Objective: Students will learn the relationships between geographical places and the weather.

Materials: War Department weather maps from 1874 (3), weather map clues worksheet and answers, pencil and paper

Background: Since one way to forecast the weather is simply to assume that one type of weather will move from one place to another, weather forecasters need to be good at geography. Weather systems can change as they move, so this method of forecasting isn't always entirely accurate. But it can give forecasters a pretty good idea of the kinds of weather changes that are likely.

Primary Activity:
Dive class into 3 teams. Give each team a map. The three maps are ALL dated April 15, 1874; however, the times on each map are different - 1:00 a.m., 7:35 a.m., and 4:35 p.m.

The map key on each map is shown in a box on the middle, lower section of the map, titled, "References". Review the key with the class.

The object of this activity is for each team to determine if the weather clues are shown on their map. Every clue will not be on all three maps. It will be up to the team to determine if the clues on their worksheet are shown on their particular map.

Have each team pick a "recorder". This student's job will be to record a "yes" or "no" answer on the Weather Map Clues worksheet. Starting with Clue Number 1, each team will need to read the clue, find the answer on their map, then record whether Clue Number 1 is shown on their map (example: Clue Number 1 says, "It's snowing in Denver, Colorado". That clue is shown on the 4:35 p.m. map only. Only the team with that map should write, "Yes" for Clue Number 1 on their record. The other teams should write, "No" on their worksheet.

Secondary activity:
Go on line to the National Weather Service: www.nws.noaa.gov.

Go to the Education/Outreach section

Have students go to "Play Time for Kids".

Scroll down to General Weather Info and complete the activities.

Complete activities on the National Weather Service web site listed above.

Complete activities from the Nature Scope "Wild About Weather" book: Say It With Symbols (page 39), Fishy Forecasts (page 40), First With The Forecast (page 41-42), and Weather By The Chart (pages 42-43). Reproducible pages for these activities are on pages 44-48.

Vocabulary Glossary:
Conservation: A careful preservation and protection of a natural resource to prevent exploitation, destruction or neglect
Gravity: The quality of having weight
Water Pressure: The amount of force it takes to move water along or through a pipe or surface
Grade Level:

Subject Areas:
Social Studies, Science, Reading

SD Standards for 4th grade:
Social Studies
4.G.1.1; 4.G.1.2; 4.G.1.3

4.E.1.1; 4.E.1.2

4.R.1.1; 4.R.1.2; 4.R.2.1; 4.R.2.3; 4.R.4.1; 4.R.5.1; 4.R.5.2


Recall, Observation, DeductiveThinking

Prior Preparation: Review a current map of the United States. Students will need to have a good working knowledge of the location of towns and states. Allow the class to peruse the historical maps provided for this activity. Hold a discussion about geographic changes that have taken place between then (1874) and now.

Make 3 copies of the Weather Map Clues worksheet

conservation, gravity, water pressure
Home | Trunks | Presenter Kits | Class Activities | Teaching Units | Contact Us