• Elementary Science Grade 1 Unit 1 

    Subject: Science
    Grade: 1
    Timeline: 12 weeks
    Unit/Module Title: Weather and Climate

    Unit Overview: 
    In this unit, students discover that cloud cover, precipitation, wind, and temperature are features of weather.  They learn that these features can not only be observed with the senses but also measured with scientific instruments such as rain gauges, wind scales, and thermometers.  Investigations of wind introduce students to the concept that air is a physical substance that surrounds us, takes up space, and has material properties.  As they observe pie-tin puddles in the classroom, students are introduced to the processes of condensation and evaporation, both of which are part of the water cycle.  In the course of their investigations, students gain skills in using simple instruments to measure rainfall, wind speed, and temperature.  They hone their observational skills as they study and classify various types of clouds.  They obtain experience collecting, organizing, and interpreting long term data.  The lessons in this unit enable students to appreciate how weather changes and how it affects our daily lives, to make elementary weather forecasts, and to appreciate the importance of meteorology. 

    Unit Objectives: 
    The objectives of this unit are to apply the Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS) Crosscutting Concepts that bridge disciplinary boundaries, uniting core ideas through the fields of science and engineering. 
    • Patterns in the natural world can be observed, used to describe phenomena, and used as evidence.      
    Systems and System Models
    Focus Standards:
    PSSA Eligible Content:
    S4.D.2.1.1: Identify basic cloud types (cirrus, cumulus, stratus, cumulonimbus) and make connections to basic elements of weather (e.g. changes in temperature and precipitation).
    S4.D.2.1.1: Identify weather patterns from data charts or graphs of the data (e.g. temperature, wind direction, wind speeds, cloud types, precipitation).
    S4.D.2.1.3: Identify appropriate instruments (thermometer, rain gauge, weather vane, anemometer, barometer) to study weather and what they measure.
    NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas:
    ESS2.D: Weather and Climate
    • Weather is the combination of sunlight, wind, snow or rain, and temperature in a particular region at a particular time. People measure these conditions to describe and record the weather and to notice patterns over time.
    ESS2.E: Biogeology
    • Plants and animals can change their environment.
    ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems
    • Things that people do to live comfortably can affect the world around them, however; they can make choices that reduce their impact on the land, water, air, and other living things.  
    Concepts - Students will know:
    • the different types of clouds.
    • the three states of water in the environment.
    • how to interpret weather data.
    Competencies - Students will be able to:
    • identify and describe cloud types (e.g. cumulus, cirrus, stratus, and etc.).
    • explain connections between weather conditions and cloud types.
    • identify water as a solid, liquid, and gas in the water cycle.
    • explain how water changes state (e.g. melting, freezing, condensation, evaporation).
    • identify and describe different types of precipitation.
    • collect data using a variety of tools (observation, thermometers, rain gauge, wind gauge, etc.).
    • chart data over a period of time.
    • make predictions based on patterns from data.

    Formative Assessments:
    • Pre Assessment
    • Journals
    • Teacher Observation
    • Performance Tasks

    Summative Assessments:

    • Post Assessment

    Elements of Instruction:
    The NGSS identifies eight Science and Engineering Practices.  The two practices that follow apply to this unit.     
    Analyzing and Interpreting Data:
    Analyzing data in K–2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to collecting, recording, and sharing observations..
    • Use observations (firsthand or from media) to describe patterns in the natural world in order to answer scientific questions.
    Engaging in Argument from Evidence:
    Engaging in argument from evidence in K–2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to comparing ideas and representations about the natural and designed world(s).
    • Construct an argument with evidence to support a claim.
    Each lesson has differentiation options for each portion of the lesson. Additional differentiation options are listed with directions and student masters in the Teacher’s Guide.
    • Invite a meteorologist to class
    • Thermometer guessing games - teacher says temperature, student shows on model thermometer
    • Students write similes to describe weather and illustrate for further understanding
    • Students find thermostat at home to find out how their homes are heated and cooled
    • Invite school nurse to talk about body temperatures and to discuss newer types of thermometers
    • Have students measure and record temperature at different times of the day and discuss why they differ
    • Make a Venn diagram to record types of clothing they wear in hot and cold weather
    • Make different size puddles to see if they disappear at different rates.  Graph results
    • Have higher level learners work with lower level learners in groups to assist with investigations

    Interdisciplinary Connections:
     Click here for Math/ELA Integration

    Social Studies:
    • Climate variations per geographical regions
    • History of weather instruments

    Literacy Connections: 
    Science/Literacy Kit:

    • Weather and Seasons
    • Hearing
    • Hurricanes
    • Smells All Around Us
    • Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter
    • The Four Seasons
    • Weather Words
    • When a Storm Comes
    • See With Your Eyes

    Additional Resources / Games: