Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Weather Wonders

Jennifer Slichter
Santa Rosa District Schools


This lesson is the eighth lesson in the Unit Weather Trackers. This lesson will serve as a review for the unit's summative assessment. Students review weather concepts through interactive games, role-play and experiments


The student demonstrates an understanding of temperatures by using Fahrenheit and Celsius thermometers.

The student uses mathematical language to read and interpret data on a simple concrete graph, pictorial graph, or chart.

The student knows if a given event is equally likely, most likely, or least likely to occur (for example, spinners, coin toss, election results).

The student knows examples of solids, liquids, and gases.

The student knows that a thermometer measures the amount of heat absorbed by an object.

The student knows how to sort organisms, objects, and events based on patterns.

The student knows ways in which tools are used by scientists (for example, to gather information, to analyze, to calculate).


-Cardboard TV
-Outdoor thermometer
-Rain gauge
-Ice cube
-Thermometer- Large classroom sized
-Blue saran wrap
-Construction paper
-Small sheets of white paper to draw cloud for class graph


1. Gather materials.
2. Decide which activities your class should do based on the formative assessment from the previous lesson.
3. Prepare a list of students who need careful monitoring to make sure they are ready to be summatively assessed.
4. Duplicate the summative assessment from the unit's files. (See extensions)


1. Introduce the lesson by telling students today we are going to review what we have learned about weather by playing games and doing experiments.
Allow a student to give a weather report. (These instructions were in a previous lesson: Each day of the unit, the weather reporter chosen must take measurements of the instruments outside and give a weather report. Help students initially with this procedure until they understand it. Write the following on a strip of paper. The meteorologist will take outside measurements using the instruments and prepare a weather report. The date today is ____. There are _____clouds in the sky. The wind is blowing in a _____direction. The temperature reads__________. The rain gauge says it has rained ______inches. I predict today will be ________________.)

2. Play a game called WEATHER. Divide the class into two equal teams. Ask questions. If the chosen student answers correctly he will earn a letter for his team. The first team to have the word WEATHER spelled on the board will win. These are sample questions: After rain heats water on Earth, what happens next in the rain cycle? (Water evaporates and rises). What happens in the sky to the vapor when it is cooler? (Condenses and turns back into water droplets). When the water droplets join together what do they make? (Clouds). What happens to the clouds when they get big and heavy? (Rains) Have different volunteers come to the front and say the rain cycle pattern in order to earn a letter for their team.

3. Hold up an ice cube. Ask students to recall if this ice cube is a solid, liquid or gas. Ask students why it is a solid. Ask students how this solid could be changed into a liquid. What will happen to the ice cube if we place it in the sun? (melt). What happens when it melts? (evaporates) Where does it go? (water vapor, like steam, always rises upward) Ask is this solid, liquid or gas?

4. Play a stand-up, sit-down game with your class. Divide the class into three sections, Solid, Liquid and Gas. Tell students to listen to water in their forms of matter and to stand if your form is called out and to sit when water in another form of matter is called out. For example, glacier (solids stand, rest sit), ice cube (solids stand, rest sit), ocean (liquids stand), leaks (liquids stand) water vapor (steam stands, rest sit), steam (gas stands, rest sit)

5. Ask students to recall what three things affect weather. Write sun, air and water on board.

6. Review cloud formations and effects on weather. Discuss. Hold up cirrus clouds and ask students if this cloud formations means rain is likely. (No). Hold up cumulus clouds. Ask students if this means rain is likely. (yes). Hold up stratus clouds. Ask students if this means good weather is likely? (no, rain or fog likely.) Is fog more likely to happen with stratus clouds or cumulus? (stratus) Stratus looks like thick gray sheets in the sky.

7. Hold up large premade thermometer and set temperature at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Remind students how to read temperature.

8. Hold up large premade thermometer and set temperature at zero degrees Celsius. Remind students how to read temperature.

9. Pass out scrap sheets of paper. Set thermometer to various times and have students record on their papers. 60 degrees, 90 degrees 75 degrees, 30 degrees, 80 degrees. Review answers with the class.

10. Ask students if heat rises or falls (Rises). What happens to the mercury in a thermometer if it gets warmer? (rises) What does a thermometer measure? Heat

11. Play a role-play game. Students pretend they are mercury. Call out different temperatures and they rise and shrink accordingly. For fun, increase speed. 80 degrees, 70 degrees, 67 degrees, 90 degrees, 56 degrees, 32 degrees, 40 degrees, 50 degrees, 90 degrees, 100 degrees, etc.

12. Review different weather tools. Hold up rain gauge, thermometer, wind vane, and a picture of satellite. Review purpose of tools with the class. Which tool would scientists most likely use to record rain? Which tool would scientists most likely use to record temperature? Which tool would scientists most likely use to record wind? Student volunteers answer questions.

13. Play seasonal riddle game. Which season, comes after summer? Leaves fall from trees, turn red or brown, and begin to die? (Fall) I am a season that follows fall. What season am I? (Winter). Which season do you see that most of the leaves on the tree have fallen off? (Winter) I am a season that follows winter, new leaves start to grow on trees. Which season am I? (Spring) I am a season that follows spring. Which season am I? (Summer)

14. As an art activity have students create a weather mobile using the cycles of the rain pattern. Construct sun out of yellow construction paper. Make cloud shapes out of cotton balls and blue paper. Make an ocean out of blue sticky notes with wiggly lines drawn covered with blue or clears saran wrap. Various volunteers recite rain pattern cycle in order.

15. Divide the class into groups of five and students complete art activity.

16. Pass out a piece of paper and have students draw a picture of a cloud formation of their choice.

17. Students complete weather mobile and picture of cloud formation.

18. Return to seat and ask students to tape picture beside cloud name in order to make a pictograph.

19. Discuss results of graph with class. Ask the following questions: How many people drew a picture of a cirrus cloud? How many people drew a picture of a stratus cloud? How many people drew a picture of a cumulus cloud? Which cloud formation has the most pictures? Which cloud formations have the least pictures? Using the words how many more or how much less, have students compare and contrast the graph.

20. Assess informally using teacher observation.


This lesson serves as a review for the unit's summative assessment. Students review weather concepts through interactive games, role-play and experiments. Students will be informally assessed on their mastery of the standards using teacher observation. Students who are having difficulty should have an opportunity to redo the formative worksheet found in the lesson Sensational Seasons, since it formatively assesses all the standards for the unit. Some of the activities listed in the procedures can be repeated and some can be left out depending on your students and their need for review.

Once you feel your students are ready, administer the summative assessment found in the unit's attached files. (see extensions) Directions for administering and scoring are found in the files.
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