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Grades 2 - 3

In this lesson students will learn the three ingredients of weather. Using the video, The Magic School Bus Kicks Up a Storm, the students will learn how the three ingredients combine to form various types of weather. The students will then construct their own weather instruments to measure the weather at the school. In the classroom the students will record the data on a line chart. After using the weather instruments at school for one week the students will take their instruments home. At home the students will measure and chart the weather data they collect for one week. The students will then bring their chart to school to compare their results with their classmates. For the next week the students will be divided into groups. Each group will collect weather data from a different location via the Internet and create a chart from the data to compare with the data from the other groups.
Students will be able to:

Today we are going to learn what makes weather, how many ingredients or things make weather, what we use to measure the weather and record our weather data. Begin the lesson by writing the question "What is weather?" on the chalkboard. Discuss the question and write all of the students responses under the question. Then narrow the focus by saying "if you could pick just three of the ideas which three would you pick that make the weather? Now turn to the person next to you and take turns explain your three choices and when I ring the bell that is your signal to stop talking and give me your attention."

This discussion should take about five minutes. Discuss the choices and give students time to justify their choice. Out of the three choices, raise your hand and tell me the one thing that you think makes the weather more than the other two. Discuss the choices and give the student opportunity to justify his or her choice. At the third grade level students have often not thought about what makes weather. This activity gives them the opportunity to make a prediction
To give students a specific responsibility while viewing, use the focus viewing sheet. The students need to be directed to find the three ingredients that make weather.

The assist the students in finding the information the teacher will use a focus sheet. This sheet is designed to help the student record the information they are assigned to find in the video. The focus sheet will help the students practice looking for specific information as well as looking ahead for the next concept. If this is the first time using a focus sheet the teacher needs to go through the focus sheet with the class prior to viewing. The focus sheet needs to include a space for the student to write about their prediction, was it correct and why or was it incorrect and why.

To begin the video focus the students attention to the first question, "What ingredients make weather?" This question will be answered in the video. There will be three students that each give their opinion of what makes weather. Each of the ingredients will be part of the correct answer. For example, Carlos says that he believes water makes the weather. The three students discuss their theories until Ralphie proclaims that Weatherman makes the weather. At this point Ms. Frizzle tells the class that all of the three ingredients together make the weather.

BEGIN the video where you see Ralphie standing in his Weatherman costume and them you hear Ms. Frizzle asking Ralphie if he would like to join the discussion about weather. PAUSE after Ralphie says that weather is the air all around us and ask the class how many agree with Ralphie. Thumbs up if they agree and thumbs down if they disagree. Then after Carlos and Wanda give their opinion take a class vote on what ingredient they think makes weather. Record the results of the vote on the chalkboard. RESUME the video.

PAUSE after Ms. Frizzle tells the class the answer. Then have the students go back and check their prediction and compare the answer with their prediction.

FORWARD the video to the scene where the children are getting on the bus. Ask the class why Ralphie has a cape on? What does Ralphie think he can do with the weather? Can people control the weather? Refocus their attention to finding the first ingredient Weatherman tries in making a thunderstorm. RESUME the video.

PAUSE the video when the ingredient is mentioned to allow the students to write their answers down. Ask the students if the air made a thunderstorm and what do they think Weatherman will add next to make a thunderstorm and resume the video.

PAUSE the video when the scene starts with the heaters on top of the bus turn on and ask what ingredient was added. Allow the students to record their response then RESUME the video.

PAUSE the video as the bus begins to ascend into the sky and ask "Is this the thunderstorm that Weatherman was trying to create?" What did Weatherman actually create? (An updraft.) Discuss with the class what they think Weatherman needs to add to create a thunderstorm. Focus the students' attention to the video by directing them to the creation of a cloud. RESUME the video.

PAUSE the video after the cloud is made and Wanda says "we really made a cloud." Discuss with the students that Weatherman has created all three ingredients water, air, and heat but why isn't it a thunderstorm? What did Weatherman do wrong? If you were Weatherman what would you do to create a thunderstorm?

FORWARD the video to the scene where Weatherman is at the weather controls inside the bus. Focus their attention to what Weatherman did that was different from when he first made the cloud. RESUME the video.

PAUSE the video when Weatherman says "oh what's the use I'll never make a thunderstorm." Discuss with the students if they think Weatherman created a thunderstorm and what clues did they use to come to their conclusion.

To REFOCUS students, ask them to raise their hand if they see water, snap their fingers if they see the wind blowing and rub their hands together if the temperature changes in the water. Do this action activity for only the first time they see the ingredient. RESUME the video to see if Weatherman did in fact create a thunderstorm.

STOP the video when the class falls into the rain gauge and Carlos tells how much it has rained.
Review the question asked at the beginning of the lesson, "Can people control the weather?" Discuss if their opinions had changed or not. State that people cannot control the weather but we can measure the ingredients in the weather to make predictions about the weather. Show the students pictures and models of weather instruments. Tell the students that they will be constructing their own weather instruments to collect their own weather data or information. The weather instruments the students will create are a weather vane, thermometer, and a rain gauge.

Demonstrate how to read each instrument and correctly record the data gathered. For example, tell them to place the weather vane so that the North symbol faces the northern direction. Discuss how the weather person records the data they collect by using a line graph. Demonstrate what the graph looks like and how to record the information on the graph.

Divide the class into the groups of two and give each group a set of weather data and graph paper. Each group should set up their graph according to the graph below. This activity should take about 15 minutes. Walk around the class to check to make sure the graphs are set up correctly and the data is recorded accurately.

After the class has finished the graphs, distribute an activity sheet that outlines the steps needed to take to make each weather instruments. Model each instrument stressing safety and following the steps accurately. Making the instruments will take at least 20 minutes.

In their groups distribute a piece of graph paper to each person and direct the students to make a graph that they can record the weather data at school for the next five school days. Time each day should be set aside for gathering and recording the weather data. This time ideally should be at the same time each day.
Invite a local television meteorologist to come to the class and bring examples of weather instruments. Ask the meteorologist to demonstrate how they use the instruments to measure the weather. Include in the discussion ways the meteorologist uses the data to forecast the weather, such as, the impact the direction of the wind blowing has on the temperature. The meteorologist's visit to the classroom will reinforce the importance of gathering weather data accurately and connect the data to the weather for the students. Assign the students to find other careers that rely on using weather data.
After the students have collected weather data at school for five days and recorded it on the graph, they will present their graph to the class. Discuss the graphs with the students to compare any differences.

Then assign the students to take their weather instruments home to collect and graph the weather at their home. Remind the students to pick a good location and gather the data at the same time each day for five days. On the sixth day the students will bring back their graphs and discuss with the class their results. Highlight in the discussion the differences and discuss why the weather is different from one place to another. The students can also compare their data to the meteorologist's data on the weather forecast.

While the students are collecting weather data at their home, during class time students pick a city anywhere on the globe. Then the students will access the internet to gather the weather data from the city they selected. The students will create another line graph from the data they gathered on the internet.

After five days the students will share their graphs with the class but withhold the name of the city. Using the graph and their knowledge of geography the class will try to guess the location of the student's city.

This lesson can be extended into Social Studies by investigating how different cultures measure the ingredients in weather. They can compare the myths of different cultures that relate to weather. For example, long ago the people in Labrador believed that when it rained it was because a polar bear drank too much water and burst.

The terminology used in weather can be sorted by the parts of speech, nouns, verbs and adjectives.

In the fine arts the students can observe how different artists illustrated the different ingredients in weather. Then the students will draw a picture using the ingredients in weather.

Video Available From Scholastic Book Clubs, Shopko, Kmart, and other fine discount or video stores.

Lesson plan created by Master Teacher, Karen Hickey, Ustick Elementary School, Meridian, Idaho

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