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Weather & Atmosphere

Lesson Plans

Layers of the Atmosphere – (6-12) - To discover how the atmosphere can be divided into layers based on temperature changes at different heights by making a graph.

Land vs. Water Temperature Lab – (6-12) - To illustrate how dark land surfaces, light land surfaces and water all heat at different rates, effecting Earth’s temperature and weather. Illustrates that water heats more slowly than land and therefore the surface of the Earth must heat at different rates, causing our weather.


Lesson Plan Links

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Investigating the Climate System: Weather: The Global Awareness - This is a problem-based classroom module for students in grades 5-8. It is designed to be used at the end of a unit on weather to help students apply their knowledge to real-world problems. Students become the Events Manager for a music group that is planning a world tour. They have to use their knowledge of weather to decide which cities the group will visit on a tour that focuses attention on natural environmental weather hazards.
Learn: Atmospheric Science Explores Cycles of the Earth and Atmosphere, UCAR - This on-line teaching module is for middle school science teachers. While some students may find portions of this site useful, the primary audience is classroom teachers and it has been developed with that target audience in mind. The site provides background information and supporting classroom teaching materials. The content focus is climate change and issues related to both stratospheric and tropospheric ozone.
Modeling the Reasons for Seasonal Change, Globe - This activity looks at what causes the Earth's seasons, with a focus on the Earth's tilt and spherical shape. Students learn how sunlight spreads over the Earth by modeling different tilts using a three-dimensional polyhedron which they construct from paper, and calculate the relative sunlight intensity received by the Northern and Southern Hemispheres to understand seasonal differences between the hemispheres.
Weather & Climate Selected Labs and Activities from Earth to Class.
Wisconsin Weather Stories Site with lesson plans, stories, weather sayings, and more.
CIMSS Satellite Meteorology course for grades 7-12. Combines striking satellite imagery with interactive learning activities such as teaching applets, discovery images, discovery quizzes, animations, faders, and clear explanatory text, even the most casual visit to this material translates to a learning experience.
Introductory Hurricane Lesson Plan Steve Kluge, NY: Hurricane lesson using real data and online resources.
Recipe for a Core Lab: students will learn how to take field notes as scientists do, using a simulated sediment core, constructed with edible items. Students will use metric notations to mark changes in the sediments, objects such as fossils and glacial pebbles in the core sample, and to select a spot to sample. They will use a small round cookie cutter to obtain a cylindrical sample of the core.
Program download: Global Warming: WorldWatcher, a supportive scientific visualization environment for geospatial data, is available for both Macintosh and Windows. The software provides an accessible and supportive environment for students to explore, interpret, and analyze scientific data in a manner which allows them to emulate the work of actual scientists.
Dewpoint and Relative Humidity Lab - New York Regents: includes making a sling psychrometer:
Weather Unit from Scholastic - The Weather Maker is part of this page. Interactive Activities and Lesson Plans.
Cloud in a Bottle Demonstration - Directions for a classic.
Weather - A whole list of 4 - 8 weather lesson plans from the Discovery Channel site.
Wire Antarctica - Learn about glaciers and the science that is taking place in Antarctica.
The Weather Eye - has lesson plans on weather for all ages. Has a 'Teacher's Lounge" for activities too.


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