class have? ________
2. Will you put the colors on the x-axis or the y-axis? _______
3. What will you title this axis? _______________
4. What is the largest number in your table? _______
5. Will the numbers go on the x-axis or the y-axis? _______
6. What will you title this axis? _______________
7. Which type of graph(s) will work for this data?
8. Which type of graph will NOT work for this data?
9. Which type of graph will work best for this data?
6. Report the results: Use the data to construct your own graph on
the following website:
Use your graph to interpret the data. Was your hypothesis correct?
Graphing Weather Data
Directions: Use the NCES graphing website and the data
below to create graphs. Use your graphs to analyze the weather data.
NCES Create a Graph: http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/createagraph/
WTOC Savannah, Georgia Weather Data for 2006
Average Average High Average Low
Month Precipitation Temperature Temperature
(Inches) ( Fahrenheit) ( Fahrenheit)
January 3.81 68 45
February 5.15 64 42
March 0.38 72 48
April 2.77 83 58
May 1.75 86 63
June 6.27 90 69
July 3.82 94 73
August 6.11 94 75
September 4.22 86 68
October 1.10 79 57
November 2.44 70 47
Use your graphs to answer the following questions.
1. Which month has the most precipitation?
2. Which month has the least amount of precipitation?
3. Which month has the highest average temperature?
4. Which month has the lowest average temperature?
5. What was the trend for high temperatures during the year?
6. What was the trend for low temperatures during the year?
What Do You Know About Organizing Information?
Please answer the following survey question about organizing
information. This is not a grade.
1) Which of the following are ways of organizing information?
a. Graphs d. All of the above
b. Charts e. None of the above
2) In which subjects do you need to organize information?
a. Math d. All of the above
b. Science e. None of the above
3) How important do you think it is to be able to organize
a. Very important c. Kind of important
b. Important d. Not important
4) Why would you need to organize information?
a. To make it easier for you to understand
b. To make it easier for others to understand
c. All of the above
d. None of the above
5) What would you use to organize information?
a. Pencil and paper d. All of the Above
b. Computer program e. None of the Above
c. Internet website
Match the types of graphs to the descriptions below.
a. Bar graph b. Circle graph c. Line graph d. Picture graph
_____1. Graph using a divided circle where each section represents
part of the total.
_____2. Graph using pictures to represent quantities.
_____3. Uses lines to join points which represent data.
_____4. Uses bars to show numbers or quantities so they can be
What did you learn?
Directions: Think back on what you have learned. Answer the
following questions using complete sentences.
1) Name some ways that you could organize information.
2) Name some subjects or real-life situations where you would need
to organize information.
3) Explain why it is important to be able to organize information.
4) Name some different tools that you could use to organize
information. Which one do you think is the best? Explain why.
5) Describe a situation where you could use a bar graph.
6) Describe a situation where you could use a line graph.
7) Describe a situation where you could use a circle graph.
8) Describe a situation where you could use a picture graph.