Lesson 5 of 8
Objective: Students explore the idea that temperature effects weather by recording temperatures in different places around the school.
I ask students to sit at their seats to begin a new lesson in our weather unit about temperature.
At the table in the front of the room, I have a box of thermometers. I explain to the students that we are going to each get a thermometer to use during this lesson. I recite the rules of using a science tools to remind students that the thermometers are tools and not toys.
I explain that we will be going around the school measuring different temperatures so that we can compare them when we analyze the data.
My class has already spent a significant amount of time measuring different temperatures in our math measurement unit. In this lesson, I am having them make the connection to temperatures being higher in the summer or on hot days and lower in the winter or on cold days.
I take the class to a few preselected spots around the school.
- playground in open sunlight
- under the tall Ponderosa Pines in a great deal of shade
- to the Health room where the air condition is on
- to the warmest room in the school
In each of these places, I tell the students to, "sit for a few minutes with the thermometers on the ground." While students are waiting I say, " make a prediction about what will happen to the temperature after 3 minutes."
After a few minutes, we check the temperature and talk about whether it is a high temperature or a low temperature.
I ask the students why they think the temperature is what it is and we also discuss the reasons that our temperatures are high or low. It could be that we are in the sun and the sun is hot. It could be that the air conditioning is cold making our temp lower. Asking the students "why questions" helps them to practice their explanation skills.
When we are done measuring a few temps around school I tell the students, "its time to go back to our classroom and work in our science journals."
I have provided a sheet with a few different weather types pictured. If you have access to a color printer, that is best since I used Microsoft Clip Art and they are photos rather than black and white pictures.
I ask students to think about what types of weather are caused by high and low temperatures. I tell them to, "make a T-chart in their notebook labeled high and low. Then glue the picture in the column that represents that temperature that causes that type of weather."
After I see that they are done, we have a group discussion about each type of weather and what temperatures cause them. This is a great time for a student led discussion where they can use their prior knowledge and observations from the investigation to talk with each other about the temperatures.
I remind students to support their claims with evidence.