Grade 1: Weather

Lessons at a Glance


Lesson 1: What Is Weather?

Big Idea: Weather is how the sky looks and feels.

Children look at pictures of various types of weather, talk about their perceptions of weather, and listen to weather poems. The class writes a weather poem and develops a definition of weather.

 

Lesson 2: What Is a Meteorologist?

Big Idea: Weather is how the sky looks and feels. A meteorologist observes, measures, describes, and records the weather.

Children learn about some symbols and descriptive terms commonly used by meteorologists. A class meteorologist starts recording daily weather observations on a class weather calendar.

 

Lesson 3: Using a Thermometer

Big Idea: Weather is measurable.

Children use thermometers to measure temperature. They learn how to read a thermometer color scale, and practice using it by measuring the temperature of their hands and the air.

 

Lesson 4: Measuring Temperature

Big Idea: Weather is measurable.

Children measure water and air temperatures to practice reading the thermometer color scale. The class meteorologist begins recording the outdoor temperature on the weather calendar.

 

Lesson 5: The Sun Warms

Big Idea: Weather is measurable. The sun plays a role in weather.

Children think about the sunís role in weather, focusing on how sunlight illuminates and warms. They measure temperature and observe ice cubes melt to compare shady and sunny spots.

 

Lesson 6: Discovering Weather Patterns: September

Big Idea: We notice weather patterns by observing, measuring, and graphing weather over time.

Children record and analyze the daily weather observations compiled from Septemberís class weather calendar. They also learn to use sky observation data to make a bar graph.

 

Lesson 7: Measuring Rain

Big Idea: Water, in its many forms, plays a role in the weather.

Children consider the role of water in weather and measure rainfall with a rain gauge. They use their rain observations to summarize the dayís weather, and look at a model of annual rainfall.

 

Lesson 8: Clouds in the Sky

Big Idea: Water, in its many forms, plays a role in the weather.

The children consider how clouds are made. They look at a cloud chart and make models of the three basic cloud shapes -- cumulus, cirrus, and stratus.

 

Lesson 9: Water Freezes: Ice

Big Idea: Water, in its many forms, plays a role in the weather.

Understanding how water changes -- from liquid to solid and back again -- is essential to understanding weather. In this lesson, the children place small items in cups of water and observe what happens when they freeze them.

 

Lesson 10: Water Melts

Big Idea: Water, in its many forms, plays a role in the weather.

The children explore ways of melting the ice from Lesson 9. They practice thermometer skills by measuring the temperature of the ice and the water as it melts.

 

Lesson 11: Discovering Weather Patterns: October

Big Idea: We notice weather patterns by observing, measuring, and graphing weather over time.

Children record and analyze the daily weather observations compiled from Octoberís class weather calendar. They make two bar graphs: sky observations and temperature colors.

 

Lesson 12: Water Goes Into the Air

Big Idea: Water, in its many forms, plays a role in the weather.

Understanding how water changes -- in this lesson from liquid to vapor and back again -- helps us understand weather. Children explore the unfamiliar idea that water can be a part of the air, an invisible gas called water vapor. They are introduced to the idea by watching liquid water disappear into the air as it evaporates.

 

Lesson 13: Water Comes Out of the Air

Big Idea: Water, in its many forms, plays a role in the weather.

Children continue to explore the idea that water can be a part of the air. They watch as water condenses out of the air and forms droplets on cold surfaces.

 

Lesson 14: Exploring Dew

Big Idea: Water, in its many forms, plays a role in the weather.

The children investigate the phenomenon of condensation outdoors by taking a morning dew walk. They discuss where the liquid water came from.

 

Lesson 15: Catching Dew

Big Idea: Water, in its many forms, plays a role in the weather.

Children review their theories of dew formation and set up "dew catchers." They monitor the dew catchers and develop a more sophisticated understanding of where dew comes from.

 

Lesson 16: Discovering Weather Patterns: November

Big Idea: We notice weather patterns by observing, measuring, and graphing weather over time.

Children record and analyze the daily weather observations compiled from Novemberís class weather calendar. They expand their data collection and analysis to include precipitation data.

 

Lesson 17: Water Freezes: Frost

Big Idea: Water, in its many forms, plays a role in the weather.

Children create frost and observe the conditions conducive to its formation. They learn that frost, like dew, comes out of the air, but that it forms as tiny ice crystals rather than water droplets.

 

Lesson 18: Water Freezes: Snow

Big Idea: Water, in its many forms, plays a role in the weather.

The children look at snowflakes in photomicrographs and in photographs or drawings. They observe how snowflakes form in six-sided (hexagonal) or six-pointed patterns of many designs and make their own representations of snowflakes from paper and pattern blocks. If snow is available, children observe preserved and fresh snowflakes and compare the volume of snow to the volume of melted snow.

 

Lessons 19 -- 21: Discovering Weather Patterns: December -- February

Big Idea: We notice weather patterns by observing, measuring, and graphing weather over time.

Children record and analyze the daily weather observations compiled from each monthís class weather calendar. In addition to sky observations and temperature data, they record and analyze precipitation data.

 

Lesson 22: Air Surrounds Us

Big Idea: Air plays a role in the weather. Air surrounds us, and takes up space.

Children investigate some of the properties of air. They observe a demonstration of how air fills the "empty" space in a bottle, and experiment with air trapped inside objects and plastic bags.

 

Lesson 23: Observing Wind

Big Idea: Air plays a role in the weather. Wind is a moving flow of air.

Children go outdoors to experience wind and observe the direction of the wind. They are also introduced to the concept of the four cardinal directions.

 

Lesson 24: Making Wind Tools

Big Idea: Air plays a role in the weather. Wind is a moving flow of air.

The children discuss how people use various tools to learn about the wind. They make tools that can measure wind strength and speed.

 

Lesson 25: Measuring Wind

Big Idea: Air plays a role in the weather. Wind is a moving flow of air.

Children sense and measure wind speed, strength, and direction using the tools they made in the previous lesson. They learn several different categories of wind speed.

 

Lesson 26 -- 28: Discovering Weather Patterns: March -- May

Big Idea: We notice weather patterns by observing, measuring, and graphing weather over time.

Children record and analyze the daily weather observations compiled from each monthís class weather calendar.

 

Lesson 29: Discovering Weather Patterns for the Year

Big Idea: We notice weather patterns by observing, measuring, and graphing weather over time.

Children compile their weather data and reflect on overall patterns over the months and seasons.

 

Skill Building Activity 1: Using a Compass

Big Idea: A compass can be used to find north and other directions.

This skill building activity teaches children how to read a compass to find north, and from there to determine the other cardinal directions.

 

Skill Building Activity 2: Reading Number Scales on Thermometers

Big Idea: Number scales give precise temperature measurements.

Children become familiar with the numbers and marks on their thermometers. They relate the color scale to numbers on the number scale, and then practice reading just the number scale. Teach this skill building activity to individual children as they are ready, or to the whole class.

 

Skill Building Activity 3: Using Magnifiers

Big Idea: A magnifying lens makes things look larger than they really are. You can use a magnifying lens to examine objects closely and to see details that you might not see without it.

Children learn how to use a magnifying lens, like the ones supplied in the Science Companion kit. There is also an extension in which children learn how to use a jewelerís loupe.