Weather Scope Print...

Enrichment Activity 1: Looking in on the Weather


Overview
Students will go outside and observe the local weather conditions and record as many details about weather as they can in their Weather Learning Logs. They will then locate three different cities, New York City, Buenos Aires, and Moscow, on a world map and make make predictions about the weather in each of the locations. After making the predictions, they will access live web cams to observe the weather in the distant locations. After making some basic observations, they will access real time weather data from the same locations and compare and contrast their predictions with their observations.

Objectives
Students will:
  • make weather observations based on sky observations;
  • understand that weather conditions vary over the day;
  • understand that weather varies with location;
  • understand how the earth's rotation causes day and night; &
  • compare and contrast the weather condition in their location with the weather in other places.

Time
One 45 minute class period.

Materials
  • Weather Learning Log or Student Worksheet to record your answers
  • Weather instruments (thermometer, wind vane, etc.)
  • Drawing materials (pen, pencils, markers, etc.)
  • Large wall map
  • Computer with Internet access.
  • Globe or spherical object, such as an orange, & flashlight.

Teacher Preparation
  • Because of the time requirements for this activity, it is best done as a whole class but can be implemented with groups or individuals.
  1. Make local observations
    • Have students go outside and observe the local weather conditions and record as many details about weather in their logs. Once they return to the class, have them create sketches of the sky. Also, as a class you should have them record the weather variables that they have been studying using the classroom weather instruments.
    • Discuss how to make entries into weather log: for example, each student should make an individualized report, students in each group can take turns making entries, but all should go outside and participate in the data collection, etc.
  2. Make your early predictions: If you have a wall-sized world map, place a sticker to identify each of the cities. 
  3. Make distant observations: New York City
    • Tell the students that they are now going use the Internet to actually observe and record what the weather is like in each of the three cities using live web cams. Web cams use small digital cameras to capture images in real time and post them to a web site.
    • If you would like to select additional cities, you can either do a search with a search engine using the key words "webcam CITYNAME" or browse through the resources listed in the Reference Section.
      Note: web cams are difficult to maintain and they tend to not always be available so you may want to select your web cams close to the time when you will be implementing this lesson. Also, try and find web cams that display images that include large parts of the sky, these will be best for making weather observations.
  4. Make distant observations: Buenos Aires
  5. Make distant observations: Moscow
  6. Check your observations:
    • Lead the class in a simple rotation simulation to demonstrate what causes day and night. Put a piece of paper on a globe to mark your location. One student will hold the globe and another the flashlight to simulate the sun. Have the student holding the globe spin it counterclockwise. Have the students identify places on the opposite side of the globe that will be having night while they are having day. They should make the observation that, as the earth rotates, new parts of it come into the sun's light.
  7. Publish your comparisons: follow the guidelines stated in the Instructions in the Student Activity (below)

Assessment Suggestions
Make each student or cooperative group responsible for their answers.

Procedure


NOTE: The following instructions also appear in the Student Activities section of this web site.
Notebook Top Left Corner  Enrichment Activity 1: Looking in on the Weather Notebook Top Right Corner
 
  1. Make local observations
    1. Go outside and observe the local weather conditions. While you are outside, record as many details about the weather as you can. You may also use the class instruments.
    2. Return to the class and draw sketches of the sky, again including as many details as you can.
       
  2. Make your early predictions
    1. Locate the following cities on a world map
      • New York City, NY, USA: 40.4 N, 73.6 W
      • Buenos Aires, Argentina: 34.2 S, 58.3 W
      • Moscow, Russia: 55.5 N, 37.4 E
    2. What do you expect the weather to be like in New York City? Why?
    3. What do you expect the weather to be like in Buenos Aires? Why?
    4. What do you expect the weather to be like in Moscow? Why?
    5. Which of the three cities do you think will be warmest / coldest? Why?
    6. Do you expect there to be any other differences between the three cities?
       
  3. Make distant observations: New York City, NY, USA
    1. Access the web cam: New York City (back-up)
    2. Is it night or day? What time of day is it?
    3. What are the sky conditions?
    4. What is the visibility?
    5. What type of precipitation is occurring, if any?
    6. What do you think the temperature is? Why?
    7. What do you think the wind speed is? Why?
       
  4. Make distant observations: Buenos Aires, Argentina
    1. Access the web cam: Buenos Aires (back-up)
    2. Is it night or day? What time of day is it?
    3. What are the sky conditions?
    4. What is the visibility?
    5. What type of precipitation is occurring, if any?
    6. What do you think the temperature is? Why?
    7. What do you think the wind speed is? Why?
       
  5. Make distant observations: Moscow, Russia
    1. Access the web cam: Moscow (back-up)
    2. Is it night or day? What time of day is it?
    3. What are the sky conditions?
    4. What is the visibility?
    5. What type of precipitation is occurring, if any?
    6. What do you think the temperature is? Why?
    7. What do you think the wind speed is? Why?
       
  6. Check your observations
    Access the following web pages for each of the cities and the world and compare and contrast your predictions and observations you made based on the web cam pictures with the weather data.
    1. New York City (back-up)
    2. Buenos Aires (back-up)
    3. Moscow (back-up)
    4. World
       
  7. Publish your comparisons
    Write a short report in your Weather Learning Log. Be sure to:
    • describe and explain the similarities and differences you observed from the web cams and the real-time weather data web pages; &
    • explain which part of the world is experiencing night right now and which part is experiencing day and why.

 

EXTENSION:
  • Track daily and hourly weather changes with the web cams:
    1. Load up a web cam in the morning and and print (color printouts work best) or draw a sketch of what you observe, including as many weather related details as possible.
    2. Make predictions using the same questions above (what are the sky conditions?, etc.)
    3. Repeat this activity several more times during the day. Each time don't forget to make observations and predictions.
    4. If possible, make a poster displaying all of the images in series. This will give you a good idea of how the weather changes over the day. You can have them add the weather data for each hour as well.
    5. The next day, review your sketches and predictions and write a weather history based on what you recorded in your Weather Learning Logs.
  • Create a mock weather broadcast for the location of one of the web cams. You can use the live image along with weather data from the weather site to develop the broadcast. If you have access to a video camera, you can even tape the event.

 
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Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education (CIESE) All Rights Reserved.