Just How Cold Is It?

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The Great Lakes Collaborative

Title: Just How Cold is it?

Purpose:

To collect daily temperatures from sites in Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania, over a 2-week period, and graph the temperatures as related to time and location.

Objectives:

  1. Predict, observe, and record the weather. (S)
  2. Read a chart containing weather information. (S)
  3. Interpret temperatures recorded on a graph. (S)
  4. Construct line and bar graphs from data. (M)
  5. Interpret and make inferences using tables and graphs. (M)

Grade Levels: 1-9

Materials:

Procedure:

  1. Each participating site will take the outdoor temperature at 5 different times during the day. (9:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 12:30 PM, and 1:30 PM)

  2. At the end of each day, or before 9:00 am the following day, each site will log-in and send an e-mail message to GLC by filling in the temperatures in the form that is provided. To enter data follow these steps:

    1. Open Eudora and check for new mail:

      1. Open the "WEATHER FORM" and read the "WEATHER FORM" message.

        The message will look like this:

          Please enter your school name here:

          Please enter the temperatures below the proper time.

          Temperature (degrees Fahrenheit)

          9:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 12:30 PM, 1:30 PM

    2. Select "REPLY" under the pulldown menu "MESSAGE" found at the top of the screen.

    3. Type in the name of your school as requested.

    4. Click under the 9:30 time and record the temperature. Move to the right and enter the temperatures for all of the other times.

      For example, your data might look like this:

        Please enter your school name here. ADAMS ELEMENTARY Detroit, Michigan

        Please enter your temperature below the proper time.

        Temperature (degrees Fahrenheit)

        9:30 am, 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 PM, 1:30 PM
        22 23 25 32 31

    5. Send the message.

  3. Read the "WEATHER MAIL" to get the data from the other sites.

    1. This message will list all of the up-to-date data that have been sent by the sites.

    2. Print these data on your printer. (If your printer is not hooked up you will need to copy the data to another form by hand.)

Activities

  1. Charting Your School's Weather

    IDEA 1: Create a wall data table.

      Make a large chart for your wall and record the temperatures for the 2 week period. The chart might look like the one below. (See Weather Kit for master.)

    IDEA 2: Create an electronic data table.

      Record the temperatures for the 2 week period on this chart. (See Weather Kit for master disk.)

      Hint: Have students take turns using the computer to add the data to the chart. Be sure to save the data each day and print the chart when all of the data have been entered.

    IDEA 3: Do both kinds of charts.

    TIME

    Temperature (degrees Fahrenheit)

    Processing suggestions:

    1. Find the highest temperature for the entire 2 weeks.
    2. Find the lowest temperature for the entire 2 weeks.
    3. Find the average temperature at each time.
    4. Find the average temperature for each day.
    5. Work in cooperative groups and have each group do a different graph.

      1. Some groups should graph the average temperature vs. the date. Note: the first variable given goes on the Y axis (vertical) and the second variable goes on the x-axis (horizontal).

      2. Other groups should graph the temperature vs. the time for a given date.

    6. Have some of the groups make bar graphs instead of (or in addition to) line graphs.

  2. Charting Another School's Weather

    IDEA 1: Create a wall data table.

    1. Select one or more schools from your state or other states.

    2. Make a large chart for your wall and record the temperatures for the 2-week period. Each chart will look like the one below. (See Weather Kit for master.)

    IDEA 2: Create an electronic data table.

    1. Select one or more schools from your state or other states.

    2. Enter the temperatures for each school for the 2 week period on this chart in the computer.

        Hint: Have students take turns using the computer to add the data to the chart. Be sure to save the data each day and print the chart when all of the data are entered.

        NOTE: Use the copy and paste option to make more blank charts.

    IDEA 3: Do both kinds of charts

    Name, City, and State of School __________________________________


    TIME


    Temperature (degrees Fahrenheit)

    Processing suggestions:

    1. Find the highest temperature for the entire 2 weeks.
    2. Find the lowest temperature for the entire 2 weeks.
    3. Find the average temperature at each time.
    4. Find the average temperature for each day.
    5. Work in cooperative groups and have each group do a different graph.

      1. Some groups should graph the average temperature vs. the date.

          (Note: the first variable given goes on the Y axis (vertical) and the second variable goes on the x-axis (horizontal).

          Other groups graph the temperature vs. the time for a given date.

      2. Have some of the groups make bar graphs instead of (or in addition to) line graphs.

  3. Activities for Younger Students

    1. Making a model of a thermometer. (See Weather Kit for master.)

      1. Have students make a paper thermometer out of white paper.
      2. The students should write the numbers on the white paper in the same way that the numbers show up on the real thermometer.
      3. Using red markers or crayons color the paper thermometer to the proper level to represent the real temperature.

          HINT: The white paper outline with the numbers written on it could be copied so that the students could make several "thermometers", one for each day and time.

      4. The students should organize the thermometers so that the greatest and lowest temperatures are displayed. Other sorting activities can also be used. It is very important to discuss the meanings of the different groupings. Be sure to use good processing, classifying, and observing techniques.

      5. Locate a few of the schools on a large map (See Weather Kit for master.) and place the lowest temperature each day near the school. Discuss and predict what the temperature might be the next day. Check the next day's data to see what happened.

  4. Activities for Older Students

    1. Locate several of the schools on a large map (See Weather Kit for master.) and place the lowest temperature each day near the school. Discuss and predict what the temperature might be the next day. Check the next day's data to see what happened.

    2. Using the outline map of the state or 3 state area (See Weather Kit for master.), identify the location of several sites.

    3. Have the students place the 12:30 PM temperature near each site and have them draw lines connecting the same temperatures. These lines are called Isotherms.

        Hint: Since you will not have the data from a great number of schools it might work better if the students rounded the temperature to the nearest 5 degrees (Ex 10 degrees, 15 degrees etc.). before they post them on the map.(See Weather Kit for sample.)

    4. Have students look for big changes in temperature from site to site and try to locate cold and warm fronts. Compare the data to a weather map from the news paper to find the actual fronts.


Integrating Other Content Areas

  1. Social Studies Integration

    1. Have students use a map of the 3 state area (See Weather Kit for master.) to find the locations of the other schools that are participating in the project.

    2. Work in cooperative groups and have each group take a different school. The group could do some of the following activities:

      1. Using the media center, find out information about the school's city or town.

      2. Use Eudora to send the school e-mail asking them about their city and school. (See Language Arts below.)

      3. Access the PhotoCD #3 and place the pictures of the school, community, students, and teacher into a ClarisWorks multimedia, document that illustrates a report about the school. (See Language Arts below.)

  2. Language Arts Integration

    1. Use Eudora to establish "pen pals" with one of the other sites in the project. The letters that the children write could be typed into the computer and sent as e-mail messages. The letters might center about one of the following themes:

      1. The weather in the school's location.
      2. The size of the class, school, and city.
      3. What the kids like to do for fun.
      4. The kids could write about their house, families, or pets.
      5. The favorite subjects in school.

        Suggestion: It might be good to connect with a class of about the same grade level so that the students will have similar interests and writing abilities.

    2. Work in cooperative groups and have each group take a different school. The group could do some of the following activities:

      1. Using the media center, find out information about the school's city and write a report about the school and community. (See Social Studies above.)

      2. Use Eudora to send the school e-mail asking the students about their city and school. (See Social Studies above.)

      3. Access the PhotoCD and place the pictures of the school, community, students, and teacher into a multi-media, ClarisWorks document that illustrates a report about the school. (See Social Studies above.)

      4. Each group could present a report on "their school" to the whole class using some of the PhotoCD pictures.

Extensions

  1. Take photographs of your local weather and submit the best photos to be included in the new Weather CD (See Weather Kit for materials and details.)

  2. Contact the weather person at a local TV or Radio station and invite them to come and talk to your class.

  3. Check the Explorer under Earth Science... Weather... for additional activities.

  4. Contribute some for your student's work to the Explorer data base so that other teachers and students can see what your class did with the project.

  5. Create a Weather unit lesson plan and contribute it to the Explorer Data Base.

  6. Contact the "Weather Underground" by using the Internet. (See Weather Kit for details.)

  7. Have the students watch the Weather Channel (on Cable) and report on what they see.

  8. Write a lesson plan for using the "Weather Channel" in the classroom and contribute it to the Explorer Data Base. (The data base doesn't have one now.)

  9. Create a weather bulletin board.

  10. Take a field trip to a local weather station. (Many times the stations are located at airports and are willing to conduct tours.)

  11. Use the spread sheet format to calculate averages and construct graphs (See Weather Kit for computer disk and details.)
 
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