World Weather Watchers: A Multi-Class Collaborative Weather Exchange--An ePals Project

What makes weather vary from place to place? Find out by virtually travelling to the classrooms of other ePals! Start by finding the perfect location for a virtual group picnic by mapping atmospheric pressure around participating classroom communities. Then, each class will take a turn hosting the project for a week. When it’s your turn to host, you collect and report local weather data and lead the forum discussions. After each classroom has hosted the project for a week, students from all participating classes work together to create a kids weather watcher guide.

 

Project Notes: Ideal for 3 classroom collaboration (classrooms from different global locations).

 

5 week project.


Subjects: Science



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Result

 

What makes weather vary from place to place? Find out by virtually travelling to the classrooms of other ePals! Start by finding the perfect location for a virtual group picnic by mapping atmospheric pressure around participating classroom communities. Then, each class will take a turn hosting the project for a week. When it’s your turn to host, you collect and report local weather data and lead the forum discussions. After each classroom has hosted the project for a week, students from all participating classes work together to create a kids weather watcher guide.

 

Project Notes: Ideal for 3 classroom collaboration (classrooms from different global locations).

 

5 week project.

1. Students will understand that weather is the minute-by-minute to day-by-day variation of the atmosphere’s condition on a local scale.

2. Students will learn that weather conditions are measurable. They will participate in measuring wind, temperature and precipitation and reporting their data to other classrooms.

3. Students will read weather-related articles and multiple online sources to learn about the causes and types of weather.

4. Students will use online resources to identify and learn about daily weather conditions in their ePals locations.

5. Students will synthesize information from multiple online and print sources to explain how weather is predicted.

6. Students will work together to create a kids weather watcher guide, cooperatively determining and creating the contents.

7. Students will utilize web 2.0 social media tools to communicate weather data and engage in thoughtful, cooperative online discussions about weather.

8. Students will build a relationship with other students in another part of the world using 21st century tools.

 

Standards:

Framework for L-12 Science Education: Earth’s Systems: ESS2:D: Weather and Climate

Grade Band Endpoints for ESS2.D

By the end of grade 2. Weather is the combination of sunlight, wind, snow or rain, and temperature in a particular region at a particular time. People measure these conditions to describe and record the weather and to notice patterns over time.

 

By the end of grade 5. Weather is the minute-by-minute to day-by-day variation of the atmosphere’s condition on a local scale. Scientists record the patterns of the weather across different times and areas so that they can make predictions about what kind of weather might happen next. Climate describes the ranges of an area’s typical weather conditions and the extent to which those conditions vary over years to centuries.

 

National Science Education Standards

Science as Inquiry

K-4 Content Standard C: Life Science

K-4 Content Standard D: Earth and Space Science

5-8 Content Standard C: Life Science

5-8 Content Standard D: Earth and Space Science


Investigation and Experimentation

1. Formulate predictions and justify predictions based on cause and effect relationships.


Earth and Space Science

1. Water moves in the air from one place to another in the form of clouds or fog, which are tiny droplets of water or ice, and falls to the Earth as rain, hail, sleet, or snow.

2. How to use weather maps and weather forecasts to predict local weather, and that prediction depends on many changing variables.

3. Differences in pressure, heat, air movement and humidity result in changes of weather.

 

Common Core ELA Standards

World Weather Watchers meets up to 11 Common Core ELA Standards. View the World Weather Watchers Common Core Alignment Document to see the standards by grade.

What is a kid’s weather watcher guide? The students decide! Students decide what should be included in the guide and then work together to create its parts! What could be inside? Perhaps a photo journal of different weather vocabulary or a list of weather career choices. Maybe a list of great online weather resources, directions for weather experiments for kids or “how-to” pages about weather forecasting or measuring the weather.

 

Culminating Activity

1. Clearly explain to students that their mission is to create a kids weather watcher guide.

2. Have students brainstorm ideas about what could be included in the guide and then post ideas on the culminating activity forum for other classes to see and comment on.

3. After checking out all the possibilities, classrooms should choose what parts of the guide they would like to work on.

4. Share on the forum what portions of the guide your classroom will complete.

5. Students write to complete their portion of the guide, keeping a list of any sources they use.

6. Use the project gallery to upload your pages for the final guide and get feedback from other classrooms to guide your revisions.

7. Use the ePals Culminating Activity Rubric to help evaluate student work.

8. The hosting teacher should combine the three class guides into one guide and post in the Science Learning Center Student Gallery.

Welcome to the World Weather Watchers Collaborative Exchange! Please start by introducing your class on the Welcome Forum. Share information about your class, the current season where you live and specific information about today’s weather!

 

Step 1 – Read and Discuss: Weather Watcher Forums

Check out the Weather Watcher Articles (on the project resource tab)! Invite students to choose at least two articles to read (either independently or read them together as class read-alouds). Then, check out some weather websites for kids (from our list of web resources, or one you find yourself). Finally, invite your students to participate in our weather watcher forums! Here are some ways they can participate:

a. What are the most important things you'’ve learned from your reading? Refer to at least two articles as you share information about what you read.

b. Post an opinion review of one Weather website in the Weather Resource Forum. Remember to support your opinion with reasons!

c. Post a personal weather story in the Weather Story forum.

d. Share a list of weather words (and their definitions) that you learned through your reading.

e. Respond to at least one posting in each forum by another student, with a thoughtful comment or question.

 

Step 2 – Picnic Time!

Through research on atmospheric pressure, participating classes are going to choose the best location for a virtual picnic. To answer the question, “What is atmospheric pressure and how does it affect weather?” share the National Geographic 1 minute Education Video: http://www.natgeoeducationvideo.com/film/1192/atmospheric-pressure. Then, read the article Great Day for A Picnic and complete the mapping task as a guided, whole-class activity. (You’ll need to make copies of the map on p. 29 ahead of time for students to use). You’ll want to make sure that students have a basic understanding of how atmospheric pressure acts as a predictor of weather. Tell students that a center of high pressure means air is sinking which usually means calm, sunny weather, while in a center of low pressure air is rising, and this can mean storminess. Most fronts extend from low-pressure centers. On the day established to be your “virtual picnic day”…... •

 

Step 3: Virtual Visits

Now, it’s time for each classroom to take the role of project “host” for a week! Teachers need to determine the hosting order. Be sure to prepare your Location Presentation before it’s your turn to host. (See required presentation content below.)

 

Host class responsibilities: •

  • Day one: Location Presentation (upload to project gallery): Share a digital report on your location that includes a map and written information about your latitude, local/regional geography and altitude. (We include these things because they all impact your weather!) You should also share what climate zone you are located in (find out using a resource such as:http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/climate.htm) and any other information that you think would help the other classrooms understand more about your location and weather. Consider using an online presentation tool like Prezi (prezi.com) or Sliderocket (sliderocket.com) and have your students help write and design the contents for the presentation. Be sure to list any sources you used at the end of your presentation. •
  • Day one and throughout week: Class Discussion Forum: Choose an article from the ePals Digital Weather Library for all the classes to read this week, or a website for all the classes to explore. Announce your decision on the Class Discussion Forum. Your class is responsible for monitoring the forum discussion on this article and posting questions to keep the conversation going! •
  • Daily: Weather Reporting Wiki: Every day of your hosting week, you need to post a weather report in the weather reporting wiki. Open the wiki, list the date, and then report your weather using measurements taken by the students (wind speed, temperature, precipitation) --- and, if possible, post a picture, video or live webcam for other classes to view. Wind speed should be measured and reported using Beaufort’s Scale which you can view in Admiral Beaufort Scales the Gale.

 

Non-host class responsibilities: •

  • Daily – In class Discussion: o Make predictions about the host class’ weather (in relation to your own) based on what you know about their location (latitude, local/regional geography and altitude) – will it be hotter? Colder? Wetter? Drier? Remember, they may be in a different season! (Do you get better at predicting as the week goes on?) o Participate in the article discussion forum being led by the host classroom. •
  • End of Week - Review the climate zone of the host classroom and consider if their week of weather fits with their typical “climate.” View/Print a PDF of the complete instructional plan including Common Core Connections.

 

View/Print a  PDF of the complete instructional plan including Common Core Connections.

Week 1: Step One & Step Two: Weather Forums and Picnic Time!
Weeks 2-4: Step Three: Virtual Visits (Each classroom hosts for 1 week)
Week 5: Step Four: Culminating Activity

Project Leader:

Country:
Subjects: Science

# of Students: 21-30
Age Range: 8-10
Collaboration: Email Exchange, Skype / Video Chat
Languages: English

About my classroom: BF Yancey is a small, rural elementary school of approximately 150 students in grades pre-Kindergarten through Fifth, located in central Virginia, USA. We are interested in communicating with other students from as many countries as possible regarding your school lunch experience. Do students eat in a cafeteria or common space? What foods are eaten for lunch at school where you live? Is the lunchtime meal prepared by the school or do students bring their own food from home? Are the meals sourced from local farmers and providers? What are the components of your favorite school lunch? We are especially interested in collecting photos of school lunches from around the world! Currently, we prefer to correspond by email and Skype, and to write at least 2x per month. We look forward to meeting you and learning about the food culture of your area.