Use this lesson if you want to pick your students’ brains and find out just how much they know about weather. Here you'll find an activity that will give you a chance to assess your students’ prior knowledge on weather and sorting.
Why You're Teaching It
Weather awaits you everyday! Open a door or window and there you will find it. It is an amazing phenomenon that children will enjoy studying.
- The student will explore the concept of weather.
- The student will identify kinds of weather (e.g., snowy, rainy, cloudy, sunny, windy, stormy, etc.)
- The student will develope an understanding of classification by sorting weather picture cards.
- The student will work cooperatively as part of a group.
- Large piece of butcher paper or tag board for sorting
- Gather the students into a group on the rug or floor. Give the students an opportunity to put themselves into groups of three.
- Once the groups have been formed, then give each group a weather picture card. Groups will take 2-3 minutes to make observations about the picture card.
- Next, a group will share their findings with the class and place their picture card anywhere on the butcher paper. The next group will share their findings and then decide where to place their picture card on the sorting mat. They may decide to sort it into the group that already exists or create a new group. However, the students must provide evidence to support their sorting method.
- For example, if the picture shows partly cloudy then the students may decide to place it into the group with the sun because it has a sun on it or they may decide to make a new group because it has a cloud. The picture sort continues until all groups have sorted. Throughout the sort, the role of the teacher is to simply facilitate the learning by asking questions based on the student’s actions or responses. This gives the teacher an opportunity to pre-assess the student’s prior knowledge about weather as well as sorting. Once the sorting is complete the students must identify how the cards in each group are alike and give the group a name. Students are likely to choose names like sunny, rainy, cloudy, windy, stormy, snowy, etc.
- Once these subgroups are named then the teacher places all of the subgroups inside one big circle and asks the students how are all the groups or pictures alike. Record the responses. The teacher must provide questioning that will allow the students to see that they are all kinds of weather.
- At the end of the lesson, the teacher gives each group a chance to verbalize exactly what weather means to them. The information is used to monitor the students’ understandings as well as misconceptions about the meaning of weather. The teacher uses the information as she prepares the students for a more formal definition in the next lesson.
Assessment: Each student will choose the kind of weather that he likes most. He will also choose the kind of weather that he dislikes most. Cut out pictures from a magazine that represent each kind of weather. Sort and glue them into a T-Chart labeled with a happy face and a sad face. The happy face represents the kind of weather liked and the sad face represents the kind of weather disliked. This assessment can be differentiated by allowing some students to write the name of the kind of weather above each face. Some students who need additional support can write the beginning sound that represents each kind of weather above the face.
Weather is so fascinating! Children have been exposed to different kinds of weather since the day they were born. Therefore, they are excited about the connections made and strive to build on those connections to increasing their understanding about weather.