Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Unit Resource Portfolio: Weather

Unit Resource Portfolio for SOL 2.6A Inter-relationships in Earth/Space Systems: Identification of common storms and other weather phenomena.


This unit portfolio is based on SOL 2.6a. Which states, the student will investigate and understand basic types, changes, and patterns of weather. Key concepts include;

a) identification of common storms and other weather phenomena

The curriculum framework for this SOL is as follows:

  • Earth’s weather changes continuously from day to day.
  • Changes in the weather are characterized by daily differences in wind, temperature, and precipitation.
  • Precipitation occurs when water, previously evaporated, condenses out of the air and changes its phase from a gas to a liquid (rain) or to a solid (snow or sleet).
  • Extremes in the weather, such as too little or too much precipitation, can result in droughts or floods.
  • Storms have powerful winds, which may be accompanied by rain, snow, or other kinds of precipitation.
  • Weather data are collected and recorded using instruments. This information is very useful for predicting weather and determining weather patterns.

  • Weather influences human activity.


wind, temperature, precipitation, evaporate, rain, snow/sleet, drought, floods, thunderstorm, windstorm, snow storm, blizzard, spring, summer, fall, winter.

Day 1: Introduction to Weather SOL 2.6

Objectives: Students will

  • Recall that weather changes on a day to day basis
  • Identify basic types of weather

Teacher intro’s

topic to student’s by acting out the attached poem about weather. Student’s talk about what they know about weather and the different types (hot, cold, rainy, windy) as a class. Teacher will focus students attention on wind speed and direction, temperature (hot/cold) and precipitation (rain/sleet/snow).

Student’s will complete the weather cut out worksheet and place in their science notebooks.

Day2: Weather

Objectives: Students will

  • Recall basic types of weather
  • Identify that changes in the weather are characterized by differences in wind.

Student’s will review their weather worksheet from the previous day. Teacher will ask students to focus on wind and how its speed and direction often affect the weather. Students will talk about what they notice about wind daily. Since student’s can’t directly see wind, student’s will create their own pinwheel to see how wind moves and is moving that day. Once pinwheels are complete, students will take outside to "measure" the wind. They will write observations in their science notebooks. They should use words such as (no wind, fast wind, slow wind, hot wind etc.).

Making Your Own PinWheel Activity

Day3: Weather

Objectives: Students will

  • Recall that wind speed and direction affects weather
  • Discover that temperature also affects weather and is related to the seasons
  • Identify the seasons (Winter/Spring/Summer/Fall)

Students will talk about what they know about wind and its affect on weather. Teacher will explain that temperature also affects weather. Students talk about different temperatures (hot/cold) and why this could affect the weather. Teacher explains the different temperatures that are associated with each season. Students will create the Seasons Foldable.

Day4: Weather

Objectives: Students will

  • Recall the water cycle
  • Identify that rain develops in and comes from clouds

Teacher will play Water Cycle Power Point. Students will talk about the different function of the water cycle. Emphasis will be on the water droplets that form in the clouds and fall out as rain. Students will create their own Water Cycle Wheel.

Day 5: Weather

Objectives: Students will

  • Identify different forms of precipitation (rain, snow, sleet, hail)
  • Recall what temperatures might cause such precipitation

Teacher will discuss with students rain and the different kinds that are produced. Teacher will demonstrate Be a Rain Maker activity. Students will talk about how rain forms and the different variations of rain such as drizzle, freezing rain, snow, sleet and hail and how temperature affects this. Students will draw pictures and use vocabulary words to illustrate different types in their science notebooks.

Day5: Weather

Objectives: Students will

  • Identify tools for measuring weather (thermometer, rain gauge, weather vane)
Teacher will introduce the different tools used for measuring weather. Student's will have the opportunity to hold and touch each of the different tools. Teacher will demonstrate how students can Make Their Own Rain Gauge. They will place the gauge outside of the classroom to monitor. Students will create the weather instruments foldable.


Objectives: Students will

  • Distinguish between extremes in weather
  • Identify droughts & floods

Teacher will play the following Drouht/Flood video. Students are to take notes on what they observe in the video on the right side of their science notebook under the heading, Drought & Flood. Teacher will discuss with students the meaning of drought. Student’s will discuss the characteristics of drought (dry, brown). They will also discuss the opposite of drought and discuss floods. What causes floods and what happens during a flood. Students will create the drought vs flood foldable.

Day7: Weather Patterns

Objectives: Students will

  • Identify different types of storms
  • Describe different components of each storm

Teacher will discuss with students the different types of storms (thunderstorm, windstorms such as a Hurricane or Tornado, snow storm, rainstorm). Students will talk about what they know about each type of storm and teacher will relate it to different temperature or weather conditions. Students will draw images of the storms and identify and label some characteristics in their science notebooks.


Objectives: Students will

  • Recall storms have powerful winds
  • Identify severe windstorms as hurricanes or tornados

Teacher will play the following videos, Tornado , Hurricane Storm Surge. Ask students to discuss some of the things they saw in the videos. Get students to compare and contrast a hurricane and a tornado through drawings and text in their science notebooks.

Day9: Weather Patterns

Objectives: Students will

  • Recognize that weather influences people and activities.

Teacher will talk about different weather patterns and how it can affect student and adult activities (ie: rain will prevent an outdoor game from being played, swimming cannot occur when lightning is taking place). Students will visit this Weather Website to look at the weeks forecast. They must write down the temperature and describe what they might want to wear to school that week. They must also describe activities that might be canceled if rain or thunderstorms are in the forecast.

Day10: Weather Patterns

Objectives: Student will

  • Review weather patterns
  • Recall vocabulary from the unit

Teacher will divide students into groups of two. Each student group will rotate through the following review activities.

Weather Word Search

Weather Quizzes

Play the Weather Scavenger Hunt

Literature Connections

Bringing The Rain To Kapiti Plain . By Verna Aardema. Illus. by Beatriz Vidal. (1981). 32 p. First Pied Paper Printing, (978-0140546163). Gr 2.

This is a really neat book about a drought taking place and how Kapiti must break open the storm cloud in order to get the rain to fall and get them out of the drought. This is a very imaginative story and a fun read.

Cloud Dance. By Thomas

Locker. (2000). 32p. Harcourt, Inc., (978-0152045968). Gr. 2-3.

This beautifully illustrated book talks about clouds and their dif

ferent characteristics.

Come On, Rain! by Karen Hesse. Illus. by Jon J

Muth. (1999). 32p. Scholastic Press, (978-0590331258). Gr. 2.

This adorable story is about a young girl named Tess who is fighting a heat wave. Both her and her mom are are suffering through the heat and waiting for the rain to come. The rain finally comes and they all rejoice and play in it. This is another great story related to droughts.

Floods. by Peter Murray. (1997). 32p. The Child’s World Inc, (1-56766-214-5). Gr. 2-3.

This is a pretty straight forward book about Floods. It talks a lot about water but also the big flood of 1993. It does a great job of explaining floods and how different weather phenomena can cause them.

Lisa And The Snowman by Coby Hol. (1989). 32p. North-South Books, (978-0735811997). Gr. 1-2.

This story is about Lisa and her day out in the snow! She builds a snowman and trys on several

different hats until her grandfather’s old top hat makes the snowman happy. This is a fun story for kids to read about snow.

Oh Say Can You Say What’s the Weather Today?: All About Weather by Trish Rabe. Illus. by Aristides Ruiz. (2004). 48p. Random House, (978-0375822766). Gr. 2-3.

Everyone loves a Dr. Seuss book and this is a great one! Full of rhymes about weather and all its different elements. The back of the book also has a glossary of a lot of the weather terms focused in this unit.

Snow Is Falling by Franklyn M. Branley. Illus. by Holly Keller. (1986). 32p. Harper Collins, (978-0064451864). Gr. 1-2.

This book is all about snow!! It talks about

how fun snow can be but also how much trouble it can be if there is too much. This book also talks about snowflakes and how snow can keep hybernating animals warmer. A fun read for any student learning about snow and the weather.

Twister by Darleen Bailey Beard. Illus. by Nancy Carpenter. (1999). 32p. Farrar Straus Giroux, (0-374-37977-7). Gr. 2-3.

This is a great story about Lucille and her brother Natt. They are outside playing when suddenly the weather changes and a tornado comes into town. The kids are taken to the cellar to take shelter as their mom goes to find the neighbor. When they come outside when the tornado is over they discover their home is beaten up but they are all safe. This is a sweet story that brings to light the power and force of a tornado.

Weather Words and What They Mean by Gail Gibbons. (1990). 30p. Holiday House, (978-0823409525). Gr. 1-3.

This is a GREAT book to implement when teaching weather. It goes through all the specific vocabulary related to weather and has lots of illustrations with them. The last page also gives a quick summary of all the things discussed in the pages of the book.

What Will the Weather Be? by Lynda DeWitt. Illus. by Carolyn Croll. (1991). 32p. HarperCollins, (978-0064451130). Gr. 2-3.

This is a great book that focuses on weather, air pressure and forecasting. They talk a lot about different fronts causeby wind and air pressure and how meteorologists try to predict the weather based on measurements that were taken, all to help us know what the weather is going to be on a daily basis.

Web Resources

Interactive Weather Maker

This website allows students to move temperature thermometers to change the weather. They can have a sunny day, a cloudy day or a blizzard! Its all dependent upon the temperature they choose.

Report & Predict the Weather

This game is a lot of fun for students. They can choose to report or predict the weather in this interactive game.

Tree House Weather Kids

This is a fun interactive website about everything weather! This link will lead you to the weather house kids and they talk about clouds and precipitation. This website is great to review for students.

Weather Channel Photos

This is a megasite, but this link takes you directly to beautiful photos of all the different weather patterns that are discussed in this unit. You can click on the topic of pictures you’d like to see.

Weather Memory

This is a straight forward game of memory. Although they students are not learning anything while playing, I would have them talk about each card that they are turning over and identify what type of weather pattern or part of weather it is. Each student would also need to write a sentence about the picture they find when they match all the cards.

Weather Trivia

This is a trivia game about weather! Most of the vocabulary covered in this unit can be found here. Students will have fun playing and trying to each points for correct answers.

Assessment Resources

Below are links to resources teachers might find useful in evaluating student understanding of weather.

Weather and Me Assessment

Foldables Rubric

Quick Weather Pre-Assesment (I would use this before and after the unit, or just after and remove the first section).

Group Work Rubric

Science Notebook Rubric

Weather Cut Out Assessment

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