Water Cycle - Weather (2)
Pre Lab 

   
OBJECTIVES:
  • Comparing climate and weather.
  • Explore the local climate.
VOCABULARY:
  • climate
  • temperature
  • rain
  • snow
  • frost
  • ice
  • fog
  • summer
  • winter
MATERIALS:

Students use their experience to determine local climate.

  

BACKGROUND:

Weather and climate may be confusing to students at this age. Climate is the overall weather patterns over time in certain regions. Weather usually refers to the situation at one given time. Climates are different in different locations.

Climate is determined by analyzing yearly charts of surface weather patterns, upper wind patterns, high and low temperatures, and precipitation. There are many areas where topography or the relief of the surrounding area influences what is called "microclimate." For instance being close to a mountain can make the climate more windy, than a community that lives away from the mountain. Distinguish for students that seasons are caused by the angle of the Sunís ray caused by the Earthís tilted axis. The seasonís influence the general climate, but mountains, land, and vegetation also exert an influence.

PROCEDURE:

The object of this activity is to have students think about the climate in their own local area.

  1. To emphasize the difference between weather and climate, use the tornado maker. Ask students if a tornado is climate or weather. A tornado is a weather condition. In some climates, tornadoes may be more common.
      
  2. Students will have to use their past knowledge of the area in order to do this worksheet. If you have any "new" students to this region, have them do the area that they lived in within the last year. Students should think about the weather in their backyards when they answer the questions.
      
  3. Temperatures should be given as very hot, hot, warm, cool, cold, very cold. Let them fill in the worksheets on their own for a few minutes or send them home as a homework assignment. The second part of the worksheet asks students to think of a relative or friend who lives in another type of climate.
      
  4. Go over the worksheet with the class. Students may have some stereotypical views of the climate caused by a confusion of seasons. For example, they may think that plants do not grow in the winter because so many books talk about winter as a time when plants are dormant because there is lots of snow. Not true! Arizona, California, Hawaii, and many other areas are warm enough to grow produce.
      
  5. Climates can be mild, hot, cool, cold, warm, or any other descriptive term. Children with no other experiences than their own state in which they reside, may not realize that there are other climates. Make sure you point out the geographic region you are talking about by showing students a map of the United States.
      
  6. If you have Internet access, you can have the students look at weather occurring in different regions of the country.

Recommended sites:
http://www.weatherimages.org

Site summarizes many other sites that are on line. Quick and easy to search your particular area.
http://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/ 


National Weather Service maintains information on most major cities in each state. This site is a little slower than the one mentioned above, but it has more detailed and scientifically correct information.

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