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September 1, 2020

Classroom Activities to Teach Students About Weather

Weather is a science topic that lends itself to inexpensive and fun experiments for elementary school students. We’ve gathered some of our favorite weather-related classroom activities from Teachers Pay Teachers. For each lesson, we included the intended grade level, cost, required materials, and whether it’s adaptable for social distance and online learning.

Weather Stations: A Big Science Stations Unit

  • Grades: 4–6
  • Price: $6
  • Materials required: Printouts from unit (some cutting required); computer (for Create It! and Tech It! activities); clay and two different size disposable cups (for Explore It! activity)
  • Adaptable for social distancing? Yes. The unit is designed as nine individual stations. Students can work through most stations individually (though you might have to print out extra copies if you want to avoid students sharing materials).
  • Adaptable for online learning? Yes, with some adjustments. If your students don’t have access to a printer or the other materials listed above, you may want to record a video of yourself doing one or two of the stations.

This unit has nine different stations that help students learn about the water cycle, climate zones, weather fronts, high and low pressure, the difference between weather and climate, how to create a weather forecast, and more. The stations touch on several different learning styles, including activities such as reading, drawing, watching videos, a simple hands-on model, and more.

Check it out here.

Weather in a Cup: Water Cycle

  • Grades: 1–4
  • Price: Free
  • Materials required: Two plastic cups, shaving cream, and food coloring
  • Adaptable for social distancing? Yes
  • Adaptable for online learning? Yes, as long as students have access to the required materials. Alternatively, you could record a video of yourself performing the experiment.

This simple activity demonstrates the three steps in the water cycle: condensation, precipitation, and evaporation. The download includes an illustration of the water cycle, directions for the activity, and an optional worksheet for students to fill out while they do the experiment.

Check it out here.

Weather & Water Cycle: Passages

  • Grades: 3–8
  • Price: $9
  • Materials required: None (printing optional)
  • Adaptable for social distancing? Yes
  • Adaptable for online learning? Yes

This collection of engaging reading activities teaches students about weather and the water cycle. Each passage is available at five different reading levels (grades 3–8) and includes CCSS-aligned questions to help students review what they’ve read. The download also includes a three-day lesson plan for guided reading groups, a teacher’s guide for using passages for homework and classwork, and a student’s guide to close reading.

Check it out here.

Weather Unit: Clouds, Weather Maps, Weather Instruments, Weather Tools

  • Grades: 2–5
  • Price: $12
  • Materials required: Printer, notebook, scissors, glue, crayons or colored pencils
  • Adaptable for social distancing? Yes
  • Adaptable for online learning? Yes, as long as students have access to the required materials and can cut and glue independently. You could also do a modified version where students don’t have to create their own notebook (see the TpT page for more details).

In this creative and interactive unit, students will become meteorologists as they learn about erosion, forecasting, types of clouds, weather instruments, and more. The unit includes articles about different types of weather instruments and vocabulary terms, which classes can read as a large group, small group, partners, or individually. These articles act as a guide as students view photos about weather events and assemble an interactive notebook.

Check it out here.

Weathering and Erosion Sorting Activity

  • Grades: 4–6
  • Price: Free
  • Materials required: None (printing optional)
  • Adaptable for social distancing? Yes
  • Adaptable for online learning? Yes

What’s the difference between weathering, erosion, and deposition? This sorting activity helps students review these terms and then decide which term fits for a variety of examples. Students can work in groups, pairs, or individually on this activity.

Check it out here.

Weather and Climate Unit

  • Grades: 3–4
  • Price: $15
  • Materials required: Shopping list included in unit materials
  • Adaptable for social distancing? Yes
  • Adaptable for online learning? Yes, with some modifications; see the TpT page for details.

These 10 engaging, hands-on lessons cover topics such as the seasons, wind, how we measure weather and temperature, the sun’s impact on weather and climate, extreme weather, how weather affects people, and more. Students will conduct experiments and keep a 75-page science journal as they build knowledge and learn independently. Lessons culminate in a unit project where students collaborate to solve the problem of how to create weather-resistant shelters.

Check it out here.

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