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  • 3rd Grade

    Weather and Climate

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

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

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  2. Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world. 3-ESS2-2

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  3. Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard. 3-ESS3-1

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

A Peformance Expectation (PE) is what a student should be able to do to show mastery of a concept. Some PEs include a Clarification Statement and/or an Assessment Boundary. These can be found by clicking the PE for "More Info." By hovering over a PE, its corresponding pieces from the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts will be highlighted.

Science and Engineering Practices

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

Analyzing data in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to introducing quantitative approaches to collecting data and conducting multiple trials of qualitative observations. When possible and feasible, digital tools should be used.

Engaging in Argument from Evidence

Engaging in argument from evidence in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to critiquing the scientific explanations or solutions proposed by peers by citing relevant evidence about the natural and designed world(s).

Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to evaluating the merit and accuracy of ideas and methods.

By clicking on a specific Science and Engineering Practice, Disciplinary Core Idea, or Crosscutting Concept, you can find out more information on it. By hovering over one you can find its corresponding elements in the PEs.

Planning Curriculum

Common Core State Standards Connections


  • RI.3.1 - Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers. (3-ESS2-2), (3-ESS3-1)
  • RI.3.9 - Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic. (3-ESS2-2)
  • W.3.1 - Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons. (3-ESS3-1)
  • W.3.7 - Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic. (3-ESS3-1)
  • W.3.8 - Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories. (3-ESS2-2)


  • 3.MD.A.2 - Measure and estimate liquid volumes and masses of objects using standard units of grams (g), kilograms (kg), and liters (l). Add, subtract, multiply, or divide to solve one-step word problems involving masses or volumes that are given in the same units, e.g., by using drawings (such as a beaker with a measurement scale) to represent the problem. (3-ESS2-1)
  • 3.MD.B.3 - Draw a scaled picture graph and a scaled bar graph to represent a data set with several categories. Solve one- and two-step "how many more" and "how many less" problems using information presented in scaled bar graphs. (3-ESS2-1)
  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (3-ESS2-1), (3-ESS2-2), (3-ESS3-1)
  • MP.4 - Model with mathematics. (3-ESS2-1), (3-ESS2-2), (3-ESS3-1)
  • MP.5 - Use appropriate tools strategically. (3-ESS2-1)

Model Course Mapping

First Time Visitors

Resources & Lesson Plans

  • More resources added each week!
    A team of teacher curators is working to find, review, and vet online resources that support the standards. Check back often, as NSTA continues to add more targeted resources.
  • Students use stacking cubes to create 3D graphs of monthly precipitation data for a city of their choice. They also compare the precipitation averages and seasonal patterns for several locations

  • There are four associated activities in this lesson (which is lesson 8 in a unit on natural disasters). In the first three activities, students learn about tornadoes, the damage they cause, and how engineers consider strong winds in their design of s ...

  •   By reading this book, students will learn about the basics of climate: what it is, how we measure it, and how we represent it on maps. The book defines differences between climate and weather, and helps students discover patterns in the Ear ...

  • 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 ...

  • In this unit, students investigate five essential questions about severe weather: "What is severe weather? How does weather impact people's lives? How can technology be used to collect data about weather conditions? What can weather data tel ...

  • In 2005 Hurricane Katrina caused severe damage and suffering to the people who lived in New Orleans. The levees that surrounded the city did not hold the immense amount of ocean water that rose from the storm.  In this activity, students wi ...

  • This one and half minute silent video shows the phenomenon of the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge located in Washington state.  The bridge opened to traffic on July 1, 1940 and collapsed only four months later on November 7, ...

  • Using My NASA Data to generate maps of precipitation and surface temperature, students can represent weather data in a way that shows global patterns during different times of the year.  Students can use the website to create their maps and use ...

  • In this lesson, students make a prediction about annual precipitation in their local area, and then use normal precipitation data for each month of the year from an internet source to create a bar graph of that data.  Normal is defined as a ...

  • This brief video from Crash Course Kids introduces students to severe weather. It explains that severe weather is more extreme than normal daily weather conditions.  There is a brief description of th ...

  • The activities in this lesson are in five parts and are designed to occur over the course of a school year. Students begin by describing and reporting weather. They then use their data to learn how weather patterns over a long period of time are used ...

  • This lesson provides an engaging way for students to investigate different climates from around the world. The teacher prints postcards from "grandma" along with graphs of climates from five different regions. Students must interpret the gr ...

  • This article outlines how student groups use multiple sources of information to learn about their assigned weather hazard: hurricanes, tornadoes, or thunderstorms. They then engage in the engineering design process, building ...

  • This resource acts as a climate data warehouse in the form of graphs and tables for cities across the US, a linchpin for any three-dimensional climate unit. The resource is not written specifically for educators. Its sister websit ...

  • This resource allows students to observe and manipulate a wide variety of data sets on a world map. The weather/climate tab provides visual representations of climate data, but students can make other curricular connections as well. Students or teach ...

  • The book, Sky Notebook, introduces students to the concept of collecting weather data to observe patterns. The book is written by a scientist who measures daily weather and records his observations in a notebook. The book allows students to examine t ...

  • This brief video from Crash Course Kids introduces students to the difference between weather and climate. The video focuses on the weather and climate of Yuma, Arizona. Students can analyze data averaged over years to determine if the weather shown ...

  • In "Lesson 0" of this weather unit, students explore what factors make up the weather and how scientists measure them. They describe the weather at the moment and then view a weather forcast to help them brainstorm a list of eleme ...

  • Students are expected to collect and graph weather data, then analyze historical averages to develop an understanding of the difference between weather and climate.

  • In this engineering activity, students are challenged to design and construct a roof that will protect a cardboard house from getting wet.   The criteria and constraints for the design is that students need to develop a roofing system ...

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Planning Curriculum gives connections to other areas of study for easier curriculum creation.