With summer just around the corner, it’s time to put up the rain gear and pull out your swimming suits. In case you missed it, here’s a lesson plan developed by Sandra Andrews and Linda Gann to help your younger students understand the changes the seasons bring. And be sure to take advantage of our reviews, written by librarians for librarians, to find just the right weather-related titles for your collection.
The editors at School Library Connection/reVIEWS+ recommend the following print and digital resources for integration with this lesson. Subscribers can access the print reviews via the hyperlinks.
- Animal Migrations. Scholastic, 2015.
- Boothroyd, Jenny. How Does Weather Change? Lerner Publications, 2014.
- Brennan, Linda Crotta. Tell Me Why Leaves Change Color. Cherry Lake Publishing, 2014.
- Cox-Cannons, Helen. Thunder & Lightning. Heinemann Library, 2015.
- Series Title: Weather Wise
- DePrisco, Dorothea. Smithsonian Discover: Earth. Baker & Taylor, 2015.
- Ghigna, Charles. Hail to Spring! Capstone Press, 2015.
- Series Title: Springtime Weather
- Kostigen, Thomas M. Extreme Weather: Surviving Tornadoes, Hailstorms, Blizzards, Hurricanes, and More! National Geographic Kids, 2014.
- Kudlinski, Kathleen V. Boy Were We Wrong about the Weather. Dial Press, 2016.
- Rustad, Martha E. H. Droughts: Be Aware & Prepare. A+ Books, 2014.
- Series Title: Weather Aware
- Sidman, Joyce. Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.
- What Is Weather Forecasting? Britannica Educational Publishing, 2015.
- Series Title: Let’s Find Out: Weather
- Encyclopedia and other appropriate reference sources
- National Centers for Environmental Information. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/ncdc.html (Note: The Weather/Climate Events page provides searchable data.)
- CRONOS REVIEW. State Climate Office of North Carolina. http://www.nc-climate.ncsu.edu/cronos (Note: Other states and regions have local databases for weather information.)
Information Literacy/Inquiry Objectives:
AASL’s Standards for the 21st-Century Learner:
Follow an inquiry-based process in seeking knowledge in curricular subjects and make the real-world connection for using this process in own life (1.1.1).
Develop and refine a range of questions to frame the search for new understanding (1.1.3).
Read, view, and listen for information presented in any format in order to make inferences and gather meaning (1.1.6).
Organize knowledge so that it is useful (2.1.2).
Use strategies to draw conclusions from information and apply knowledge to curricular areas, real-world situations, and further investigations (2.1.3)
Dispositions in Action
Demonstrate confidence and self-direction by making independent choices in the selection of resources and information (1.2.2).
Display emotional resilience by persisting in information searching despite challenges (1.2.6).
Demonstrate personal productivity by completing products to express learning (2.2.4).
Contribute to the exchange of ideas within the learning community (1.3.4).
Connect understanding to the real world (2.3.1).
Monitor own information-seeking processes for effectiveness and progress, and adapt as necessary (1.4.1).
Curriculum Objectives: Students will:
Conduct investigations and use appropriate tools to build an understanding of the changes in weather.
Observe and record weather changes over time and relate them to time of day and time of year.
Grade Level: 2
Work on science units offers the classroom teacher and the school librarian an opportunity to engage in inquiry-based learning. Studying the weather allows students to engage in observations and research. The classroom teacher is responsible for introducing weather vocabulary, concepts, and tools. The teacher facilitates collection of weather-related data by students. The school librarian works with the teacher to engage students in developing the KWL chart on weather and directs the students in accessing and using a variety of resources in the school library.
Procedures for Completion:
The classroom teacher instructs students in the use of weather tools (thermometer, wind vane, anemometer, and rain gauge). Students observe weather changes and record data for two weeks during three different times of day (morning, noon, and mid-afternoon). Students observe rainfall, wind, clouds, and temperature.
The school librarian introduces search strategies for weather-related resources in print, nonprint, and digital formats and demonstrates use of weather databases. The school librarian provides weather data from a variety of seasons to allow for comparison of student-collected data to changes throughout the year. The school librarian also helps students construct a KWL chart using their weather observations to complete the “What do I know?” part of the chart. Students generate questions based on their data in the K column to complete the “What do I want to know?” column. Questions might include:
How do cloudy skies affect the temperature?
Are clouds affected by the wind?
Does it always rain when there are clouds?
Students use a variety of resources to discover answers to their questions. Students create illustrated charts of the differences in weather during each of the four seasons. Illustrations should show appropriate clothing for the weather, seasonal activities, and accurate representation of the outdoors. Their charts should include descriptions of temperature, precipitation, and wind. Students will cite their sources on their charts using a simplified citation.
Both the teacher and the school librarian will focus on process and content in assessing student work. Students individually will complete the “What did I learn?” column on KWL charts (see below). Students will present their charts to the class comparing the differences in weather data among seasons. The class will complete a final KWL chart at the end of the presentations.
An “Everyday Weather” chart, as illustrated in the chart below, serves as both a guideline for creating student charts and a tool for formative and summative assessment. The chart allows students to be self-directed during the research process. The illustrated charts (see below) will include the same elements.
This type of authentic learning experience allows for thematic learning beyond just the science area. The class can connect to social studies by exploring famous weather-related events in history. The teacher and school librarian can make connections in language arts through creative writing, sharing weather-related poetry, and reading fictional accounts of weather events.