This is a fun activity for students because it gets them outdoors, collecting data and then using technology to enter data about the weather. This activity gets students thinking about the weather. Take students outdoors at the same time each day to allow them to estimate the temperature. They will learn to think about how different factors in the weather (humidity, rain, wind, cloud cover, etc) effect temperature. After students record their estimations, they will record the actual temperature using a thermometer. Students will also record observations in the weather, appropriate activities and will calculate the difference in their estimation and actual temperature.
The spreadsheet allows students to answer questions about weather forecasts using data and graphs, to enter data on high and low temperatures over a 10-day period and to create charts displaying this data. Students will enter the data in Fahrenheit and the data will also be displayed in Celsius. As the teacher will you need knowledge of leading students in using spreadsheets.
I typically plan to use this lesson when a big change in weather and temperature is predicted. It simply makes the graphs more interesting and fun for students in predicting temperatures.
• Graphic organizer to record 10 days of weather data
• Spreadsheet for recording and graphing data and space for students to respond to questions
Specifics on excel spreadsheet:
• The first tab is titled Projected Forecast and allows students to observe a projected forecast over a 10-day period in both a graph and chart format. Change the name of the city and data to match your area. Students answer questions about the data.
• The second tab is titled 10 day Fahrenheit and Celsius. Students will need access to the high and low temperatures over a 10 day period in their city to enter the data in their spreadsheet. They will need to change the dates and data. As students enter the data in Fahrenheit it will also appear in Celsius.
• The third tab is titled Questions on Projected Forecasts. The questions on this tab enable students to extend their thinking from the questions on the first tab.
• The fourth tab allows students to record their estimation and actual temperatures from the How is the Weather Graphic organizer.
You will need to supply:
• A classroom thermometer
• Clip boards are helpful for students to take outdoors to record their information
**When you post the spreadsheet for your students to use, you will want to make it a read only file. When students open the file, have them “file, save as” and save with their name.