Nature's Weather Clues Mini-Lesson

As part of a weather forecasting lesson, use this slideshow to show how nature sometimes gives clues to changing weather—no technology needed!
Grades
4 |
5 |
6
Teaching Strategies
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Excerpted from

Eyewitness: Weather
Eyewitness: Weather
Brian Cosgrove

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

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Objective
Students will learn how clues in nature sometimes give advance warning of changes in weather.
Suggested Time
15 minutes
Reading Level
Upper Elementary
Nature's Weather Clues Mini-Lesson

Teacher Background

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

  • 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.)
  • 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?)
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?
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.

Lesson Contents

TEACHER RESOURCES

Extension Activities

Reinforcements

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worksheet

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

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worksheet

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

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