Seasonal Weather - An Introduction
Lesson 2 of 10
Objective: SWBAT use new vocabulary words as they write (pre-assessment) about what they know about the seasons in their location.
I teach this lesson at the very start of the year, so before I begin the actual vocabulary lesson itself, I explain to students that this will be part of our routine. When we start a new unit, and often in the lessons throughout the unit, I will introduce key vocabulary prior to the lesson itself. Usually this will take about 10 minutes but since I teach this during the first week of school I double the time because I'm teaching the routine as well as the content. The time spent teaching the routine from day one will pay off in efficiency later!
Note to the teacher: I will use stars (*) to denote more advanced questions that I might ask my gifted students.
Teaching the Vocabulary Routine:
I write the vocabulary words on the board and chunk them into syllables. I also mark them phonetically, as I have English Language Learners in my classroom.
Note: I have had good experiences with the Spalding system of marking phonograms. I received 80 hours of training in this method early on in my teaching career and believe it is effective but if you are unfamiliar with it and you want to mark sounds in words, this might be a more helpful resource. When teaching ELL students, it's important that basic language skills are taught in ALL subject areas, not just ELA.
We read the words together, first by sounds and syllables, and then as a whole. I briefly introduce/review the idea of nouns that are concepts, not just "people, places, or things."
Then I give them the definition in my own words and ask them to repeat some of it to a neighbor. I give them a model sentence and then have them create a sentence of their own. I will add more to this routine later but his is how I structure it at the start of the year.
Here are the words: Seasonal Weather Vocabulary Support.
I explain to students that we are starting a unit on weather. Our very first science activity will be some simple data collection, starting today, about our daily weather. Prior to starting to take those measurements, they will be writing a paragraph to answer this question:
"Describe the summer weather in (your city) or (your state). Explain it as if you were sending an email to someone who lived (very far away). Include as many details as you can think of, including the temperature, the amount of precipitation (rain), cloud cover, wind, and humidity (is the air wet or dry)."
I use this as both writing pre-assessment and a science pre-assessment. I give them about 20 minutes for this because at the start of the year, these are really 2nd graders. They don’t have a lot of stamina! When I see that they have done what they can (and this is harder to gauge, as it's the first day or so of school, but I still differentiate), I do let them draw a picture, related to what they wrote.
I project Weather Chart on our whiteboard and we decide as a class what times we will record the temperatures. I show them these graphs (Summer Day in 5 Locations) so they can see that we need to choose an early morning time, an evening time, and a time during the school day if they want to gather evidence of temperature change throughout the day. Here is some more information about what I might discuss with students as we look at these graphs: Starting the Discussion About Weather.
We fill out the weather chart together for yesterday's weather, which I project so they can all see it. We record this morning's temperature and might record the current temperature as well, depending on what time we decide will be our daily school check on the outside temperature. For homework, I ask them to either look at a thermometer (if they have one) or look up the current temperature online. Many of them might need to use a parent's phone for this and some of them won't be able to do it. For those students, I ask them to make a guess. Tomorrow, I'll provide the information for students who don't have it.
I close the lesson by asking any students if they'd like to share what they wrote about summer weather with their classmates. Even on the first day of school, there are usually a few students who want to share. I model active listening, and making specific, positive comments, such as, "I enjoyed how you mentioned the way it smells different after it rains."
I remind them that tomorrow morning at the start of the day we'll record our a.m. temperature.