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Grade K. In 5 lessons spanning 26 class sessions, Weather and Sky introduces young students to weather and the sky through direct observations. Building Blocks of Science® lessons are structured in 30-minute class sessions, making it easy to fit science into your day. The Weather and Sky Unit Kit includes a Teacher’s Guide (item #513802A) and enough supplies and apparatus to teach the unit to a class of up to 24 students. All materials are reusable.
Grade K. In 5 lessons spanning 26 class sessions, Weather and Sky extends young students’ natural curiosity about the weather and sky by focusing on direct observations and introducing the main weather features.
To begin, students predict and record observations of the day and night skies. Students compare and contrast their observations to recognize patterns, such as, the sun appears during the daytime, but the moon can appear in both the day and night skies. They also observe and discuss the repeating pattern and characteristics of the seasons. Students are introduced to four main weather features: temperature, wind, precipitation, and cloud cover. Observations are made and recorded using a class weather pocket chart and weather cards.
Students use the words “hot,” “warm,” “cool,” and “cold” to describe temperature through their direct observations, but the thermometer model demonstrates how a thermometer works and appearance changes in different temperatures. Students complete the unit with a solid foundation of weather and the knowledge to stay safe during inclement weather.
Building Blocks of Science® lessons are structured in 30-minute class sessions, making it easy to fit science into your day. The Weather and Sky Unit Kit includes a Teacher’s Guide (item #513802A), teacher and student access to digital materials, and enough supplies and apparatus to teach the unit to a class of up to 24 students. All materials are reusable.
Next Generation Science Standards®
The Building Blocks of Science® unit Weather and Sky, 2nd Edition, integrates process skills as defined by the Next Generation Science Standards®.
This unit offers several ways to assess students, including a pre- and a post-unit assessment opportunity. Teachers can also use class discussions and charts to assess each lesson. Student Activity Sheets and science notebook entriesincluding drawings, writings, and dictated statementscan be used to gauge individual understanding of objectives and key vocabulary throughout the unit. The Assessment Observation Sheets supplied with each lesson help teachers document and measure students’ progress and knowledge using informal assessment. Finally, a general rubric is provided to help teachers evaluate individual students at any point in the unit. The rubric provides a progression of skills and understanding that covers exploration, vocabulary, concept building, and notebook entries.Lesson Summaries
To introduce Weather and Sky, students become familiar with gathering direct observations of the sky during different times of day. Students predict and record the objects they think will appear in the daytime sky on a class chart. Then students go outside to make direct observations of the daytime sky and record/describe what they see. They share their findings with their peers and discuss how the weather feels outside, introducing words such as “temperature” and “weather.” Students predict and record the objects they think will appear in the nighttime sky on an additional chart. During the Family Science Activity: Nighttime Sky, students make direct observations of the nighttime sky and record/describe what they see. They return the next day prepared to share their observations with their peers. Students use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the daytime and nighttime skies. Using adhesive notes, they draw an item that was not mentioned that can be observed in the sky, and classify the object as one that can be observed in the daytime sky, nighttime sky, or both.Lesson 2: Weather Watchers
Lesson 2 introduces students to the four main weather features studied throughout this unit: temperature, wind, precipitation, and cloud cover. The activity begins with a pre-assessment to find out what students already know about weather, and words to describe the weather, and discusses how they plan their daily activities and clothing choices around the weather for the day. The class weather pocket chart and weather cards are introduced, allowing students to become familiar with the science words and weather symbols that they will use throughout the unit and on their daily observations. The weather features are introduced and discussed one at a time so students can develop a familiarity with the features and how to record weather observations using charts and weather symbols. Once the features have been introduced, students take turns being weather collectors and reporters for the class. They make direct observations of the weather features daily, record the class observations by placing the weather cards on the weather pocket chart, and record observations in their science notebooks.Lesson 3: Weather Reporting and Safety
Lesson 3 culminates all of the weather features introduced in Weather and Sky and provides each child an opportunity to report his or her science notebook observations, including all of the vocabulary words and descriptors from the unit. Students analyze their weather data in their notebooks and look for patterns and connections among weather features. They compare their weather observations and data collection with their peers’ through discussion and movement. Students are introduced to extreme or dangerous weather conditions, such as floods, tornados, hurricanes, lightning, and thunderstorms. They create a tornado model and discuss how to prepare for tornados and floods. Students practice a tornado drill and discuss ways to stay safe during severe weather. They create a flood model and discuss the connection between flash flooding and soil absorption. A Family Science Activity allows students to share what they have learned about staying safe during severe weather situations with their families. They create a weather safety kit and share their collections with their peers.Lesson 4: Warming the Earth
Students use the class weather pocket chart in a discussion on temperature. They record all ideas regarding temperature on a class chart, focusing on tools that measure temperature, and the vocabulary words “hot,” “warm,” “cool,” and “cold.” Students interact using a plastic outdoor thermometer and a thermometer model as standard tools to measure temperature. Then they dress characters for the weather according to the temperature outside and provide explanations to support their reasoning. After they become familiar with different thermometers used to measure temperature, students place the plastic thermometer outside to be warmed by the sun. After a while, they observe the thermometer as a class outdoors. Then students use the thermometer model to analyze changes in a thermometer’s appearance as the temperature becomes warmer and colder.Lesson 5: Staying Cool
In Lesson 5, students learn more about the effects of the Sun. They discuss what the Sun provides, including heat and energy, and that it affects objects by making them warm. Through class discussion, they learn ways for people to make themselves warmer or cooler, as well as how to warm up or cool down objects that are sitting in the Sun’s rays. Part of the process of cooling things down is to block the source of the energy that is heating them up. Another is to find a way to create air that will counteract the source of the energy. Students consider examples of how to achieve cooling things down in multiple ways. Students are separated into the same groups they formed in Lesson 4, Activity C. They choose one of the plastic cups of substrate from that activity and must select a way to prevent it from being warmed by the sun. Once students have selected which approach they want to take, they design and implement their plan. Afterward, they test it multiple times to see if and how it works.
|Unit Technology Pack (includes digital access to teacher’s guide and digital student access to big book)||1||Included|
|Weather and Sky Big Book||1||Included|
|Bag, Plastic, Resealable, 9 x 12”||3||Included|
|Cup, Plastic, Squat, 9 oz||25||Included|
|Cup, Plastic, 2-1/2 oz, with Lid||30||Included|
|Pail, Plastic, White, 1 qt||12||Included|
|Pipet, Graduated, 3 mL||16||Included|
|Sponge, Square, Blue||15||Included|
|Thermometer, Fahrenheit, 9”||1||Included|
|Tray, Plastic, Clear||12||Included|
|Soil, 1 L||2||Included|
|Sand, Marine, 5 lb||1||Included|
|Gravel, Aquarium, 5 lb||1||Included|
|Weather Flip Chart||1||Included|
|Classroom Pocket Chart||1||Included|