How Can You Predict the Weather?

         How do we predict the weather? What data would help us determine weather patterns in the future? Students in this unit create weather tools to collect and record data in tables and graphical displays in order to describe and to predict typical weather conditions expected during a particular season. In the Design Challenge students create out of upcycled materials a classroom wall map with weather symbols and record a video weather report/prediction based on their current weather observations.

Educational Outcomes:

  • Students will organize data and use graphical displays (e.g., table, chart, graph) to organize the given data by season using tables, pictographs, and/or bar charts, including:
  • Weather condition data from the same area across multiple seasons (e.g., average temperature, precipitation, wind direction).
  • Weather condition data from different areas (e.g., hometown and nonlocal areas, such as a town in another state)
  •  Students will identify relationships and describe patterns of weather conditions across:
    • Different seasons (e.g., cold and dry in the winter, hot and wet in the summer; more or less wind in a particular season).
    • Different areas (e.g., certain areas (defined by location, such as a town in the Pacific Northwest), have high precipitation, while a different area (based on location or type, such as a town in the Southwest) have very little precipitation).Students will use patterns of weather conditions in different seasons and different areas to predict:
      • The typical weather conditions expected during a particular season (e.g., “In our town in the summer it is typically hot, as indicated on a bar graph over time, while in the winter it is typically cold; therefore, the prediction is that next summer it will be hot and next winter it will be cold.”).
      • The typical weather conditions expected during a particular season in different areas.

 

STEAM INTEGRATION

In the Empathy phase of Lesson 1, students discuss the importance of weather prediction to identify relationships and describe patterns of weather conditions (CCSS. MATH.CONTENT.MP.2. ) . In the Define phase of Lesson 2 students create weather tools from upcycled materials to gather and report data (CCSS. MATH.CONTENT.MP.2.). In Lesson 3 student teams use upcycled materials to create pictographs and bar graphs to illustrate data from an outside source and data from their own weather tools made in Lesson 1 ( 3-ESS2-1, and CCSS. MATH.CONTENT.3.MD.B.3.) . After watching a video of weather conditions and typical symbols in the Define phase of Lesson 4, students create a classroom set of weather symbols and a chart to record daily weather patterns ( 3-ESS2-1, CCSS. MATH.CONTENT.MP.2., CCSS. MATH.CONTENT.MP.4.). In the final Lesson 5 Design Challenge (Ideate, Prototype, and Test phases), student teams create a wall map with weather symbols for their classroom ( 3-ESS2-1, CCSS. MATH.CONTENT.MP.2., CCSS. MATH.CONTENT.MP.4.). and then video record themselves presenting a weather report in front of the wall map and predicting the current weather conditions.

 


 

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Unit Materials

UNIT OVERVIEW MATERIALS

Building Materials:

RAFT Makerspace-in-a-box         -or-

    • Materials (e.g., fabric samples, dust covers, foam pieces, deli containers, cardboard tubes, scraps, posters, shower caps, scrap materials, cards, scissors, wooden stir sticks, straws, spoons, pipettes, toothpicks, large balloons, wide mouth glass jars, heavy stock paper, thermometers, protractors, compasses, rulers, timer, fans, etc.)

Connecting Materials:

    • Various adhesives, connectors, and fasteners (e.g., paperclips, binder clips, thread, yarn, adhesive foam pads, tape, glue, labels & stickers, rubber bands, etc.)

RAFT Makerspace Journal Pages (Optional: a binder for each student to keep their Makerspace Journal pages in).

Videos:

Design Thinking Overview

Our design thinking units have five phases based on the d.school’s model. Each phase can be repeated to allow students to re-work and iterate while developing deeper understanding of the core concepts. These are the five phases of the design thinking model:

EMPATHIZE: Work to fully understand the experience of the user for whom you are designing.  Do this through observation, interaction, and immersing yourself in their experiences.

DEFINE: Process and synthesize the findings from your empathy work in order to form a user point of view that you will address with your design.

IDEATE: Explore a wide variety of possible solutions through generating a large quantity of diverse possible solutions, allowing you to step beyond the obvious and explore a range of ideas.

PROTOTYPE: Transform your ideas into a physical form so that you can experience and interact with them and, in the process, learn and develop more empathy.

TEST: Try out high-resolution products and use observations and feedback to refine prototypes, learn more about the user, and refine your original point of view.

The Design Thinking Process | ReDesigning Theater. (n.d.). Retrieved April 2, 2016, from http://dschool.stanford.edu/redesigningtheater/the-design-thinking-process/

          Why Do We Predict the Weather?

Why is it important to know ahead of time what the weather will be?  In this lesson, students investigate reasons for needing to know about weather ahead of time by identifying different types of weather relationships and patterns, and how knowing about them helps us.

Essential Questions:

  • Why do we predict the weather?
  • What is the difference between weather and climate?
  • What are the 6 elements of weather?
  • Why is it helpful to know about the weather?

LESSON PROCEDURE:

  • Students watch a video:  How Do We Predict The Weather?
  • If possible:  visit a local weather station. 
  • Explain the 6 elements of weather:  air temperature, air pressure, clouds & fog, humidity, precipitation, and wind
  • Ask all essential questions.
  • Students give examples and discuss their answers, and record information in their Maker Journals.
  • Watch another video that focuses more on how to report the weather:  How we report the weather
  • Ask students to share what they learned today about why we predict and report the weather.

Student Directions (Click + to open)

Sample teacher and student dialog: The following is a sample dialog between the teacher and the students in this lesson.

(Note:  T stands for teacher, and S stands for student, with additional advice in parenthesis)

T:What do you know about weather?”

S: “It’s hot/cold, rainy, snowy, sometimes it’s super dry, we have storms, it can get foggy by the ocean…”

T:We’re going to think about 6 elements of weather; air temperature, air pressure, clouds & fog, humidity, precipitation, and wind.  What is air temperature?”

S:How hot or cold it is outside.”

T: “What do you think air pressure is?”

S: “The weight of the air pushing down on earth, it can be low/high, barometric pressure.” (students may need some help with this concept in particular.)

T: “Clouds and fog, humidity, and precipitation all have to do with water.  What’s the difference?”

S: “We can see clouds, and fog is low to the ground.  Humidity is water vapor in the air.  Precipitation is falling water like rain or snow.”

T: “Let’s take a look at some videos to learn more.”  How Do We Predict The Weather?How we report the weather

T: “Why do we predict and report the weather?” (Pass out MakerJournal Page) “Record your ideas in your maker journal.”


Concept Quick Reference (Click + to open)

A great kid-friendly site on weather words:    WORDS

The 6 Elements of Weather:

  • Air Temperature —  The measurement of how hot or cold something is.
  • Air Pressure — The weight of air pressing down on earth. Air pressure can change from place to place, and this causes air to move, flowing from areas of high pressure toward areas of low pressure. It’s the same as barometric pressure.
  • Clouds and Fog — Clouds are a visible collection of tiny water droplets or, at colder temperatures, ice crystals floating in the air above the surface. Clouds come in many different sizes and shapes. Clouds can form at ground level, which is fog, at great heights in the atmosphere, and everywhere in between. Clouds offer important clues to understanding and forecasting the weather. Fog is a cloud on the ground that reduces visibility.
  • Humidity — The amount of water vapor in the air.
  • Precipitation (rain, snow, and hail) — General name for water in any form falling from clouds. This includes rain, drizzle, hail, snow and sleet. Although, dew, frost and fog are not considered to be precipitation
  • Wind — The movement of air relative to the surface of the earth.  It is considered to be severe if at 58 m.p.h. or greater. Hurricane winds are 74 m.p.h. or greater and the highest tornado winds are about 318 m.p.h.

Weather vs. Climate:  There is often confusion between weather and climate:  Weather is the condition of the atmosphere at a particular place over a short period of time, whereas climate refers to the weather pattern(statistics) of a place over a long period , long enough to yield meaningful averages.

Weather Prediction Importance: Weather warnings are important forecasts because they are used to protect life and property. Forecasts based on temperature and precipitation are important to agriculture, and therefore to traders within commodity markets. Temperature forecasts are used by utility companies to estimate demand over coming days. On an everyday basis, people use weather forecasts to determine what to wear on a given day. Since outdoor activities are severely curtailed by heavy rain, snow and wind chill, forecasts can be used to plan activities around these events, and to plan ahead and survive them. In 2014, the US spent $5.1 billion on weather forecasting

Lesson Materials

Building Materials:

RAFT Makerspace-in-a-box         -or-

  • Materials (e.g., fabric samples, dust covers, foam pieces, deli containers, cardboard tubes, scraps, posters, shower caps, scrap materials, cards, scissors, wooden stir sticks, straws, spoons, pipettes, toothpicks, large balloons, wide mouth glass jars, heavy stock paper, thermometers, protractors, compasses, rulers, timer, fans, etc.)

Connecting Materials:

  • Various adhesives, connectors, and fasteners (e.g., paperclips, binder clips, thread, yarn, adhesive foam pads, tape, glue, labels & stickers, rubber bands, etc.)

Optional: a binder for each student to keep their Makerspace Journal pages in.

 

 

External Resources

Video:  How Do We Predict The Weather?

Video:  Weather and Climate

A great kid-friendly site on weather words: Weather Words

Maker Journal Pages

Teacher Notes

Always preview videos ahead of showing to the class.  If possible, visit a local weather station, or have an expert in the field visit your class. Suggestion: Different student teams explore one of the 6 elements of weather and then report findings to an audience. 

Active Classroom

Communication is critical in the design process. Students need to be allowed to talk, stand, and move around to acquire materials. Tips for success in an active classroom environment:

1 –  Students can access any wall, board, or surface to gather and explore ideas — students personalize the working space to meet their needs.

2 – Students have regular opportunities to make choices, including choices about what they learn and how they learn it.

3 –Encourage students to learn and to demonstrate what they’ve learned in ways that best suit their individual learning styles.

4 – It is not a free-for-all!  Amount of prep and planning is evidenced by quality of student work and level of students’ engagement. All is carefully thought out in advance.

5 – Practice and predict clean-up strategies before beginning the activity. Ask students to offer suggestions for ensuring that they will leave a clean and useable space for the next activity. Students may enjoy creating very specific clean-up roles. Once these are established, the same student-owned strategies can be used every time hands-on learning occurs.

Learning Targets

Students will be able to:

  • Explain the importance of weather prediction and why knowing ahead about the weather is helpful.
  • Explain why it is important to report the weather to people.

Assessment

Student Self Assessment

Student teams review their reasons for why it is important to care about the weather; to predict and to report about the weather.

Peer Assessment

Student teams discuss and compare their findings and share different viewpoints. Students should compare their drawings and give explainations about why it is useful to predict and to report the weather.

Teacher Assessment

Review student makerspace journal pages for formative assessment and discuss with individuals as they work.

Conduct a whole group discussion to allow all students to share, discuss and compare their findings around different reasons why it is important to know about the weather.

Lesson Overview

          How Can We Measure the Weather?

In this lesson, student teams investigate different types of seasonal weather and then create weather tools out of upcycled materials to help predict weather patterns. 

Essential Questions:

  • What types of weather do we have in the summer? Winter? Spring? Fall?
  • How could you measure the weather? (e.g., wind, rain, temperature, etc.)
  • What is a weather instrument and what does it do?

LESSON PROCEDURE:

  • Ask all essential questions, and then show the video to the class and discuss different types of instruments that are used to capture specific information about the weather. Show an example of each of the following:
    • Anemometer — Point out that it is a stick with a rotating x on the top. At the tips of the x are little cups that catch moving air. When the air moves a lot, the cups spin the x around quickly. Elicit from students that the instrument measures wind speed.
    • Barometer — Point out that it looks like a thermometer, but it moves up when the air is lighter and down when it is heavier. Elicit from students that the instrument measures air pressure.
    • Rain gauge — Point out that the tall cylinder is left out in the weather and fills with water (or snow). Elicit from students that the instrument measures the amount of rain or snow.
    • Thermometer — Point out that the long, thin tube is filled with mercury. Heat makes the mercury expand and it rises up the tube. Elicit from students that the instrument measures hot and cold temperatures.
    • Weather Vane — Point out that the weather vane dials move with the wind and measures the wind’s direction.
  • Discuss different ways each instrument is used to measure weather and how these measurements (data) help us predict the weather.
  • Determine which weather instruments to make depending on the current weather situation in your location.
  • Student teams choose which weather instrument to make along with appropriate materials: (e.g., wind vane, barometer, anemometer, or rain gauge).
  • Student teams explain how their weather tool works, where/when they intend to use them, over what period of time, and how it helps to predict a weather pattern.
  • Students record onto student Maker Journal pages (this may be extended over a period of several days or weeks).

Student Directions (Click + to open)

Sample teacher and student dialog: The following is a sample dialog between the teacher and the students in this lesson.

(Note:  T stands for teacher, and S stands for student, with additional advice in parenthesis)

Organize students into teams of 2 persons, and then assemble teams together for a whole group discussion. Show the Video.

T:What are some different weather instruments?”

S: “Weather vane, thermometer, rain gauge…”

T: “What would be useful to us thinking about our local weather?”

S: (Student answers will depend upon your location) “A thermometer so we know when it’s too hot/cold to plant in the garden”

T: Work with your team (groups of 3-5) to choose a weather instrument, and complete your maker journal page.”


Concept Quick Reference (Click + to open)

Anemometer:  An instrument to measure wind speed.

Barometer:  An instrument to measure air pressure.

Rain Gauge: An instrument used to measure the amount of precipitation in a certain amount of time.

Thermometer:  An instrument to measure temperature.

Wind Vane: An instrument to measure wind direction.

Lesson Materials

Building Materials:

RAFT Makerspace-in-a-box         -or-

Materials for one “Whimsical Wind Vane”:

  • Paper Cup, cone shaped ~120 ml (4 oz) size, with a ~6.4 mm (¼”) hole punched ~2.5 – 3 cm (1” to1.25”) from the tip
  • Paper Cup, cone shaped ~120 ml (4 oz) size
  • Straw, jumbo, a section ~10 cm (4”) long
  • Straw, wide, ~20 cm (8”) long, with a diameter larger than the jumbo straw
  • Washer, metal (M6) – [outer diameter ~12 mm, inner diameter ~6 mm]
  • Cup with a fitted lid which has a straw slit, ~360ml (12 oz) size works well
  • Foam washer, thin with center hole, ~ 2.5 cm (1”) in diameter & ~3.2 mm (1/8”) thick
  • Foam cylinder with center hole, ~ 6 cm (2 3/8”) in diameter
  • Optional: Weights (e.g., marbles, pebbles, or sand)
  • Optional: Crepe paper streamer
  • Optional: Adhesive label or tape
  • Optional: Googly eyes, adhesive
  • Marker

Materials for one barometer:

  • A small coffee can
  • Plastic wrap
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • One straw
  • One index card
  • One rubber band

Materials for one anemometer:

  • Four plastic cups of the same color, such as Dixie or Solo cups
  • One plastic cup of a different color
  • Two long strips of stiff cardboard
  • A pen
  • A pencil with an eraser on one end
  • A ruler
  • A stapler
  • A push pin
  • A watch with a second hand or timer
  • A small fan
  • A calculator

Materials for one rain gauge:

  • A cylinder shaped jar that is clear, such as an olive jar
  • A clear plastic ruler
  • A rubber band
  • A plastic funnel
  • Clear tape

Connecting Materials:

  • Various adhesives, connectors, and fasteners (e.g., paperclips, binder clips, thread, yarn, adhesive foam pads, tape, glue, labels & stickers, rubber bands, etc.)
  • Optional: a binder for each student to keep their Makerspace Journal pages in.

External Resources

Video: The Weather Instruments Song  

Video: Whimsical Wind Vane

For full instructions on how to make a barometer, an anemometer, or a rain gauge —> LINK

Maker Journal Pages

Teacher Notes

Always preview videos ahead of showing to the class.   Suggestion: different teams create a different type of weather instrument and then collect data over a period of two weeks and show results to the class.

Active Classroom

Communication is critical in the design process. Students need to be allowed to talk, stand, and move around to acquire materials. Tips for success in an active classroom environment:

1 –  Students can access any wall, board, or surface to gather and explore ideas — students personalize the working space to meet their needs.

2 – Students have regular opportunities to make choices, including choices about what they learn and how they learn it.

3 –Encourage students to learn and to demonstrate what they’ve learned in ways that best suit their individual learning styles.

4 – It is not a free-for-all!  Amount of prep and planning is evidenced by quality of student work and level of students’ engagement. All is carefully thought out in advance.

5 – Practice and predict clean-up strategies before beginning the activity. Ask students to offer suggestions for ensuring that they will leave a clean and useable space for the next activity. Students may enjoy creating very specific clean-up roles. Once these are established, the same student-owned strategies can be used every time hands-on learning occurs.

Learning Targets

Students will be able to:

  • Create weather tools from upcycled materials
  • Explain how to measure the weather.
  • Identify different types of seasonal weather patterns.

Assessment

Student Self Assessment

Student teams review their reasons for why it is important to care about the weather; to predict and to report about the weather.

Peer Assessment

Student teams discuss and compare their findings and share different viewpoints. Students should compare their drawings and give explainations about why it is useful to predict and to report the weather.

Teacher Assessment

Review student makerspace journal pages for formative assessment and discuss with individuals as they work.

Conduct a whole group discussion to allow all students to share, discuss and compare their findings around different reasons why it is important to know about the weather.

Lesson Overview

          How Do Pictographs and Bar Charts Help Us Show Weather Data?

In this lesson, student teams collect data from their weather instruments over a period of time and then use pictographs and bar graphs to communicate weather information.

Essential Questions:

  • Why is it important to collect data for more than one day?
  • What can you notice about the weather over a period of time? Does it change? How?
  • Can you use your weather measurements to predict about the weather?
  • How can we display weather data? (e.g., tables, charts, bar graphs, pictographs, etc.)

LESSON PROCEDURE:

  • Ask the students all the essential questions. Look for creative explanations, attention to detail, and encourage different points of view.
  • Go over how to read a pictograph and a bar graph (show videos if needed)
  • Pass out Maker Journal Pages.
  • Student teams use their weather tools to collect data about the weather and then record that data in pictographs and bar graphs (e.g, from an outside source such as the BloomSky app) including:
    • Weather condition data from the same area across multiple seasons (e.g., average temperature, precipitation, wind direction).
    • Weather condition data from different areas (e.g., hometown and nonlocal areas, such as a town in another state)
    •  (websiteBloomSky app)
  • Student teams collect data each day for a period of time and record information.
  • Students present their findings before an audience.

 

Student Directions (Click + to open)

Sample teacher and student dialog: The following is a sample dialog between the teacher and the students in this lesson.

(Note:  T stands for teacher, and S stands for student, with additional advice in parenthesis)

T: “Why would it be useful to record weather every day for many days in a row?”

S: “Because it changes.  To see how it’s different.  To notice patterns.”

T: “Something that can help us notice weather patterns is to record weather data in a graph.  That’s exactly what we will be practicing.  How can we gather that data?”

S: “Observations we made.  Researching.”

T: “Let’s practice researching using this website : BloomSky app take a look with me.”

T: “Let’s take a look at 2 ways to record data in our maker journals.  Pictographs, or bar graphs.”

 


Concept Quick Reference (Click + to open)

Vocabulary:

Bar Graph: (also called Bar Chart) is a graphical display of data using bars of different heights.

Pictograph:  A pictograph uses pictures or symbols to show the value of the data.

 

 

Lesson Materials

Building Materials:

RAFT Makerspace-in-a-box         -or-

Materials for one “Whimsical Wind Vane”:

  • Paper Cup, cone shaped ~120 ml (4 oz) size, with a ~6.4 mm (¼”) hole punched ~2.5 – 3 cm (1” to1.25”) from the tip
  • Paper Cup, cone shaped ~120 ml (4 oz) size
  • Straw, jumbo, a section ~10 cm (4”) long
  • Straw, wide, ~20 cm (8”) long, with a diameter larger than the jumbo straw
  • Washer, metal (M6) – [outer diameter ~12 mm, inner diameter ~6 mm]
  • Cup with a fitted lid which has a straw slit, ~360ml (12 oz) size works well
  • Foam washer, thin with center hole, ~ 2.5 cm (1”) in diameter & ~3.2 mm (1/8”) thick
  • Foam cylinder with center hole, ~ 6 cm (2 3/8”) in diameter
  • Optional: Weights (e.g., marbles, pebbles, or sand)
  • Optional: Crepe paper streamer
  • Optional: Adhesive label or tape
  • Optional: Googly eyes, adhesive
  • Marker

Materials for one barometer:

  • A small coffee can
  • Plastic wrap
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • One straw
  • One index card
  • One rubber band

Materials for one anemometer:

  • Four plastic cups of the same color, such as Dixie or Solo cups
  • One plastic cup of a different color
  • Two long strips of stiff cardboard
  • A pen
  • A pencil with an eraser on one end
  • A ruler
  • A stapler
  • A push pin
  • A watch with a second hand or timer
  • A small fan
  • A calculator

Materials for one rain gauge:

  • A cylinder shaped jar that is clear, such as an olive jar
  • A clear plastic ruler
  • A rubber band
  • A plastic funnel
  • Clear tape

Connecting Materials:

  • Various adhesives, connectors, and fasteners (e.g., paperclips, binder clips, thread, yarn, adhesive foam pads, tape, glue, labels & stickers, rubber bands, etc.)
  • Optional: a binder for each student to keep their Makerspace Journal pages in.

External Resources

Teacher Notes

Always preview videos ahead of showing to the class.  If possible, visit a local weather station, or have an expert in the field visit your class. 

Active Classroom

Communication is critical in the design process. Students need to be allowed to talk, stand, and move around to acquire materials. Tips for success in an active classroom environment:

1 –  Students can access any wall, board, or surface to gather and explore ideas — students personalize the working space to meet their needs.

2 – Students have regular opportunities to make choices, including choices about what they learn and how they learn it.

3 –Encourage students to learn and to demonstrate what they’ve learned in ways that best suit their individual learning styles.

4 – It is not a free-for-all!  Amount of prep and planning is evidenced by quality of student work and level of students’ engagement. All is carefully thought out in advance.

5 – Practice and predict clean-up strategies before beginning the activity. Ask students to offer suggestions for ensuring that they will leave a clean and useable space for the next activity. Students may enjoy creating very specific clean-up roles. Once these are established, the same student-owned strategies can be used every time hands-on learning occurs.

Learning Targets

Students will be able to:

  • Gather and organize data and use graphical displays to organize the data by season using tables, pictograms, and/or bar charts.
  • Report about the data from their weather observations gathered from their weather instruments.

Assessment

Student Self Assessment

Student teams review their reasons for why it is important to care about the weather; to predict and to report about the weather.

Peer Assessment

Student teams discuss and compare their findings and share different viewpoints. Students should compare their drawings and give explainations about why it is useful to predict and to report the weather.

Teacher Assessment

Review student makerspace journal pages for formative assessment and discuss with individuals as they work.

Conduct a whole group discussion to allow all students to share, discuss and compare their findings around different reasons why it is important to know about the weather.

     Lesson Overview     

          What symbols can we use to describe the weather?

In this lesson, student teams create symbols to illustrate weather patterns and then display one of the symbols each day to show a prediction of the weather at the start of the day. Students record the accuracy of their predictions by the end of each day on an ongoing class chart. After a period of time students evaluate the validity of their predictions.

Essential Questions:

  • What are some easy ways to represent different types of weather?
  • Why is it easier to use symbols to represent weather conditions?

LESSON PROCEDURE:

  • Show the Video Check Out the Weather
  • Ask the students the essential questions. Look for creative explanations, attention to detail, and encourage different points of view.
  • Talk about seasons and symbols that could represent the weather in the seasons.  Collectively decide on a class set of symbols to represent these weather conditions.
  • Explain to students that they will be recording each day’s weather predictions at the start of the day in their Maker Journals, and then check their predictions at the end of each day (for a set period of time)…..
  • Explain that at the end of each day students will will display the actual weather for that day on the class chart for all to see.
  • Pass out Maker Journal Page.
  • At the end of each day, students record on their Maker Journal pages the accuracy of their predictions for that day.
  • After a period of time students analyze the results of all predictions.
  • Students present their findings before an audience.

 

(Possible Lesson 4a): What is the area like in places further away from us?

In this extension, students connect via Skype with other classrooms to see differing weather patterns in other areas –either locally or from non-local areas.

Essential Questions:

  • What do you notice about the difference in weather from our area to other areas?
  • Why do you think the weather appears differently in other areas?

 

Student Directions (Click + to open)

Sample teacher and student dialog: The following is a sample dialog between the teacher and the students in this lesson.

(Note:  T stands for teacher, and S stands for student, with additional advice in parenthesis)

T: “What are some easy ways/symbols we could use to represent weather?”

S: “snow flakes, rain drops, sun, heat lines, snowman, sunglasses, cloud blowing wind…”

T: “Let’s watch this video to see if we get any more ideas.”

T: “Record your ideas in your maker journal.”

 


Concept Quick Reference (Click + to open)

Check out this sight for ideas on how to predict the weather by observation:  LINK

Lesson Materials

Building Materials:

RAFT Makerspace-in-a-box         -or-

  • Materials (e.g., fabric samples, dust covers, foam pieces, deli containers, cardboard tubes, scraps, posters, shower caps, scrap materials, cards, scissors, wooden stir sticks, straws, spoons, pipettes, toothpicks, large balloons, wide mouth glass jars, heavy stock paper, thermometers, protractors, compasses, rulers, timer, fans, etc.)

Connecting Materials:

  • Various adhesives, connectors, and fasteners (e.g., paperclips, binder clips, thread, yarn, adhesive foam pads, tape, glue, labels & stickers, rubber bands, etc.)

Optional: a binder for each student to keep their Makerspace Journal pages in.

External Resources

Maker Journal Pages

Teacher Notes

Decide ahead whether to concentrate on comparing weather in local areas or non-local areas. Always preview videos ahead of showing to the class.  If possible, visit a local weather station, or have an expert in the field visit your class. 

Active Classroom

Communication is critical in the design process. Students need to be allowed to talk, stand, and move around to acquire materials. Tips for success in an active classroom environment:

1 –  Students can access any wall, board, or surface to gather and explore ideas — students personalize the working space to meet their needs.

2 – Students have regular opportunities to make choices, including choices about what they learn and how they learn it.

3 –Encourage students to learn and to demonstrate what they’ve learned in ways that best suit their individual learning styles.

4 – It is not a free-for-all!  Amount of prep and planning is evidenced by quality of student work and level of students’ engagement. All is carefully thought out in advance.

5 – Practice and predict clean-up strategies before beginning the activity. Ask students to offer suggestions for ensuring that they will leave a clean and useable space for the next activity. Students may enjoy creating very specific clean-up roles. Once these are established, the same student-owned strategies can be used every time hands-on learning occurs.

Learning Targets

Students will be able to:

  • Organize data and use symbols to describe weather conditions on a class chart.
  • Describe the importance of weather prediction to identify relationships and to describe patterns of weather conditions across different seasons.

Assessment

Student Self Assessment

Student teams review their reasons for why it is important to care about the weather; to predict and to report about the weather.

Peer Assessment

Student teams discuss and compare their findings and share different viewpoints. Students should compare their drawings and give explainations about why it is useful to predict and to report the weather.

Teacher Assessment

Review student makerspace journal pages for formative assessment and discuss with individuals as they work.

Conduct a whole group discussion to allow all students to share, discuss and compare their findings around different reasons why it is important to know about the weather.

 

Design Challenge Overview

          You’re a weather forecaster!

In this culminating unit, student teams design a wall map with weather symbols and produce a video of themselves presenting a weather report in front of the wall map to predict current weather conditions.

Essential Questions:

  • How can you present a forecast of the weather?
  • How can we predict the unknown? What patterns and effects can we find in weather to be able to predict the weather in the future?

LESSON PROCEDURE

 

  • Present and explain the Design Challenge.
  • Ask leading questions to prompt student thinking about the criteria and constraints to be considered. The students decide on the criteria and constraints for the final design challenge. Expected or required criteria/constraints should include:
    • The report should be based on a certain area and date (e.g., local for a particular day)
    • The class weather symbols will be used on a large map of the area in the video presentations.
    • Student teams will have a set amount of time to create a weather forecast.
    • Their forecast must include:
      • A weather station “name”
      • The name and location of the area
      • The date and time of the report
      • Clear explanations for their predictions.
      • The current weather condition and prediction for future weather based on observations and data
  • Students use only the provided materials when building the device.
  • Students draw pictures of their report ideas in the Maker Journals, then prototype their ideas, test them, and reiterate until a final video report is designed that meets all criteria and constraints.
  • Student teams describe specific features of their reporting (including how it satisfies the design criteria and constraints) in their Maker Journals.
  • Students video their presentations and then show them to the class and/or another audience:

 

Introduce the Design Challenge (Click + to open)

(Note:  T stands for teacher, and S stands for student, with additional advice in parenthesis)

Organize students into teams of 2 persons, and then assemble teams together for a whole group discussion.

T: (Show the video to the students). “What do you learn from listening to a TV weather report?”

S: “today’s weather; how the weather compares to other areas; how to interpret the weather map; etc.”

T:  “We have been learning a lot about the weather. Today I have a Design Challenge for you!   You are a weather forecaster on a TV station!  You need to create a weather map and then video yourself telling about the day’s weather report for your area!”

T:  “Your team will work together to design a weather map using the materials provided” (show students where all materials are located).  “You take turns explaining the weather while your teammate video records you!  Then you will share your video with the class (or other audience)!”

T:  “What should our criteria and constraints be? Engineers design things using some rules about how the designs must behave or work.  These rules are called criteria Engineers can run out of materials, money, time to build, or space in which to build something.  In other words there are limits on how something can be built.  These limits are called constraints.”  (review the criteria and constraints for this challenge):

Criteria (design requirements) Constraints (design limitations)
  • You must use class weather symbols on your weather map
  • Your weather map must be easily put together and taken apart
  • Your weather map must be portable
  • Model must be built with materials provided
  • Model must be completed and tested in the given time
  • Model weather map must feature a certain local area and date.
  • You must choose a name for your TV station and announce it at the start of your video.

Ideate In the ideate Phase of the Design Thinking process, student teams brainstorm ideas for how they could design a model for the problem given the criteria and constraints. Any idea is possible. Give students a short amount of time to quickly brainstorm their ideas (suggestion: pass out post-it sticky notes for students to record ideas). Keep in mind students may choose to or need to return to this phase as they iterate through the Design Thinking Process.

Student Directions (Click + to open)

T:  Engineers begin with something they call the Ideate phase when they begin to think of ideas for a design. The Ideate phase is part of the whole Design thinking process. Have you ever heard of the word “brainstorm”? What does it mean?

S: (answers vary) … to let any and all ideas flow out!

T: Brainstorming, like Ideating, means to think quickly of as many ideas as you can with your team. Yes, anyone’s idea is ok! Even if it sounds silly or strange! (pass out around 10 post-it sticky notes for each student).

T: Your team will brainstorm how your weather map will be designed and how you plan to present the weather report.  I’m going to give you 10 minutes to ideate, which means to record on post-its all possible design ideas you can think of to solve your choice of Design Challenge option — when time is called, spread all your post it notes out in front of you…

S: (Student teams quickly brainstorm until time is called).

T:  (call time.  Pass out Maker Journal Page and point to the section as you explain the following…). Take a minute to look at all your team’s ideas, and then record your favorite ideas under the “Ideate” section on your Maker Journal page.

S: (students record ideas on Maker Journal pages…)

T: Now, based on your ideas, you’re ready to move to the prototype phase where you will build models of your idea!

Prototype

In the Prototype Phase teams build a model of their design based upon ideas generated from the Ideate Phase (keep in mind students may choose to or need to return to this phase as they iterate through the prototype, test, and retest phases)

Student Directions (Click + to open)

T: Look back in your Maker Journal page at the ideas your team got from the Ideate Phase of Design Thinking. Take one or combine more than one of those ideas together to design a sample model for your weather map and of how you plan to present the weather report. Remember to record information about your prototype on your Maker Journal Page in the “Prototype” section. You have 20 minutes to prototype a design — starting right now!

S: (student teams work together building their weather map models and recording in Maker Journal pages…)

T: (Walk around teams, add encouragement if needed and look for examples of communication, collaboration, engaged conversations, involvement, cooperation, etc.)

Test your Design

Students test their prototype according to how it holds up to all criteria and constraints. If the test fails, students may choose or need to return to this phase after designing a new prototype, testing it, retesting it, and iterating through these phases again and again until a final model is agreed upon.

Student Directions (Click + to open)

T: You need to test your weather map models and your ideas for telling the weather report to see if all of it holds up to all the criteria and constraints. What happens if your model fails a test?

S: We go back to the “drawing board” and pick another design to build, prototype, test, and retest until we are satisfied!

T: What if that model doesn’t pass the test? Do you give up?

S: No, we keep on trying until we find a model that works!

T: How can you keep track of what happens each time you test your model designs?

S: We can list or draw pictures of our design in the “Prototype” section of our Maker Journal, and list what we tested in the “Test” section, and then show what we had to redo in the “Iterate” section. Once we decide on a final design, we can explain it and/or draw a picture of it.

T: (Pass out Maker Journal page). OK, then report your final design on your Maker Journal page”

T: (After student teams have finalized their designs, call all teams together in a whole group setting.)

T: What was important to you in designing your model?

S: (answers vary … student teams explain their reasons for their design choices to the class).

T: How did your model follow all your criteria and constraints?

S: (answers vary …)

T: Where there any changes you could have made to your design? What would you have done differently? Why/why not?

S: (answers vary …)

T: Why is giving a weather report helpful for people to hear?

S: (answers vary …  it helps people plan their lives — how to dress, where to go, what to buy ahead of time, etc.)

T: Now it’s time to watch each other’s video presentations (or plan another time for student team presentations in front of audiences…..)

 

 

Concept Quick Reference (Click + to open)

Vocabulary:

Criteria: a standard of judgment or criticism; a rule or principle for evaluating or testing something.

Constraints: The state of being restricted or confined within prescribed bounds.

Design Challenge Materials

Building Materials:

RAFT Makerspace-in-a-box         -or-

  • Materials (e.g., fabric samples, dust covers, foam pieces, deli containers, cardboard tubes, scraps, posters, shower caps, scrap materials, cards, scissors, wooden stir sticks, straws, spoons, pipettes, toothpicks, large balloons, wide mouth glass jars, heavy stock paper, thermometers, protractors, compasses, rulers, timer, fans, etc.)

Connecting Materials:

  • Various adhesives, connectors, and fasteners (e.g., paperclips, binder clips, thread, yarn, adhesive foam pads, tape, glue, labels & stickers, rubber bands, etc.)

Optional: a binder for each student to keep their Makerspace Journal pages in.

External Resources

Maker Journal Pages

Teacher Notes

Always preview videos ahead of showing to the class.  If possible, visit a local weather station, or have an expert in the field visit your class.

Active Classroom

Communication is critical in the design process. Students need to be allowed to talk, stand, and move around to acquire materials. Tips for success in an active classroom environment:

1 –  Students can access any wall, board, or surface to gather and explore ideas — students personalize the working space to meet their needs.

2 – Students have regular opportunities to make choices, including choices about what they learn and how they learn it.

3 –Encourage students to learn and to demonstrate what they’ve learned in ways that best suit their individual learning styles.

4 – It is not a free-for-all!  Amount of prep and planning is evidenced by quality of student work and level of students’ engagement. All is carefully thought out in advance.

5 – Practice and predict clean-up strategies before beginning the activity. Ask students to offer suggestions for ensuring that they will leave a clean and useable space for the next activity. Students may enjoy creating very specific clean-up roles. Once these are established, the same student-owned strategies can be used every time hands-on learning occurs.

Learning Targets

Students will be able to:

  • Design a weather map with weather symbols
  • Create a video show where they are weather forecasters explaining and predicting the weather on their weather map.
  • Present their video to an audience and answer questions about their production.

Assessment

Student Self Assessment

Student teams review their reasons for why it is important to care about the weather; to predict and to report about the weather.

Peer Assessment

Student teams discuss and compare their findings and share different viewpoints. Students should compare their drawings and give explainations about why it is useful to predict and to report the weather.

Teacher Assessment

Review student makerspace journal pages for formative assessment and discuss with individuals as they work.

Conduct a whole group discussion to allow all students to share, discuss and compare their findings around different reasons why it is important to know about the weather.