Beacon Unit Plan Library

Weather Trackers

Jennifer Slichter
S. S. Dixon Primary (Santa Rosa District Schools)


This is a second grade unit on weather called Weather Trackers. Students experience fun, fascinating facts about weather through hands-on activities about the rain cycle, measuring rain with a rain gauge, conducting experiments with temperature and making a cloud booklet.


The unit addresses the following essential questions:
1. What are the observable properties of solids, liquids, and gases?
2. What is the pattern of events in the rain cycle?
3. What are some ways and tools by which scientists gather information about the weather?
4. What are some factors that cause rain to be more likely or less likely to happen?
5. What are the effects of heat on a thermometer?
6. What are some ways we can measure temperature using a thermometer?
7. What are some ways that a weather chart can be used and analyzed?


The planned duration of this activity is 10 days.

Associated Files

Unit Overview     File Extension:  pdf

Diagnostic Assessment     File Extension:  pdf

Summative Assessment Part 1     File Extension:  pdf

Season Cards     File Extension:  pdf

Summative Performance Assessment Part II      File Extension:  pdf

Helpful Websites     File Extension:  pdf

Books for Students About Weather     File Extension:  pdf

Lesson Plans

Matter Matters
This is lesson one of a unit titled, Weather Trackers. Students learn by observation and hands-on activities the act of water changing form from a solid to a liquid to a gas.

Rain Patterns
This is the second lesson in the unit Weather Trackers. Students have the opportunity to work in groups to draw the rain cycle and make their own “movie’ using a large cardboard milk carton and heavy white paper. Students are assessed on their ability to identify the pattern of the rain cycle and to sequence the events in order.

Cloud Watchers
This is the third lesson in the second grade unit on weather called Weather Trackers. Students identify the main types of clouds and the type of weather they typically bring as far as rain is concerned. The concept of matter as a gas and liquid will be observed by a classroom experiment where “clouds” are produced using hot water and ice. Students do a group activity where they draw their special cloud formations and make a class graph.

Weather Wonderland
This is the fourth lesson on weather in a unit called Weather Trackers. This lesson primarily deals with types of tools that scientists use to study weather. Students have the opportunitity to do a fun cooperative learning activity that will review other skills such as pictorial graphing.

Fahrenheit Follies
This is the fifth lesson in the unit, Weather Trackers. This is a fun and entertaining lesson on temperature. Students learn about temperature using hands-on activities and games.

Celsius Tells Temperature, Too
This is the sixth lesson in the Unit Weather Watchers. Students become aware that thermometer liquids expand or contract as temperature affects them. Concept of telling the temperature on a Celsius thermometer is introduced as students identify and record temperatures on Celsius thermometers through hands-on activities and games.

Sensational Seasons
This is the seventh lesson in the Unit, Weather Trackers. Students learn how seasonal weather patterns affect temperature and their lives through concrete, hands-on activities.

Weather Wonders
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.
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