Teaching Weather and Climate Activities for Kids

Teaching weather and climate? Try these activities! First, set up a classroom weather station. Then, teach kids how to read weather maps. Finally, explore climate patterns around the world.

Ms. Sanchez Explores Weather and Climate Activities

Our favorite third grade teacher sat at the back table with her co-teacher. “Okay,” she said, “let’s review our weather and climate activities. First up, a look at the related earth science standards.” She read them aloud:

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

NGSS 3-ESS2-2 Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.

“When we deconstructed these standards, we first agreed on a weather station,” said Mr. Jones. “Although the standard doesn’t require it, we wanted our kids to experience earth science through hands-on activities.”

“Right,” Ms. Sanchez responded, “and that way they also represent data in tables and graphs. Then, of course, they need to learn about climate.”

Setting Up a Weather Station

“So, how should we sequence our weather station activities?” Mr. Jones asked.

Ms. Sanchez referred to a file on her laptop. As she discussed it, Mr. Jones looked on.

“First, I thought we’d use the nine posters included in the weather station resource. Using them, we’ll teach kids about temperature, wind, and precipitation. Additionally, we will cover humidity, pressure, and clouds. Finally, we’ll teach them to measure using tools like thermometers, anemometers, rain gauges, and barometers.”

“Great,” her teaching partner responded. “But do you actually think our kids will use all of those tools?”

“Hmm, I’d like to try a few. However, I think our kids will be getting most of their data from online sites. Each day, they’ll record them on sheets like this one.”

“I see that the standard mentions weather and climate activities. Ultimately, they will be recording conditions for at least three seasons. That gives us a springboard to that concept and connects science concepts.

Let your students learn about weather and climate with a classroom station. Handy posters teach them about elements and tools. Organizers let them record and graph conditions.
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Teaching Weather and Climate – How to Read Maps

Ms. Sanchez nodded. “Before we begin our weather stations, we also agreed that we would teach kids about weather maps. Obviously, they need to learn the symbols before reading them online.”

She pulled up a file with maps. “Maybe we can use these activities in the first or second week of school.”

“Sure, kids can learn about fronts in the atmosphere, as well as areas of high and low pressure. Then after a little bit of practice, they’ll be forecasting like pros.” Mr. Jones winked.

At the beginning of their weather and climate exploration, kids learn to read weather maps. This includes fronts, as well as high and low pressure. They study changes in maps for over a week to learn about forecasting.

Exploring Climate for Kids

“Finally,” said Ms. Sanchez, “kids will learn the relationship between weather and climate zones. This doesn’t have to happen right at the beginning of the year. Actually, I was thinking that it would work well around the September equinox.”

She pulled up a set of climate activities. Then both teachers took a look at them.

“Good idea! Then we can begin our discussion of seasons as well. It will give us an opportunity to introduce terminology like equator, Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn, as well the arctic and antarctic circles.”

“Don’t forget about tropic, subtropical, temperate, and arctic zones,” his teaching partner reminded him.

Explain relationships between weather and climate with a map, descriptions, and influencers.

Teaching Weather and Climate Activities for Kids

“Yes, this will all work well. Here’s a quick run-down of our year-long exploration with weather and climate activities:

  1. Teach how to read weather maps in the first weeks of school.
  2. Set up a weather station. Each day, ask kids to record conditions. Then, ask them to graph their findings.
  3. At the September equinox, teach kids the basics of climate.

Mr. Jones smiled. “This is going to be so much fun!”

Enjoy Teaching

Engaging projects like these weather and climate activities help Mr. Jones and Ms. Sanchez enjoy teaching so much more. Why don’t you try it today?

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