The weather is something we sometimes take for granted, yet affects us every day of our lives. A good understanding of the weather is necessary for many cultures and careers. This unit study uses an across-the-curriculum approach to help make the study and understanding of weather fun and enjoyable.
2. Find out what kind of equipment is used by a meteorologist. Then, find out how they interpret the data and how accurate the predictions usually are.
3. For one week, keep a record of a television or newspaper's daily weather forecast (you may also use a weather service over the internet). Make a chart that compares the weather forecast to actual weather conditions.
4. Math: After doing activity #3, figure the percentage of accuracy.
5. Thinking Skills: Make a weather safety checklist for your geographic area. Would this list be the same for everyone? Or, would different areas have different weather safety concerns?
6. Find out ways in which scientists and others have tried to change the weather. What are some of the reasons why we would want to change it?
7. Keep a chart for one month that shows how weather affects your daily activities. How often did you change your plans because of the weather?
8. Creativity: Make a game about weather. You can make a card or board game, a word game, or an active game. Share your game with others.
9. Become a cloud watcher. Each day for a week, record the types of clouds you see. Find out what type of weather is common with each type of cloud. Make notes about the weather and try to predict how the weather may change based on the clouds you see.
10. Planning Skills: Find out about weather-related emergencies that your community might face, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, or flash floods. Learn what types of safety measures you should be prepared to take. Develop a family plan.
11. Make your own weather station. Measure wind speed and direction, rainfall or snowfall, barometric pressure, humidity, and temperature. You can find directions for building simple weather tools in books on weather at your local library.
12. Take pictures of clouds.
13. Math and Scientific Method: Use any of your charts that you created when you watched the weather (activities #3, 7, or 9) and convert it to a bar or line graph.
14. Geography: Follow a storm or weather front on a map. Try and use the same symbols that weather forecasters use.
15. Social Studies & Geography: How does the weather affect different areas of the country? Of the world?
16. What is a drought? How is a desert created? Was a desert always a desert or did it support green vegetation at one time? What goes in to creating a desert? Is the weather the only thing that affects whether a desert is created?
17. Vocabulary: Define and use the following words in sentences -- drought, el nino, la nina, cyclone, hurricane, weather, barometer, weather vane, weather front, thermometer, rain gauge, anemometer, humidity.
National Geographic has several good videos out on weather and weather-related subjects. Check your local library for availability. Don't forget to see if you can obtain any through inter-library loan if your library does not carry them.