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Smithsonian Science for the Classroom™: How Can We Be Ready for the Weather? 3-Use Module

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Grade K. Module Highlights: In 10 lessons over 14 class sessions, students explain 2 weather-related phenomena and propose solutions to weather-related problems. In lessons 1 through 3, students figure out how a pole became wet on one side while remaining dry on the other side. In lessons 4 through 7, students use data to figure out and explain why a snowman melts at some times but not others. In lessons 8 and 9, students consider and propose solutions to weather-related problems based on location. In the science challenge, lesson 10, students work more independently to design a weather preparation plan for a fictional class preparing for an all-day hike at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC).

This module includes a teacher guide, 1 Smithsonian Science Stories big book, 4 Smithsonian Science Stories student readers, and enough materials for 24 students to use 3 times.

Correlation to the Next Generation Science Standards*
Performance Expectations

  • K-ESS2-1: Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time.
  • K-ESS3-2: Ask questions to obtain information about the purpose of weather forecasting to prepare for, and respond to, severe weather.
  • K-PS3-1: Make observations to determine the effect of sunlight on Earth’s surface.

Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS2.D: Weather and Climate

  • Weather is the combination of sunlight, wind, snow or rain, and temperature in a particular region, at a particular time. People measure these conditions to describe and record weather and to notice patterns over time.

ESS3.B: Natural Hazards

  • Some kinds of severe weather are more likely than others in a given region. Weather scientists forecast severe weather so that the communities can prepare for and respond to these events.

ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting an Engineering Problem

  • Asking questions, making observations, and gathering information are helpful in thinking about problems.

PS3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer**

  • Sunlight warms Earth's surface.

**Indicates a DCI that is addressed in the module but not summatively assessed.

Science and Engineering Practices

  • Asking questions and defining problems
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
  • Analyzing and interpreting data

Crosscutting Concepts

  • Cause and effect
  • Patterns

Module Objectives

  • Use weather forecast information to develop and communicate a plan for preparing for weather hazards.
  • Use observations as evidence to prepare for weather hazards based on a location, time, and weather-related patterns.
  • Ask questions based on observations to evaluate preparations for weather-related problems.

Phenomena and Problems Storyline
Phenomenon: A pole is wet on one side but not on the other side.

Students figure out: Weather is a combination of elements. Wind and rain combined to cause the pole to be wet on one side.
How they figure it out:
Lesson 1: Students use prior knowledge and observations to develop an initial explanation of the phenomenon and develop a question that, when investigated, will support or refute their initial explanations.
Lesson 2: Students obtain information as evidence to identify weather elements that combined to cause the pole to be wet on one side. Students use their evidence to revise their initial explanations.
Lesson 3: Students develop a model to investigate the combination of weather elements that caused the phenomenon.
Phenomenon: The snowman melts at some times but not at other times.
Students figure out: Sunlight warms Earth’s surface, causing the temperature change throughout the day and night.
How they figure it out:
Lesson 4: Students use observations as evidence to determine that the snowman melts more during the day than at night.
Lesson 5: Students obtain information from the text about how people dress to prepare for different types of weather conditions, including temperatures.
Lesson 6: Combining information from lesson 5 and new observations, students determine that it gets warmer during the day and cooler at night. They plan an investigation to determine if the temperature change is caused by sunlight.
Lesson 7: Students use a model to investigate the difference in the rate of melting and temperature change with sunlight, as opposed to without sunlight. They observe the difference in melting rate and use it as evidence to explain that when the sun is out the temperature increases and the snowman melts, but that at night it does not melt because it gets colder after the sun has set.
Problem: Ada needs to prepare for severe weather so she and her friends can be safe playing in her tree house.
Students figure out: Some kinds of severe weather are more likely than others in a given region. Weather scientists forecast severe weather so that the communities can prepare for and respond to these events.
How they figure it out:
Lesson 8: Students ask questions to find out what types of weather hazards are likely based on where they and Ada live. Students obtain information about how to prepare for those hazards through the simulation Storm Smart.
Lesson 9: Students use historical weather data as evidence to decide the best month for Ada to have a friend visit her tree house.
Science Challenge
Problem: Ada’s class is taking an all-day hike at SERC and needs help planning the hike so everyone is ready for the weather.

Students figure out: The class should be prepared for temperatures increasing throughout the morning and possible storms in the afternoon.
How they figure it out:
Lesson 10: Students make observations from weather forecasts and obtain information from Storm Smart to choose what Ada needs to pack on the trip and which direction they should hike to stay safe and comfortable with the weather that is predicted for the day.

*Next Generation Science Standards® is a registered trademark of WestEd. Neither WestEd nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.


What’s Included:
  • How Can We Be Ready for the Weather? Teacher Guide
  • 1 Smithsonian Science Stories Literacy Series™: What's the Weather Big Book
  • 4 Smithsonian Science Stories Literacy Series™: What's the Weather Reader
  • 1 Digital Access to Teacher Guide and Student Literacy (for 24 students)
  • 18 Bag, Resealable, Plastic, 9 x 12"
  • 2 Bookend, Small, Nonslip Base
  • 12 Card Set, Types of Weather
  • 1 Card Set, Vocabulary
  • 2 Card Set, Weather Calendar
  • 3 Card Set, Weather Clothes
  • 3 Card Set, Weather Scenes
  • 6 Card Set, Wet on One Side
  • 40 Chipboard, Fine, 8-1/2 x 11"
  • 1 Clamp Lamp, with Reflector (without bulb)
  • 1 Desk Fan, 6"
  • 1 Dowel, Wood, 1-1/4 x 8"
  • 12 Frame, Box, Clear, Plastic, 8-1/2 x 11"
  • 1 Light Bulb, Halogen, 100 W
  • 36 Pad, Absorbent, Large
  • 6 Bottle, Plant Mister
  • 6 Sprayer, Plant Mister
  • 1 Tank, Plastic, 1 gal
  • 2 Thermometer, Fahrenheit, 9"
  • 6 Tray, Foam, 7-1/2 x 9-1/2"
  • 48 Tube, Cardboard, 3.8 x 22.7 cm
  • 200 Unifix® Cubes, Blue
  • 200 Unifix® Cubes, Green
  • 150 Unifix® Cubes, Red
  • 200 Unifix® Cubes, Yellow
Return Policy:

If for any reason you are not satisfied with this item, it is eligible for a return, exchange, refund, or credit up to 180 days from date of purchase. Restrictions may apply. Returns & Exchanges Policy.