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Weather Weather, quite contrary

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  • Students will write, fax or e-mail to invite a speaker to talk about "Reading Weather Maps" (Television weather reporters, Meteorology Dept).
  • Students to share their understanding and knowledge of "Weather" (before views) "What I know about reading a weather map", "What I want to find out".

Brainstorm or Concept map class or group activity "What is weather?".

  • Talk about seasonal changes in relation to birthdays, holidays, seasonal events and the activities that people do in different seasons. In the past, people used to predict what the weather might be by the sky:
    Red sky at night sailor's/shepherd's delight
    Red sky in the morning sailor's/shepherd's warning.

Other weather proverbs

The Earth's seasons and the weather were seen by the Maori as conveying good or bad omens. Rain was sometimes felt to be falling in sympathy with human tears; still today it is thought to come down heavily at funerals.

  • Discuss the seasonal changes of animals and plants.

Changes in Plants and Animals

  • Exploratory Activity - view and discuss picture resources related to weather topic. Discuss planned questions and write group response. Orally present ideas/answers to class.
  • Observe temperature change over a period of time, record findings. Discuss ways in which this information could be recorded (line graphs, graphing with wool and pins, column graph, bar graph). Discuss the importance of choosing appropriate graphic text. (Inappropriate graphic text can sometimes have the effect of misleading or confusing the reader).

Record daily weather conditions for a month using instruments such as thermometers, rain gauges, and wind direction indicators.

Students to compare their own daily weather records with the weather reports in the newspaper, on radio, on television, found on web sites. Possible questions for discussion:

Students to treat the map as a code, using the key they must write down as many true statements about the weather, encourage the use of place names (use an atlas).

Students to compare how different sources present their weather maps (Do they use a key, symbols?)

  • Discuss what the earth looks like from the moon, a satellite, a space shuttle.

View through the use of video, film, Web sites.

  • Construct a time line showing dates of national disasters in New Zealand's history caused by the weather.
  • Map global ocean currents and wind patterns. Map climate types or prevailing winds on a world map to show world patterns.
  • Investigate unusual weather patterns linked to geological events such as major volcanic eruptions. Students to select one event to research and write an explanation - the cause and effect.
  • Read and investigate the migration trails of sea-going Polynesians to ocean currents, winds, and stars.
  • Prepare a report or an interview on traditional Maori weather forecasting.
  • Design and make a barometer to find out how barometers work.

Use barometers to record atmospheric pressure over a period of time.

Learning Centre Extension Activities

Suggested topics and themes:

  • Compare cloud types and the types of weather conditions associated with each.

What Clouds Mean
Common cloud classifications
Clouds from the Weather Dude
Cloud Boutique

  • Investigate how different types of air masses are formed and what happens when air masses meet.
  • Compare and contrast the kinds of weather associated with hurricanes, cyclones, tornadoes, thunderstorms and blizzards and the effects on man and landforms.
  • Investigate/research how meteorologists use observable weather conditions to predict the weather.
  • Investigate/research humidity - what is it, how is it measured and what effect does it have on people and the environment?
  • Design, make, use: thermometer, barometer, windvane, rain gage.

Make Your Own Weather Station

  • Design and make an umbrella.
  • Experiments with evaporation, condensation, freezing and thawing.
  • Experiments that show hot air rising.
  • Drama: create scenes relating to - fog at the airport, impending floods, drought stricken country, caught in a cyclone.
  • Use music to create imagery:

Night on Bare Mountain, Mussorsky.
Storm from Pastorale Symphony, Beethoven.
The Four Seasons, Vivaldi.


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