Investigating Monthly Temperatures and Precipitation

Contributor
WGBH
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Lesson/Lesson Plan
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

In this 5E lesson, students use monthly temperature and precipitation maps to determine average temperature and amount of precipitation in different locations. They then represent that information in tables and graphs. An interactive lesson for students is included as part of the lesson. There are also additional media resources that can be used if desired.

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • Grade 3
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access with user action - The right to view and/or download material without financial barriers but users are required to register or experience some other low-barrier to use.

Performance Expectations

3-ESS2-1 Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.

Clarification Statement: Examples of data could include average temperature, precipitation, and wind direction.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment of graphical displays is limited to pictographs and bar graphs. Assessment does not include climate change.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
With partners, students explore average monthly temperature and total monthly precipitation over seasons for their local area and one other area. They organize temperature and precipitation data into tables and bar graphs. With two other pairs of students who have investigated other locations, they look for patterns in typical temperatures and precipitation across seasons in the different locations over time.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
In the Evaluate phase of the lesson, students independently fill out the Temperature and Precipitation Claim handout. They then share their claim with the class. Debate is encouraged using evidence from the tables and graphs if there are disagreements. Students revisit and revise their claims as needed based on the discussion. This discussion can take the format of a scientist meeting or talk.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Students use monthly temperature and precipitation maps to determine average temperature and amount of precipitation in their local area and one different location. They then represent that information in tables and graphs on a provided handout to show seasonal patterns.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
With a partner, students find their local area on a map and choose an additional location to use as a comparison. Students use monthly temperature and precipitation maps to determine average temperature and amount of precipitation in their local area and the additional location. Later in the lesson, they predict the expected weather for each season. Hawaii and Alaska are not included in this resource. If those locations are local for students, when working with real data on maps (page 6), they will need to use locations from the prediction activity.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Students look for patterns in the temperature and precipitation data tables and graphs to make claims and predictions about what to expect during different seasons.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: All three dimensions are used in this lesson to allow students to make the transition from thinking about weather as a phenomenon that is occurring at the moment to determining the typical weather conditions of a location seasonally. They analyze and interpret data over a two year period for their local area and an additional location, looking for patterns that allow them to make claims about seasonal weather conditions. The questions that were created in the Engage phase could be revisited in the Evaluate phase to see if any were answered during the learning. Four links to other PBS Learning Media resources are provided that address related topics to support a more comprehensive unit.

  • Instructional Supports: This resource asks students to analyze data related to their local area and compare that with another location. They share their claims with the class and are encouraged to argue with evidence when there is disagreement. Under the Teacher and Student Support tabs following the unit, there are visual supports for unit vocabulary and sentence frames to aid struggling writers or ELL students. An extension activity is provided. The interactive portion of the lesson provides information and practice interpreting maps.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: Suggestions for monitoring student progress are provided during the Explore phase of the lesson to make sure they understand the task as well as to provide feedback on student organization and interpretation of the data. The teacher can look at the saved work on the interactive lesson to check for understanding. This also allows the teacher to check for misinterpretation of the maps. An Identify the Season handout is provided as an additional assessment activity. The extension activity could also be used with all students as an assessment tool or for those that have met the expectations before the rest of the class is finished. There is a rubric included for the activity.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: The interactive component of this lesson allows for the individual to interact with the information, respond to questions or direction, and save their work. The last pages of the interactive lesson contain the maps used by the students to collect and interpret temperature and precipitation data. The interactive part of the lesson can be assigned using Google Classroom. The only way for the teacher to view the student work is through the student login.