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    Welcome to Teaching About Weather Lesson Plans, many of which are Newspapers in Education activity sheets for your newspaper's Weather Page. 

     This newspaper unit can be an integral part of your weather unit, complementing it and supplementing it with real-life and up-to-date information.  Using the newspaper also gives students relevancy and expands life-long skills: reading the newspaper and understanding how weather works.  We hope you will view the newspaper as an additional  resource – a textbook in itself - and that these lessons will confirm the advantage of using the newspaper as a teaching tool.

     These lessons begin with very basic activities as they lead students step-by-step through the gathering of weather facts from the newspaper.  They are especially good for students who have never used the Newspaper in Education before or those who have not been exposed to discovering the facts for themselves from primary resources.  Some of the lessons have suggested laboratory activities.  You may pick and choose which activities you want to use as they fit your curricular requirements.  You may also want to adapt some of them to the special needs of your program or classes. 

weathercd.jpg

The following lesson files are on the CD
 

Airport Weather Delays

Collage of Weather Events

Collecting Weather Data

Graphing Temps: 2 levels

Seasons: Early Childhood

Seasons Game

Sever Weather Events

Temperature Conversions Bulletin Board

The Forecast

US Weather

Weather Books

Weather: Early Childhood Almanac

Weather Forecast for Advanced Students

Weather in the Almanac

Weather Last Week

Weather Watch #1

Weather Watch #2

World Weather

Writing Weather Poems

 

Management Files

Book-making

CD label

Cover

General Weather Resources

Introduction

Resources

Year Planning

 

Get a free sample!  Choose any lesson you would like to see from those listed and go to the Free Lesson! link and request it.   I’ll send it to you in an email attachment.

The ‘right” answers.  We hope that you will try these activities yourself before handing them out to the students.  Most of them use the current day’s newspaper for the activity.  This, by definition, sets up a problem: there usually cannot be an answer key made out in advance.  You will have to make an answer key that fits the specific date of the newspaper you are using.  However, many of the lessons will not need an answer key as students learn by working through the activity, either by working independently, or in groups.

 

“Correct” answers??   Sometimes students have choices, in which case, teachers can have group members or peers check for the right or acceptable answers.  There may not be just one “correct” answer, especially when asked about their personal experiences or opinions.  You can spotcheck students’ work as you move about the classroom. As students search the Weather Page themselves for the answers to the questions or for the information to prepare the charts or graph,  you become a resource person -- an orchestrator of activities -- rather than the main distributor of information.  Your main job will be to help students with the skills to do the activities; for example, figuring averages, setting up graphs, writing in complete sentences.

 

Although the lessons start out simply and with the basics (see  Weather Watch #1 and #2), they move on to more advanced topics, building up student skills, little by little, until the culminating project is an independent study and analysis of students’ choice of weather variables (“Collecting Weather Data”).

 

Interdisciplinary.  Although written for the science classroom, many of these activities integrate with other content areas, especially English (writing), Math, Reading, and Social Studies (geography).  For example, some of the vocabulary words’ Greek roots are given to you to share with students.  Students need to locate US and world cities on maps.  Creative writing (stories and poems) are included as well as the writing about facts.  We would hope, too, that other teachers might share your newspapers to use them for lessons of their own so that students get the benefit of seeing how the newspaper can be an important resource in all classes.

 

Proficiency skills.  These lessons will tie your curriculum to your state Testing Outcomes.  The extensive use of charts, diagrams and maps in this unit will allow your students to easily read and interpret those kinds of questions that are on those tests.  Your students will have had a lot of preparation for the test, but in context of a curriculuar unit: weather.  Figure 2 lists the Ohio  Proficiency Test Outcomes for each lesson.

 

Discussion of Outcomes. The weather activities prepares students for the state tests by asking for more than the Outcome skills.  For example, the test asks students to read maps, diagrams, charts and graphs. The Weather Guide lessons ask that students create the charts and graphs and research the diagrams and maps.  The application and usage of the skills in real-life situations serve to help attain true mastery.

 

Other abilities, not listed on the Proficiency Outcome list, are still important as life-long skills.  The ability to draw and label a diagram, to brainstorm ideas and solutions, to identify abbreviations, to survey others to learn about their experiences, to observe natural phenomena carefully, to anticipate future needs, to skim a reading selection, to choose sample items, to empathize with people in danger (e.g., experiencing weather disasters), to work cooperatively with others, to organize pages back-to-back to make a  book, to enjoy the beauty of a sunset or a thunderstorm – these, too, are valuable learnings.

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