Objective: Students will use water words to calculate answers to mathematical problems.

Materials: paper and pencils

Background: The sun is the source of energy that drives our weather. When this energy reaches the earth, it warms the earth's surfaces. But it warms the surfaces unevenly, with some areas getting more heat than others. This uneven heating moves the air (wind) and makes the water cycle work. And with the winds and water comes all our weather.

Number the letters of the alphabet from one to twenty-six in order. Example: A-1, Z-26

Give each letter in the word its number value. For example: Front = 6+18+15+14+20.

Assign each student a partner. Working together, have each group answer the following questions (or other questions that you can think of....):
Which word is worth the most?
Which word is worth the least?
Which two words add up to the most?
Are there two words that have a difference of five?
Are there two words, when added together that have the same sum as two other words?
Make at least one sentence out of the ten words. Total the numbers of each word. Then add all the totals together. Do you think the total is larger than the number of raindrops in a large puddle?

Word List:
fog, clouds, storm, dew point, puddle, humidity, evaporate, front, tornado, thunderstorm, rain, blizzard, precipitation, showers, moisture, hail, snow, hurricane

Take a trip to the post office and ask about commemorative postage stamps with water or weather pictures, themes or people who have made a contribution to the world of water. Have students write a letter to the Postermaster General of the United Stated with their ideas and designs for a water-related stamp.

Make a thumb print fish by carefully pressing your thumb into ink pads and lifting your thumb straight up. Place your thumb on construction paper and repeat several times using a variety of colors and leaving a space between prints. Using markers, draw a tail, fins, eyes, etc. to create a fish from each thumb print. Use crayons to color an aquarium background.

Have each student make a weather wheel. Cut a large circle out of stiff cardboard. Divide it into 8 sections and glue a picture of a weather clue on each section. Cut two pointers out of stiff cardboard and fasten them to the center of the dial with a big paper fastener. Each morning take the students on a weather walk and have them describe the current conditions. When you return to the classroom, have each student try to predict what the weather will be like for the rest of the day. Have them set their weather wheel on their prediction. At the end of the day, check to see who accurately predicted the weather.

Activity adapted from Thematic Unit: Water, Montrose Elementary School
Grade Level:

Subject Areas:
Reading, Math

SD Standards for 4th grade:
4.R.1.1; 4.R.1.2; 4.R.2.2; 4.R.3.1; 4.R.5.1

4.A.1.3; 4.A.3.1


Problem Solving, Communication, Computation, Evaluation

Prior Preparation: Visit the Teaching Units (Science) - Weather Activites page and complete the activities. This will give your students a good introduction to basic weather terminology and information.

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