Nature's Weather Clues Mini-Lesson

Objective: Students will learn how clues in nature sometimes give advance warning of changes in weather.

Suggested Time: 15 minutes

Reading Level: Upper Elementary

Teacher Background

The National Weather Service uses sophisticated technology including Doppler radar and satellite imagery to make precise weather MORE

Subscribe to TeacherVision to read the full Teacher Background.

Already a subscriber? Sign In.

Print or Project

  1. A Visual Overview: Show the slideshow of photos to your class. Each has a descriptive caption and kid-friendly copy for your students to read. (Please note that there is also more extensive teacher note copy just for you.)
  2. Creative Caption Review: Once you've been through the slideshow for an overview, go back through it again. This time ask students to explain why the captions do (or do not!) work. (Example: Is it a good idea to label the seaweed as a "Weather Weed?" Why or why not?)

Click the thumbnail slides below to see the captions and kid-friendly copy up close.

  1. Continue the Conversation: Ask students to describe what Groundhog Day (Feb. 2) celebrates. Ask if they think a groundhog's shadow is a reliable predictor of weather. After some conversation, tell them that weather records have proved the groundhog predictions wrong many times. Does this change their original opinion?
  2. Write about it: Put students in pairs. Remind them of the saying: "Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in morning, sailors take warning." Ask if they can make up their own "weather saying" using examples they saw in the slideshow such as the pine cones and seaweed. You might also suggest they think about different kinds of clouds.

Extension Activities

Reinforcements: These worksheets will be useful as you further develop your teaching unit. The Word Power worksheet will give your students vocabulary practice with key terms from this mini-lesson and the related activity will help reinforce key concepts on weather.


Word Power Vocabulary
Grade: 4 - 6
Students practice vocabulary relevant to nature's weather clues by using each defined word in a sentence.



Weather Forecasting
Grade: 5
Distribute an assignment on weather predictions and the job of a weather forecaster.



Excerpted from:

Eyewitness: Weather

Discover the world's weather—from heat waves and droughts to blizzards and floods—through spectacular photographs and facts.

Receive 20% off your DK purchase with promo code DKCLIP.


If you need to teach it, we have it covered.

Start your free trial to gain instant access to thousands of expertly curated worksheets, activities, and lessons created by educational publishers and teachers.

Start Your Free Trial

Follow us on:

Follow TeacherVision on Facebook
Follow TeacherVision on Google Plus