About the Weather

Peggy Ashbrook
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Lesson/Lesson Plan , Activity , Informative Text
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.



This lesson is about using local weather to make observations, measure, collect, and record data to describe patterns over time. Students will count types of outdoor clothing worn by classmates and use the data to look for patterns in weather over months and seasons.

Intended Audience

Educational Level
  • Early Elementary
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

K-ESS2-1 Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time.

Clarification Statement: Examples of qualitative observations could include descriptions of the weather (such as sunny, cloudy, rainy, and warm); examples of quantitative observations could include numbers of sunny, windy, and rainy days in a month. Examples of patterns could include that it is usually cooler in the morning than in the afternoon and the number of sunny days versus cloudy days in different months.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment of quantitative observations limited to whole numbers and relative measures such as warmer/cooler.

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

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
The observations, discussions, and data collection should take place during a short part of the daily routine. Observation and data collection could take place as students arrive or while the class is lining up for recess. Once data is recorded, class discussion could take place at any time during the day.

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
Along with recording the types of clothing worn on a graph, students could keep a weekly science journal describing the graph results.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

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

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
The teacher could start the lesson with asking if they can predict the weather based on yesterday and today. Can they predict what clothes they might need to wear tomorrow? Why not a heavy winter coat? Students may begin to notice that there are some things that are predictable (like general range of temperature), but other things (rain, cloudy) are not as predictable and only scientists have the tools to predict. The teacher should use the provided worksheets or create ones for the data collection. These data sheets should be hung up around the classroom to show the patterns over months or seasons.

Crosscutting Concepts

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

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
When keeping and comparing data for several months, students should be able to observe local seasonal patterns in temperature and precipitation. The teacher should question students about what the data (type of clothing worn during the week/month) tells them with regards to local weather conditions.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: Grade-appropriate elements of the Science and Engineering Practice(s), Disciplinary Core Idea(s), and Crosscutting Concept(s), work together to support students in three-dimensional learning to make sense of phenomena.

  • Instructional Supports: This resource provides students with relevant phenomena of firsthand experiences (weather observations) to make sense of relevant problems (what type of clothing to wear for weather conditions) to solve. It also provides opportunities for students to connect their explanation of a phenomena to their own experience.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: Some questions are provided for the teacher to ask students during discussions. Other assessments could be added such as individual/class science journals or anecdotal records of student observations.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: There is no technology needed other than the teacher downloading the observation log and graphing images.