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Weather Unit

Educational Portfolio for Mack S. Tribble

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Here is an overview & sample lesson of the Weather Unit that I will be teaching during my student teaching experience.


Grade 2

By Mack S. Tribble



This weather unit is created for a 2nd grade class at Juliette Low elementary school. It will be implemented in March of 2006 over a period of five to ten days. The classroom is made up of sixteen students of varying learning abilities. The instructional style is very open and child-centered, highlighting rotating centers, independent writing workshops, and whole group activities. The weather unit will incorporate these various learning opportunities. Although weather is primarily a science topic, all subject matters can easily be integrated. There are many activities and lessons on weather that incorporate children's literature, creative writing topics, social studies situations, math concepts, and art projects to strengthen the scientific inquiries. As weather is a very large topic, the lessons represent some of the key concepts and are nowhere near the boundaries of what can be learned in weather. The following description of unit subtopics includes lessons that help students develop a hands-on, minds-on experience to weather through creative situations. They are intended for younger students to begin to see the relationships with weather and other issues, and to question why things happen in the phenomena of weather. Such lessons will engage students by getting them interested in weather, while they begin to understand the initial concepts of certain processes.


The lesson plans are in no particular order and the center activities can be grouped in any combination of sub-topics. Activities and/or extensions supporting each sub-topic are also included after the group of lesson plans. The unit is introduced with a K-W-L bulletin board, in which students can contribute their knowledge and questions. Various daily activities will be added to the class to practice reading temperature from a thermometer, using a barometer, weather forecasting, and keeping a daily creative journal/weather log. A guest speaker may also come into the classroom to enrich the unit. To end the unit, the students will finish the K-W-L bulletin board with what they learned and compile a class book of weather myths based on their understanding of weather.


Temperature: Students learn to use a thermometer through daily temperature readings. They will also discover the effects of climate on clothing.


Water Cycle to Precipitation: Students learn the steps of the water cycle and will observe it in action through a model. They will discover what materials absorb and repel water, as well as see the effects of rain on art creations.


Clouds: Students will learn the different types of clouds and what types of weather each produces. By observing the formation of a cloud, they will better understand what it is made of and how it is made.


Air Pressure/Wind: Students learn to use a barometer through daily readings. They will observe the movement patterns of air pressure and wind and realize the effects on weather changes.


"Wild Weather"/Storms: Students will learn the relationship between thunder and lightning. They will also discuss the effect of such natural disasters on communities.


The general daily schedule is as follows:
[including Fine Arts, Computer Lab, and P.E. at pre-scheduled times]

      Daily Journals and Weather Log

      Calendar, Oral Story, News

      Daily Weather -- Temperature, Barometer, Weather Forecasting

      Daily Oral Language, Spelling

      Unit Activity 

      Writer's Workshop

      Learning Centers ; Free Choice Centers/Reading Groups

      Read Aloud Chapter Book


      Sustained Silent Reading

      Unit Activity 




An integrated unit on weather is common for children to study in the elementary grades. It is usually part of a school's curriculum requirements. Weather should not be only limited to students in the intermediate grades, but even as early as kindergarten children should be introduced to this topic. The early exposure to the elements of weather will expand background experience for later understanding. The students in primary grades may not be able to grasp the cause and effect relationships of weather, but they should develop a beginning interest as they are introduced to key concepts of weather. A unit on weather is important to study for children because it is something that is all around them and a part of everyday life. There are many decisions in life that are dependent on weather conditions. Students should develop a better understanding of weather, so that they can learn how to make those decisions. It is important for children to raise questions about the world around them. This will lead them to seek out answers by making careful observations and trying things out. A weather study will certainly raise questions of the phenomena around them. In the past, the weather phenomena could not be explained and so, there were many myths surrounding weather. Today, students can know that the more they learn about things, the less they can fear them. Through manipulation and observations, children can make those inquiries of something that is real to them. In studying weather, students will engage in predominantly scientific inquiry of processes that shape the Earth. However, an integrated unit will draw students into the topic of weather through a variety of subject approaches and processes which will be applicable to their everyday lives.


Subjects Covered within UNIT: Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, Mathematics, Art


Multiple Intelligences Covered within UNIT:

  Bodily Kinesthetic – movement into & out of groups

                                      Interdependence – working together in groups

                                      Intradependence – written personal reflections on weather

                                      Musical – background storm sounds & audio tapes

                                      Naturalist - study of weather

                                      Linguistic – read alouds

                                      Logic – learning how to track & graph weather info, math games

Spatial – creating pictures based on changes in weather, little book of big ideas



PIGS FACE Overall UNIT Plan:

Positive Interdependence – one sheet of instructions for group work

Individual Accountability – quizzes, personal reflections, individual jobs (daily & within groups)

Group Processing – end of lesson discussions within their groups (think, pair, share)

Social Skills – using proper communication skills to work together

Face to Face – working in groups of 3 or 4 facing each other


Illinois Standards Covered within UNIT:

Science - 11.A.1b, 11.A.1c, 11.A.1d, 11.A.1e, 12.D.1b, 12.E.1a, 12.E.1b, 12.F.1b,13.A.1c, 13.B.1a, 13.B.1b, 13.B.1d, 16.A.1b

Social Studies - 17.A.1a, 17.A.1b, 17.B.1a, 17.C.1a,



            Large post-it pads


            Weather chart

            CD Player & CD’s

Books on Weather

Anemometer, Barometer, Thermometer

Weather worksheets & take home materials

            As needed – see individual lesson plans




General Adaptations/Modifications:

  • Schedule short conferences with students to check for comprehension
  • Books on audio tape/CD
  • Reduce the number of concepts introduced at any one time
  • Monitor the level of language I use to communicate ideas
  • Keep sentence structure simple; gradually introduce more complex sentences as students master ability to comprehend them
  • Alert student’s attention to key points


  • Daily Observations
  • Worksheets
  • Quizzes – comprehension & vocabulary
  • Projects

Weather Lesson Sample (1 of 9)


Introduction to Unit – KWL & Daily Weather Board

Grade 2

1.5 - 2 hour lesson


Objective: To introduce the unit on weather and the K-W-L bulletin board.


Subjects Covered: Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, Mathematics


Multiple Intelligences: 

  Bodily Kinesthetic – movement into & out of groups

                                      Interdependence – working together in groups

                                      Intradependence – written reflection on weather

                                      Musical – background storm sounds

                                      Naturalist - study of weather

                                      Linguistic – read aloud

                                      Logic – learning how to track & graph weather info

  Spatial – N/A


PIGS FACE Lesson Plan:

Positive Interdependence – One worksheet will be given to each team.  Teams will be assigned with 2 or 3 students.  Teams will receive bonus points for working well together.

Individual Accountability – I will tell the students that they will write a personal reflection after we have completed the lesson.

Group Processing – At the end of the lesson, each group will reflect on how they worked as a group.  The group will also discuss one thing they learned during this lesson.

Social Skills – The students will be reminded to use the social skills they have learned in previous lessons.  I will model these social skills for the children.

Face to Face – working in groups of 2 or 3 facing each other


Standards (Specific):

            Language Arts – 1a, 1b, 1c, 3a, 3b, 3c, 4a

            Social/Emotional Learning – 2c

            Mathematics – 7a, 7b

            Science – 11a, 12e, 13b

Social Science – 17a

Physical Development – 21b



  • Large post-it pads
  • Markers
  • Weather chart
  • CD Player & CD
  • Oh Say Can You Say What's the Weather Today? : All About Weather
  • Gibbons, Gail. Weather Words and What They Mean.  
  • Anemometer, Barometer, Thermometer
  • Weather symbol worksheet



  • START the unit by flashing the lights on and off, along with having storm sounds played in the background.  Ask the students what they think the unit is going to be about.
  • Remind the students to use the social skills that we discussed in previous lessons.  Model these social skills for the children.
  • Divide the students into groups of 2 or 3 students.

        The children will have tasks within their groups:

Material Manager – gathers the materials

Recorder – records the outcomes of the experiments

Timer – limit experiment to 15 minutes

  • Introduce new unit on weather and then transition into KWL board
  • The bulletin board should be divided into three sections, headed "what I know," "what I want to know," and "what I learned”.
  • When introducing the unit, let students discuss some of the facts and information they already know about weather.
  • Write down all the ideas that the students brainstorm
  • Have students write what they already know on cloud shaped paper and display in corresponding section.
  • Ask them about the things they would like to know or learn about during the unit.
  • Have students write these on lightning bolts and display.
  • At the end of the unit, add what they have learned by having students write on raindrops to display on the bulletin board
  • READ Oh Say Can You Say What's the Weather Today? : All About Weather
  • READ Weather Words and What They Mean.  
  • Introduce Weather tools :  Anemometer, Barometer, Thermometer
  • Introduce Weather Chart & Symbols
  • Group worksheet/quiz on weather symbols
  • Introduce Daily Schedule
    • Daily Journals & Weather Log
    • Calendar, News
    • Daily Weather – Temperature, Barometer, Precipitation, Weather Forecasting
    • Daily Oral Language, Spelling
    • Unit Activity
    • Writer’s Workshop
    • Learning Center – Free Choice/Reading Groups
    • Read Aloud Chapter Book
    • Lunch
    • Unit Activity
    • Math


o       Create GROUP journal, where the recorder can record the groups reflections after each lesson has been completed.

o       Create PERSONAL journal for children, where they can write their individual reflections after each lesson has been completed.

o       Group Reflection – at the end of the lesson the groups will reflect together on how well they worked as a group.  They will also discuss one thing they learned during this lesson.

o       Personal Reflection – after each group is finished with their reflections, each person will write down how they felt they worked as a group, and one thing that they learned as an individual.



Specific Adaptations/Modifications:

  • One on one lesson with individuals after unit is introduced to verify understanding.
  • Group discussions for those who do not understand the concepts
  • Oh Say Can You Say What's the Weather Today? : All About Weather on audio tape


  • Observation
  • Worksheet
  • Reflections – group & individual