How to build engagement in your weather unit:
- Build your own weather tools. It’s easy to build an anemometer, barometer, wind vane, and rain gauge. Find the directions to build these weather tools here.
- Have students collect their own weather data. Use your bulletin board space to create a place where students can record temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloud cover, and so on every day during the unit.
- Photograph weather events to create a bulletin board. If your students have cell phones or access to cell phones, challenge them to take a picture of each type of cloud before the unit is over. Have a photo contest to see who can represent the most kinds of weather in a collage.
- Learn how scientists record weather. Historical weather data is abundant and easily downloaded. Use weather data to teach graphing skills and make this a cross curricular project.
- Learn about dramatic weather. Hurricanes, hailstorms, blizzards and tornadoes are fascinating. Play videos of thunderbolts and have students research how often a person is struck by lightning in your state.
- Have students research weather phenomena. Most students will know how rainbows are formed, but do they know about sun dogs or lenticular clouds or dust devils? Ask students to find an image and create a slide show. Use this opportunity to teach citation skills and check two things off your list!
- Teach students how to read a weather map. Once students learn what an air mass is and how fronts are represented on maps, they’ll be able to make their own forecasts.
- Competition is good for the soul. Have students enter their weather predictions for the next day and keep track of how often they are correct on a class thermometer.
- As a culminating project, have students create their own weather report using actual data. Have them create slide shows or videos to play while they are reading their forecast.
- Make the project even more engaging by filming the weather reports using green screen technology. WeVideo.com is one inexpensive digital editing tool students can easily learn to use. There’s even a free version.
- Try this free digital escape activity. Students practice and review weather vocabulary to find clues and solve puzzles.
Many of these ideas are taken from my weather bundle which includes worksheets and hands on activities about weather graphs, maps, and tools.
Please let me know you’re here and leave me a comment to say hi!