Since weather affects everyone on earth, teaching students how to collect and interpret weather data provides them a practical life skill. Through the process of learning to write a weather report, students become familiar with weather maps and symbols, the forces that create the weather and how to predict weather patterns. The final presentation for a weather report lesson plan that serves multiple expressive learning styles integrates writing, visual arts and public speaking.
Watch some weather reports on the news, taking note of the type of information they cover and presentation style. If possible, visit a TV station or invite a meteorologist to come speak to your class to share information on gathering weather data, making predictions and compiling it into a news report.
Discuss and define the types of weather factors found in a news report. Create a symbol key showing how meteorologists indicate these elements on a weather map.
Select a geographical area for the weather reports or let your students choose an area. You may focus on the local area or state, or your students may be interested in checking the weather for an area they will soon be visiting, especially if vacation is near and they are planning a beach or ski trip or other outdoor fun.
Conduct research to collect weather data for the chosen area. Students should include current conditions, temperature, humidity, wind, precipitation, current Doppler image and the 5-day forecast. You may want to ask students to use the raw data to try their own weather prediction before looking at the official forecast.
Colour a blank map of the area and add symbols from the key to create a weather map. Make separate versions to show current conditions, temperature and humidity, wind, precipitation and the forecast. Enlarge the maps to make presentation posters or scan into your computer for use in a slide show if you have a digital projector available for student use.
Write a weather report script. Practice delivering your report while referring to your maps as they do on the weather news. Close your report with a brief summary of how the expected weather affects the lives and activities of the people in the area and what preparations or precautions are necessary, recommends Microsoft Education.
Assemble a digital slideshow of your weather maps and predictions, if you are using a projector for your visual. Microsoft Education provides a helpful template for this purpose (see "Resources").
Present report to class live or make a video of your weather report to show in class.
If a meteorologist is not readily available to assist you or to give students further practice and background knowledge, see "Resources" for online tools to help you teach students about gathering weather data, predicting the weather and using weather maps.
Tips and warnings
- If a meteorologist is not readily available to assist you or to give students further practice and background knowledge, see "Resources" for online tools to help you teach students about gathering weather data, predicting the weather and using weather maps.
Things you need
- 1 Meterologist guest speaker
- Recorded news weather reports
- Internet-connected computer
- Blank maps of the chosen geographical area(s)
- Coloured pencils, crayons or markers
- Video camera, optional
- Blank DVD, optional
- Digital projector, optional