TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Contents- Page 1
List of Concepts and Terms- Page 2
Scope and Sequence- Page 5
Rationale- Page 7
Lesson 1: Shining Seasons- Introduction ~ SOCIAL STUDIES – Page 9
Lesson 2: Weather Watching (Part 1) ~ SCIENCE – Page 11
Lesson 3: The Water Cycle ~ SCIENCE – Page 15
Lesson 4: Weather Pen Pals ~ SOCIAL STUDIES, LANGUAGE ARTS, Science
– Page 17
Lesson 5: Disaster Drill Guide ~ SOCIAL STUDIES – Page 20
Lesson 6: Weather Word Wheel ~ SCIENCE – Page 22
Lesson 7: Cooking Up a Cloud ~SCIENCE – Page 24
Lesson 8: Weather Dependant Careers ~ SOCIAL STUDIES, Art, Language
Arts, and Creative Dramatics – Page 26
Lesson 9: Weather Watching (Part 2) Field Trip to the Weather Station
~SOCIAL STUDIES, Science, English – Page 28
Lesson 10: Weather Watching (Part 3) ~SCIENCE, TECHNOLGY, English –
Annotated Bibliography- Page 32
CONCEPTS AND TERMS
Lesson 1: Shining Seasons
Concepts: The main concept of this lesson is for the students to
understand the relationship of the globe to the sun causing the change of
seasons. Also the students will learn about the different types of weather and
which seasons they are most common in.
o Fall- starts September 22 or 23
o Winter- starts December 21 or 22
o Spring- starts March 20 or 21
o Summer- starts June 20 or 21
o Axis- an imaginary line through the center of the earth that the
earth rotates on
o Revolve- when the earth moves around the sun
Lesson 2: Weather Watching (part1)
Concepts: The main concept of this lesson is for the students to be able
to recognize different weather elements and also use weather instruments to
help understand the weather. The students will learn and use an anemometer,
rain gauge, and a wind direction finder. The students will also work on
predicting the temperature for the upcoming days in the unit.
o Anemometer- weather instrument used to measure wind strength
o Rain Gauge- weather instrument used to measure the amount of
rain that falls
o Wind Direction Finder- weather instrument use to show the
direction the wind is blowing from
o Thermometer- weather instrument used to measure the
Lesson 3: The Water Cycle
Concepts: The main concept of this lesson is for the students to
understand the connection between the water cycle, weather, and plant
growth in a simulated earth atmosphere. The students will create their own
terrarium and keep a journal of what happens.
o Water Cycle- the process water goes through at different times
o Terrarium- closed environment in which a plant grows, that
simulates Earth’s atmosphere
o Precipitation- water that falls from the sky
o Evaporation- water that leaves ground as vapor
o Transpiration- water that plants let out into the environment
o Condensation- liquid that forms on plastic container
Lesson 4: Weather Pen Pals
Concepts: The main concept for this lesson is for the students to
become familiar with the different elements of weather by communicating
with pen pals from around the United States. They also will learn more about
Wisconsin by creating sensory boxes to send to their pen pals.
o Pen Pal- Someone that you write to
o Sensory Box- a box that consists of things from the five different
senses that represents your state
o Environment- what surrounds us
o Sight- sense you use with your eyes
o Touch- sense you use with your fingers
o Taste- sense you use with your tongue
o Smell- sense you use with your nose
o Hear- sense you use with your ears
Lesson 5: Disaster Drill Guide
Concepts: The main concept of this lesson is for the students that
weather can be serious and can cause damage and people to seek shelter. The
students will learn about possible disasters and also learn what to do during
o Flood- an unusually large flow of water
o Tornado- when a funnel cloud touches the ground
o Earthquake- sudden shaking of the earth due to underground
o Hurricane- a storm that produces winds of 74 miles per hour or
more, yet remains calm in the center
Lesson 6: Weather Word Wheel
Concepts: The main concept in this lesson is for the students to
understand the difference between weather elements and what determines
what type of weather it will be.
o Precipitation- Water that falls from the clouds.
o Rain- forms when water droplets combine, or when ice melts
o Snow- is formed when tiny ice crystals freeze together
o Sleet- is formed when rain freezes or when partially melted
o Hail- rounded pieces of ice that are formed by updrafts in
Lesson 7: Cooking Up a Cloud
Concepts: The main concept of this lesson is for the students to
understand the importance and role of clouds when talking about weather.
o Vapor- gas form of water
o Stratus- clouds that form in low, gray blankets
o Cumulus- clouds that are white and puffy
o Cirrus- clouds that are thin and feathery
o Cloud- clusters of tiny water droplets in the air
Lesson 8: Weather Dependent Careers
Concept: The main concept in this lesson is for the students to become
aware of how the weather affects people’s jobs and the community.
Lesson 9: Weather Watching (part 2)
Concept: The main concept in this lesson is for the students to learn
more about weather from a weatherman. Also the children will learn more
about a weatherman’s job and the importance of him/her.
o Weatherman- someone who predicts, watches, reports the
weather to the public
o Meteorology- the study of weather
Lesson 10: Weather Watching (part 3)
Concept: The main concept in this lesson is for the students to use what
they have learned to create a presentation using the computer program of Kid
Scope and Sequence
Lesson One: Shining Seasons – Introduction
Students will know what causes the seasons to change and how they are
affected by the changing seasons.
Standards: Science E.4.5, E.4.6 and Social Studies A.4.6
Lesson Two: Weather Watching Part 1
Students will be able to describe and document the weather for each
day. They will also learn about the different tools used in reading the
Standards: Science C.4.4, D.4.7, E.4.5, E.4.6
Lesson Three: The Water Cycle
Students will be able to observe the water cycle through the process of
transpiration by setting up a terrarium.
Standards: Science D.4.3, D.4.5, E.4.5, E.4.6
Lesson Four: Weather Pen Pals
Social Studies, Language Arts, Science
It is important for students to learn about different climates in different
geographic locations because the season they experience now is not the same
season someone else is experiencing now.
Standards: Science E.4.5 and Social Studies A.4.2, A.4.6
Lesson Five: Disaster Drill Guide
It is important for students to know what to do in a disaster because
there is the possibility of a tornado or flood.
Standards: Science B.4.1, E.4.5 and Social Studies A.4.6,
Lesson Six: Weather Word Wheel
Students need to know about the different forms of precipitation
because they will be affected by and encounter them all.
Standards: Science D.4.2, E.4.5
Lesson Seven: Cooking Up a Cloud
It is important students learn about what a cloud is and how it is formed
because it is something that occurs naturally in the environment in which they
Standards: Science D.4.2, D.4.5, E.4.5
Lesson Eight: Weather Dependant Careers
Social Studies, Art, Language Arts, and Creative Dramatics
Students should be aware that the weather has an affect on different
types of jobs and may also create jobs. (Example: Construction workers,
Standards: Science E.4.5, G.4.1 and Social Studies A.4.8
Lesson Nine: Weather Watching Part 2 – Field Trip to Weather Station
An important way to learn about weather is through television and the
weather person. They keep us informed about past, present and future
Standards: Science E.4.5, E.4.7, G.4.1 and Social Studies A.4.6
Lesson Ten: Weather Watching Part 3
Science, Technology, English
It is important for students to be exposed to many different forms of
technology, not only the instruments used for weather, but the daily use of
computers and software.
Standards: Science C.4.4, E.4.5, E.4.7
Weather is something that affects everything we do in our daily lives,
and for this reason it is important to learn about. We feel that at first grade it
essential to get a good base of knowledge in this area. The earlier students
learn about the affects of weather on them they will better know how to
prepare themselves for whatever may occur.
We included a variety of lessons that touch on the basic parts of
weather, such as: seasons, weather watching, forecasting, the water cycle,
weather safety, precipitation, clouds, and weather dependant careers. We
chose these concepts because they were basic enough for the children to
understand and apply in their daily lives.
One of the ways children are affected by weather is the fact that if the
weather conditions are not good the children are unable to play outside for
recess. This is a very important activity to them at the first grade level. On
the same note, the children must know how to dress for the conditions when
going outside to play. For instance, if it is snowing out the children must have
snow pants to wear.
Another affect weather has on children is being aware of what to do in
case of disastrous weather conditions. This was one of the lesson plans that we
chose because it is very important for the children to know what to do at home
and at school during severe weather conditions.
Children must also be aware of the careers weather opens up and how
these careers are directly affected by the weather. An example of this is: in
the winter we need someone to plow the roads, but in the summer this is not
necessary. Another example is the meteorologist has this career because of
the weather. This helps the children to understand that these jobs and people
are all part of their community.
As we said before, we chose the lessons we did because they are basic
enough for the children to understand, but broad enough for the children to
get a feel for the whole picture of what weather entails. We planned for a
variety of teaching techniques in order to accommodate the multiple
intelligences. Some of these techniques include: hands-on activities, the use
of literature, technology, creative dramatics, and working together in groups.
In conclusion, we believe the unit is a well-rounded representation of
weather for lower elementary students. We feel that students would be able
to apply the concepts we chose in this unit in their everyday lives and would be
able to have a good grasp on the information.
Shining Seasons – Introduction
It is important for students to know what causes the seasons to change
because they are affected by the changing seasons every year, and they
experience the different seasons.
1. Students will be able to identify the different weather of the four
2. Students will know what causes the seasons to change.
3. Students will know what weather to expect in each season.
Four inflatable globes, four four-cup beverage flats from a fast food
restaurant, tall table lamp with at least a 75-watt light bulb with no shade
1. Explain to students that the earth’s axis-an imaginary line through
the center of the earth that the earth rotates around-tilts as the
earth revolves around the sun.
2. Also explain the earth takes 365 days, or one year, to make a
revolution around the sun. Because it tilts as it revolves, different
areas of the earth are closer to the sun and receive more of the sun’s
rays than other areas throughout a year. This difference is what
causes the four seasons.
3. Show students how the earth’s tilt and its revolutions around the sun
determine each season by setting up the following demonstration.
4. Plug the lamp in and place it in a large open area on the floor to
represent the sun. Then set each inflatable globe on a beverage flat,
tilting it toward the lamp. Set a construction paper sign near each
globe indicating the season.
5. Have your students gather around the demonstration area. Dim the
lights and turn on the lamp.
6. Beginning with the globe labeled “Summer”, point out to students
how the sun’s rays are shining directly on North America, causing hot
weather and longer days.
7. Continue to explain the sun’s rays in relation to each season in the
Make a copy of page 38 for each student. This will allow them to
recognize different attributes of the seasons. Also have the students explain
the rotation of the earth and how the earth moves around the sun.
Explain that the northern and southern hemispheres do not experience
the same seasons at the same time. Show them how when it is summer in
Wisconsin, it is winter in Australia. Make a copy of page 39 for each student
and have them color and answer the questions.
Weather Watching (part 1)
Grade Level: 1
Rationale: Weather is very important in our lives and affects our everyday
actions. It is important for the students to be able to describe, and document
the weather for each day. Also, it is important for the students to be able to
understand that there are different sorts of tools that will help them in reading
1. The students will be able to explain and recognize different elements of
weather (ex. Rain, wind, clouds, sunshine, snow).
2. The students will be able to explain what an anemometer is and what it is
3. The students will be able to explain what a rain gauge is used for.
4. The students will be able to read which direction the wind is coming from
by reading a wind direction finder.
Materials: large bag, variety of hats, empty 2-liter plastic bottle, scissors,
permanent marker, wooden stake, large rubber bands, hammer, 3 small yogurt
containers, 3 knitting needles, large cork, broomstick, nail, 2 washers,
stopwatch, poster board, tape modeling clay, white contact paper, compass,
daily weather from newspaper, several copies of a blank thermometer, strips
of paper in three colors, happy/sad faces (optional)
1. The teacher will start off class with a large paper bag that is filled
with a variety of different hats that you would wear during different
weather (ex. rain hat, stocking cap, straw hat, baseball, sun visor).
2. The teacher will pull each hat out and ask the students during what
type of weather would they wear that hat. Then discuss what
happens or what it looks like when it is a different type of weather
element (rain, cloudy, sunny, snowy). (10 minutes)
3. After the discussion, the teacher will show the students the bulletin
board that they will use everyday to keep track of the weather for
the next two weeks.
4. Next to the chart there will be posted a large picture of a
thermometer. The teacher will ask the students what a thermometer
is and what it is used for. The teacher will explain that they will also
keep track of the temperature. The teacher will show the students a
copy of the daily newspaper so they can see the temperature
forecast for that day. Using the first colored strip, paste the strip on
the thermometer to show what the weatherman predicts that day’s
temp will be. Then have the students predict what they think
today’s temp will be. Then paste the second color on the same
thermometer to show what the class prediction is. Then the next
day, have the daily paper available again and have the students
actually see what the temp actually was. Then paste the third color
in the first thermometer. Then you can stick the happy/sad face on
to show if the weatherman was right or wrong. Then you can repeat
the activity over on another thermometer. (5-10 minutes)
5. The teacher will then move the class back to the front and bring out
the homemade (already made) rain gauge, anemometer, and wind
direction finder. Ask the students if they know what any of the
instruments are or what they are used for. If they don’t know then
explain which each item is used for and explain how you made them.
The directions to follow on making the instruments will be given to
the students to take home and make with their parents. Explain to
the students that each day they will use the instruments and record
their findings. Anemometer is an instrument to measure wind
strength. Rain Gauge measures the amount of rain that falls. Wind
Direction Find shows the direction the wind is blowing from. (10
6. As a class, they will go outside and set up the rain gauge to collect
the rain if it does rain and then also record the wind strength. The
students will count the number of times the painter container passes
in ten seconds (the teacher will keep track of the time). Then the
higher the number, the stronger the wind. Then they will find the
direction of the wind by observing which direction the arrow is
pointing, which is the direction that the wind is blowing from. (10
7. The students then will go back to class and record their data on the
chart. The students will then get out a notebook that will be used as
their writing journal for the next two weeks discussing different
weather elements and also they findings from the terrarium (which is
the next lesson). For the first entry the students will write about
their favorite type of weather and why. (10 minutes)
8. After writing in their journal, there will be a final discussion about
what they learned and a review of instruments and what they are
used for. (10 minutes)
Considerations: By taking the directions home to make the instruments with
their parents, not all students will be able to make them. So if there are any
students that will not be able to make them at home have the materials to
make them and set up a time maybe during recess or lunch that you can help
the student make them to take home. Also make sure that the students
understand what is going on; take individual time for help if needed. Also
during the journal writing time, it may be helpful to have volunteers available
for extra help.
Assessment: The students will be assessed during the discussion of the
different elements by having each student participate. Also with the review of
the instruments at the end, make sure all the students answer, and if they
don’t then you can talk individually with the student and explain till they
1. Have the students bring article that they find at home and bring into to
share with the class. They could use as a journal entry.
Have the students use their instruments at home and collect the data and then
compare it with data from school.
HOMEMADE WEATHER INSTRUMENTS
Here are directions to the instruments that we are using in the classroom while
studying our unit on weather. Please feel free to make these easy instruments with
your children to help with their learning and data collection.
~ A rain gauge measures the amount of rain that falls. ~
Materials: empty 2-liter plastic bottle, scissors, permanent marker, wooden stake,
large rubber bands, and hammer
How to make: Remove the top third of the plastic bottle, then invert the top inside
the bottom forming a funnel. Use the marker to make a desired scale on the side of
the bottle. Drive the stake into the level ground in an open area. Set the bottle
beside the stake, the use the rubber bands to secure the bottle to the stake. (This will
keep the rain gauge upright.) Take daily reading of the amount of rainfall. Each time
you record a measurement, remember to pour out the rainwater.
WIND DIRECTION FINDER
~ A wind direction finder (weather vane or wind vane) shows the direction the
wind is blowing from. ~
Materials: poster board, scissors, tape, pen top, knitting needle, modeling clay,
brick, marker, white contact paper, compass
How to make: Cut an arrow from the poster board and tape a pen top to its middle.
Press a tiny lump of clay to the arrow point. Use the remaining clay to affix the
knitting needle to the brick, then slide the pen top over the needle. Cut out four
squares of adhesive paper and write one of the following letters on each square: N
(north), S (south), E (east), W (west). Take the squares, the compass, and the wind
vane outdoors. Position the vane in a large open area. (The higher the vane the
better the reading). Then using the compass as a reference, attach the direction
labels to the sides of the brick. Observe the arrow several times a day. Remember
that the arrow will point to the direction that the wind is blowing from.
~ An anemometer measures Wind strength. ~
Materials: 3 small yogurt containers, 3 knitting needles, large cork, broomstick,
hammer, nail (longer then cork) 2 washers, and a stopwatch
How to make: Spray paint one yogurt container a bright color. Make two holes on
opposite sides of each yogurt container, 1 ¼ inches from the top. Push a knitting
needle into the sides of the cork so that they are equally spaced around it. Make a
hole through the center of the cork and push the nail completely through the cork.
Put the washers on the end of the nail, and then hammer the nail into the top of the
broomstick so that the cork can spin around easily. Find an open space outside and
stick the broomstick in the ground. When the wind blows, the anemometer will spin
around. To check the wind speed, count the number of times the painted container
passes by you in ten seconds. The higher the number, the stronger the wind.
The Water Cycle
Grade Level: 1
Rationale: It is important for the students to be aware of the fact that water
is present everywhere and that water is needed for everyday life. This will be
illustrated in the terrarium because the children will be able to see the
presence of the water through the process of transpiration. Children will learn
that we need water through a class discussion and watching the plants growing
in the terrarium. The students will learn about the different stages of the
water cycle by doing a worksheet that illustrates the stages and by watching
1. Students will be able to create their own terrarium and watch their
2. The students will also be able to connect the different stages of the
water cycle to what they observe in their terrarium.
1. Have students supply their own clear, plastic container. The teacher
will have extras in case some students forget. Plastic sandwich bags
would work as well.
4. Large sunny window or grow light
5. Fast and reliably germinating seeds (marigolds, herbs, etc.)
1. Start activity by opening with a discussion of the different stages of the
water cycle. Ask questions which will get the students thinking.
Examples of questions would be: What are clouds? What are they made
of? What does it look like outside when it rains? What happens to the
water after it rains? These questions are a good way to find prior
knowledge and see what the teacher needs to work on. (10-12 minutes)
2. After the discussion, have each child find a place at the art tables. The
teacher has the materials laid out for the children already. The teacher
will then demonstrate to the children how to create their terrarium. The
children need about an inch of soil in the bottom of their plastic
container, plant the seeds accordingly, and give the seeds a good drink
of water. This should be the only water the seeds will need because
they are in a closed environment. Label the terrariums, put them in the
window, and watch the water cycle occur. (10-15 minutes w/clean up)
3. The children can make observations on the terrarium each day and can
write down what they see in their weather watching journals. The
children will observe at different times each day and can write/draw
what they see. After journal time, discuss the students’ observations.
Make sure to explain what they are observing, for instance: if the
children see vapor forming on the plastic container, this is condensation
from the plants transpiring. (20 minutes)
4. Help the children fill out their water cycle worksheets. After seeing the
stages of the water cycle in their terrariums, they will better understand
what they are labeling on the worksheet. (5-10 minutes)
5. At the conclusion of the weather unit have one final discussion and
journal entry on the terrarium activity. Ask the children questions like:
“ We only watered the seed once, how did the water get on the lid? The
soil is still wet, why is that? If water evaporated, where did it go? Is
there anything that you have seen that is like a cloud?” Ask any other
questions that will help the children to discuss what they observed. (10
6. The teacher should make sure to discuss how these stages occur in the
real world. What do you see outside that is like what we have seen in
our terrariums? (5-7 minutes)
Some of these concepts may be hard for the children to grasp, so make sure
to explain carefully. Take time with any individuals that may be having
difficulties grasping any aspect of this activity.
The worksheets will be a very good assessment tool. The teacher can see if
they can label the stages on their worksheets and see if the students can
discuss that stage in what they observed from their terrarium. The journal
is a good assessment tool as well because the teacher can see what they
wrote in their journal concerning their observations and the class
discussions. The teacher could even hand out another water cycle
worksheet to see if the children can label without the help of their journal.
1. The class could make a mural of the water cycle to hang up in the
2. The teacher should have books in the reading area to enforce what the
children are learning in science.
3. The students could make a class book about the water cycle. They can
write it as well as illustrate it themselves.
Weather Pen Pals
Grade Level: 1
Subject: Social Studies, Language Arts, Science
1. Students will split up into four small groups and email back and forth
with their pen pals in Maine, Washington, New Mexico, and Florida.
2. Students will be able to differentiate between the weather of Wisconsin,
Maine, Washington, New Mexico, and Florida.
3. Students will exchange environmental sensory boxes with their out-of-
state pen pals.
4. Students will know, geographically, where each of the cities and states
Materials: Pen pal connections, computers, butcher paper for weather
differentiation list, shoeboxes, Wisconsin items for sensory box, and a large
map with tacks showing where each of these cities and states are.
1. (Anticipatory Set) This lesson will allow the children to learn about
other states’ weather in comparison to our weather. The teacher will
explain that the students will break up into four small groups and each
group will email their assigned state. The teacher will also point out, on
the map, where each city and state is and mark them with a tack.
2. This lesson will continue throughout our weather unit. Before the
students email their pen pals the entire class will have a discussion
about what kind of weather Wisconsin is having. This way the children
will be well aware of what they can email their pen pals about.
3. Each day the children will give a brief report of the email they received
from their pen pals, which will then be recorded on the large paper in
order for everyone to see it. The information will be placed under the
4. Day 5, the first Friday, of the Weather Unit, the children will send a
Wisconsin environmental sensory box to their pen pals. Their pen pals
will do the same thing on the same day. This way the children can
discuss their sensory boxes by the end of the unit. The sensory boxes
will contain things that are distinctly Wisconsin things, such as: Packer
memorabilia, etc. Each student will be assigned an inexpensive
Wisconsin item to bring in for the sensory boxes. Also included will be a
list explaining each item.
5. When the groups receive their pen pal’s sensory box they will present
their pen pal’s items and list of items. These things can be placed
under each state on a separate sheet of paper for everyone to see to
help the children get to know the states and cities.
6. (Closure) On day 10, last Friday, of the unit the teacher will review the
information the class has gathered from their email pen pals and their
1. Contact the cooperating schools in advance and share ideas with them.
Make sure they are in agreement in order for everything to run smoothly.
2. Inform parents of these activities and ask them to send in a Wisconsin
item with their child.
3. Teacher will have to allow time for proofreading of each email before it
is sent to the cooperating school.
The students will be assessed on their ability to type the emails to their pen
pals. Each child will have a turn in typing an email to the cooperating school,
in order for each child to be assessed. Students will also be assessed on their
ability to recall where their pen pal’s state is on the map. Children should also
be able to remember at least one characteristic on their pen pal’s state from
the sensory box. Children should also remember two things about their pen
pal’s state that is different from Wisconsin weather. Children will be able to
write this information down on their state sheet (a copy of this is provided at
the end of the lesson plan).
1. Make a class book on what kind of clothing people would wear in each
season in each of the five states.
2. Have a center set up, in which the children can separate pictures
according to what state they go with. For instance: oranges go with
Florida, cheese with Wisconsin, cactus with New Mexico, etc.
What I know about Wisconsin’s weather:
What I know about Maine’s weather:
What I know about Florida’s weather:
What I know about Washington’s weather:
What I know about New Mexico’s weather:
Disaster Drill Guide
It is important for students to know what to do in a disaster, because
there is a possibility of a tornado or flood.
1. Students will be able to list potential disasters.
2. Students will know what they should do and where they should go
during a disaster.
Age-appropriate literature that focuses on disasters (magazines, books,
etc), poster boards, paper, and colored pencils, markers or crayons, principle,
custodian, firefighter, and/or police officer.
1. Have the students brainstorm about a possible list of disasters before
the guests arrive, (flood, tornado, earthquake, hurricane). Have
students also think about the results of these natural disasters (water
damage, destruction, etc).
2. Then discuss what emergency drills are and why they are important.
3. Have the principal, and custodian come and talk about what their
role is in conducting drills at school and preparing for a disaster. Allow
time for students to ask questions.
4. Also have a firefighter and/or police officer come and talk about the
different types of possible disasters and what their role is during a
disaster. Allow time for students to ask questions.
Have students write their own disaster guide. They can make a poster,
or they can make a disaster guidebook.
1. Have students make a copy for a guide at home.
2. Have students use their guide to practice the drills.
1. A gifted and talented student could make their guidebook on more
than one disaster.
A student with ADD/HD can be placed in the group that practices their drill
first in order to have him not sitting as long.
Weather Word Wheel
It is important for students to know the different types of precipitation
because they will eventually encounter all of them.
1. Students will be able to name the four types of precipitation.
2. Students will be able to identify what makes up the four types of
Copies of page 19 for each student, brad fasteners, scissors, coloring
1. Explain to students what precipitation is. Definition: Water that
falls from the clouds. The temperature determines if it falls as rain,
snow, sleet, or hail.
2. Explain that Rain is the most common type of precipitation and forms
when water droplets combine, or when ice melts. A snowflake is
formed when tiny ice crystals freeze together. Sleet is formed when
rain freezes or when partially melted snowflakes refreeze. Usually
falls in winter. Hail is most common in summer. They are rounded
pieces of ice that are formed by updrafts in thunderstorms.
3. Have students color the patterns (being careful to leave words
visible). Have them cut along the bold lines and then fold the
window flap at the dashed lines. Use a brad to attach the window
strip atop the wheel.
4. Have students turn the wheel in the direction indicted until the first
definition is revealed in the window without a flap. The student
silently reads the definition and then guesses the corresponding
word. Continue with the rest of the definitions.
5. Have students break up into pairs and read the definitions to each
other and answer each other.
After students have put away the Word Wheel, have them take out a
sheet of paper. Read off the definitions one at a time and have them write
which type of precipitation it is. Have a word bank on the board or someplace
where they can see the words.
Explain that there are four types of snowflakes, and have them refer to
page 18. They could write down in the space which type of snowflake the
sentence is describing by referring to the pictures. This can be turned into a
Cooking Up a Cloud
It is important for students to learn about how clouds form and what
they are made of because they are something students see all the time and is
in their surroundings.
1. Students will be able to describe what clouds are made of.
2. Students will be able to describe how clouds are formed.
one 12” x 18” sheet of dark-colored construction paper, 1 clear jar,
pitcher of hot water, 12 ice cubes, 1 pie tin
The water needs to be hot, so make sure the students don’t touch it or
the jar once it is poured in.
1. (Anticipatory set) Ask your students these questions: Have you ever
noticed fog on a bathroom mirror? Did you ever create a cloud with your
breath on a cold day? Did you ever watch the steam rise as you waited
for a cup of hot chocolate to cool?
2. Explain to students that as warm air rises, it carries water vapor. As
the water vapor rises, it cools and changes back to water droplets which
gather to form clouds.
3. Pour the hot water into the jar until it is three-fourths full.
4. Put the jar in front of the construction paper to make the cloud
easier for students to see.
5. Put the ice in the pie tin and place it on top of the jar of hot water.
6. Watch as a cloud quickly appears!
Explain that as the warm, moist air in the jar meets the cold air at the
top it cools. It is unable to hold all of its water vapor, so some of it condenses.
Hand out a picture copy of the demonstration. Have students label the
parts of the demonstration that are significant such as: hot air, cold air, and
Have students keep track of the types of clouds they see each day in a
cloud journal. Have them use page 12 to keep track of the types of clouds they
see and the types of clouds they think they will see tomorrow.
background for the teacher
Clouds are clusters of tiny water droplets in the air.
Clouds form as water vapor rises and condenses into liquid.
There are three main groups of clouds: stratus, cumulus, and cirrus.
They are categorized by their shape, altitude, and potential to produce
rain or snow.
Meteorologists use clouds in making weather predictions.
Clouds act like a blanket for the earth, keeping the sun’s heat out during
the day and keeping warm air close to the ground at night.
Fog is a cloud near the earth’s surface.
Weather Dependant Careers
Grade Level: 1
Subject: Social Studies, Art, Language Arts, and Creative Dramatics
Rationale: Students need to be aware that weather has an affect on different
types of jobs and actually creates many jobs for people. The students need to
be aware that some jobs are restricted to only certain seasons in the year. For
instance: a carpenter cannot build a house when there is three feet of snow on
the ground, they need to work on the house in the late spring, summer, and
1. Students will be able to create a mural of jobs that are done in the
outdoors that are dependent on the weather.
2. Students will be able to act out a skit that will allow each student to be
a worker in each of the outdoor careers.
3. Students will have a chance to work on cooperation within a group.
Materials: Large piece of butcher’s paper for mural, crayons, colored pencil,
markers, paint, smocks, dramatic play clothing and hats.
1. The teacher will review the seasons and the type of weather that is
typical of each. (5 minutes)
2. The teacher will also discuss the fact that there are certain careers that
depend heavily upon the weather outside. In order to have them thinking
about this, ask them how the weather can sometimes affect their recess
3. The students will then brainstorm to come up with a list of specific
careers that are weather dependent. The students can also categorize
these occupations by what season/weather they are done in. (5-7
4. The teacher will then introduce the book Little Monster at Work. The
students will be asked to listen for careers that they had not yet
mentioned. (10 minutes)
5. After the story is read the class will then add the new careers to the list.
6. The students will then be broken into smaller groups of three or four.
Within their smaller groups the children will have to decide what
occupation they want to be. They can then put on a small skit in the
dramatic play area; each dressed in the appropriate uniform for their
career. The teacher will provide the costumes. (20 minutes)
7. After the skit is done we will have a short free time in order for the
children to have a chance to play in their costumes. We will then come
together as a large group in the art center. (10 minutes)
8. In the art center the teacher will have the art supplies and paper ready
for the children to paint a mural of their chosen occupations and what
they think best represents their occupations. For instance: ambulance for
doctors, etc. (15 minutes)
If decision-making is difficult within the small groups for the skit, the teacher
can assign an occupation to each group. This may save some arguments.
Students will be assessed on their brainstorming ideas and on their depiction of
careers in the skit. The teacher will make sure that there are no gender
confusions in the careers (nurse=girl) and can see what the children know and
feel about certain occupations. This is a good time to enforce the importance
of all of these roles in order to make things run smoothly. The students will
also be assessed on knowing which seasons certain occupations are conducted
in. The mural will be the best form of assessment because this will illustrate
what they have learned from the previous activities and discussions.
1. Have a parent career day, both indoor and outdoor careers.
2. Take students on a field trip to a farm to see how the farmer is affected
by the different seasons.
3. Have books that cover occupations already discussed to enforce what
they have learned already.
Have plenty of books available to the children on seasons. A great example of
this would be On the Same Day in March. This illustrates the weather on the
same day in different regions of the world.
Weather Watching (part 2) Field Trip to the Weather Station
Grade Level: 1
Subjects: Social Studies, Science, English
Rationale: One important way that we learn, and know about weather is
through television. The weatherman keeps us informed about past, present, up
coming weather and any severe weather. The weatherman would be a
valuable resource in teaching the children about weather, showing what he
does at work, and explain his/her role in the community. This lesson
corresponds to the lesson, Weather Watching Part 1.
1. The students will be able to define what a weatherman does and why
he/she is important in the community.
2. The students will be able to give at least two reasons why weather is
important to learn and know about.
Materials: Recording of the weather on the nightly news, paper, pencil
1. The teacher explains that as part of learning about weather, we will
briefly learn about meteorology. As part of learning about this, the class
will take a field trip to the local television station to meet and learn
about the local weatherman.
2. Before going, the teacher will play a recording of the weather from the
news the night before.
3. After watching the recording, the teacher will lead a discussion about
the student’s observations from the recording. The teacher will ask
questions about things that the students may have already known, things
that they have learned, and some things that they want to learn.
4. After the discussion the class will come up with a list of questions that
they want to ask the weatherman. (30 minutes)
5. At 1:00 p.m. the students will board the bus and go to the local
television station to meet the weatherman. They will start off with a
tour of the station and then the weatherman can talk about what he
does and the equipment that he uses. After that there will be time for
the students to ask their questions. (1 hour)
6. The students will board the bus at 2:10 and go back to school. There
will be a wrap up discussion about what they have learned, also why
weather and the weatherman are important and why we should learn
Considerations: The teacher must discuss with the students about proper
behavior and good manners when at the television station. The permission
slips must go out three weeks in advance and have them returned to the
teacher within a week of the actual day of the trip. Make sure that there are
enough chaperones to go along. Call at least a month in advance to set up a
date for the trip. And double check a week before the trip to make sure it is
still set up and not canceled.
Assessment: The students will be assessed of their learning through the
discussions in class. Each student will be expected to share two reasons why
weather and the weatherman are important to us, and why we should learn
- The students can write a letter to the National Weather Service for more
information about the weather.
The students can design their own weather books about a particular element
and share with the class.
Weather Watching (part 3)
Grade Level: 1
Subjects: Science, technology, English
Rationale: It is important for the students to learn about weather because it
affects our everyday lives. It is also important for the students to be exposed
to many different forms of technology, not only the special instruments used
for weather, but just the daily use of the computer and different software.
This lesson will correspond with the Weather Watching lesson Part 2.
1. The students will use their prior knowledge, things they have learned
from the field trip to the weather station and other lessons from the
two-week unit on weather to create a Kid Pix presentation.
Materials: Paper, pencil, computers and Kid Pix software
1. To start off the discussion the teacher will ask the students about the
field trip they took the day before. Discuss things that they learned and
liked. Then discuss things that they have learned over the past two
weeks, activities that they liked, things that they want to know more
about. The teacher will list all of the things discussed on the board. (10
2. The teacher will then explain that the students will work in pairs to
create a Kid Pix presentation. The pairs will decide on a topic that they
learned about or liked (ideas on the board), and create a presentation
that is at least 3 slides long with a maximum of 8 slides.
3. The teacher will divide the class into the pairs and then give the pairs 15
minutes to discuss what they would like to include in their presentation.
4. The students will then have 40 minutes to work in the computer lab
creating their presentation.
5. After the students are all done with their presentations, each pair will
present theirs to the class.
Considerations: The teacher will have shown and used Kid Pix with the
students prior to this unit, so that the students will know how to use the
software. Also the teacher should have other helpers that day to assist in
creating the presentations. They can use parents, other teachers or this could
be a good time to have older students help the younger ones. The helpers can
assist in spelling, and any other problems that the students may have so the
teacher should explain to the helpers about the software. This lesson will give
the students a lot of choice in what they can create, keep them on track of
weather and things they have learned. Also group size may vary depending on
the number of students and available computers.
Assessment: The pairs showing their presentation of what they have learned
from the unit will complete the assessment. As long as they have the minimum
requirements of at least three slide no more than 8 they will complete the
lesson. Also from the presentations the teacher will be able to see all of the
things that they have learned about the last two weeks.
- The students could put their own television weather report, taking turns
being the weatherman.
- The students could create a class weather book or a class Kid Pix
Crump, Irving and McLaurin Thad. Weather. The Education Center Inc. 2000.
This book has many different project and demonstration ideas on any
topic related to weather.
Frahm, April; Liederbach, Cindy; Kewer, Anne. “Spring Weather.” Unit Plan.
This unit plan discusses the different aspects of spring weather in a very
organized, well thought out way.
Mayer, Mercer. (1978) Little Monster at Work. Racine, Wi: western publishing
This children’s literature book illustrates and labels many different
careers. The fun monster workers make learning these different careers
The Mailbox. April/May 1994. The Education Center, Inc.
This magazine was full of great ideas that you could use in your
classroom to teach weather. All of the ideas were compiled by other
teachers and put together for the weather section. There were many
ideas for activities, books, and worksheets to use. The magazine also
included other themes.
Scipior, Sharon; Niemi, Tara. “Weather Unit” First grade
This unit plan was thought out in a broad sense of weather. Seasons
were discussed as well as many other aspects of weather.
Singer, Marilyn. (2000). On the Same Day in March: A Tour of the World’s
Weather. U.S.A. Harper Collins Publishers.
A wonderfully illustrated children’s book that informs of the different
weather occurring in different places all over the world on the dame day
in march. This gives a good feel for how different things are all over the
world and a small hint to cultures in the different places in the world.
~The Weather Forecast Lesson Plan
On this website you can find tons of different lesson plans. You can
search many different ways to find a lesson that you would like. Also
there are other links you can go to, a store link to find material, you can
add your own lessons, and many other things. This web page is very
useful to a teacher to get ideas for lessons and materials.
~The Water Cycle Lesson Plan
This website allows teachers to search for lesson plans according to
subject and grade level. The lesson plan we chose, “The Water Cycle”,
was very helpful and broken down so instruction would be easier for the
teacher. The website also suggests other links that could be helpful.
On this website there are many helpful things for a Wisconsin teacher.
Most importantly there is a listing of all the standard grades 4,8, and 12
for all of the classes (math, science, social studies, language arts). This
is very helpful to the teacher to make sure he/she is keeping to the
~Disaster Drill Guide Lesson Plan
This website is full of ideas and resources to use regarding weather.
There are different lessons in each subject area on this site.