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Using a variety of weather websites and other multimedia resources, students in grades 3-5 are divided into teams and for one month explore the causes of weather patterns for a particular city they choose. After collecting their data, the students construct a multimedia presentation of their findings, and the teams merge their findings to show weather patterns around the world.
This assignment can begin with an outside speaker, a local weather person from radio, TV, or a weather club. The teacher then organizes the class into teams by continents. Each team member has a job assignment that rotates weekly (weather reporter, multimedia gatherer, chart producer, or journal recorder). The teams use websites to find and chart each day’s temperatures, wind speed, and amount of precipitation to produce weekly graphs. The teams also find weather maps, photos, or movies that describe the weather of that city during the week and save those items. The journal recorder keeps the daily record of activities and communicates by e-mail with some person or school class in the city.
During the project, the teacher helps the teams chart their findings and track the weather from one city to the next. After four weeks of data collection, teams construct a multimedia presentation or Web pages that include their findings on weather patterns for the city and effects of the weather. All of the data and multimedia information they collected can be incorporated. The class then constructs a final multimedia project that tracks the weather patterns to all of the cities studied. (Activities include numerous science standards indicated by grade levels.)
International Society for Technology in Education. (2000). National educational technology standards for students – Connecting curriculum and technology, pp. 148-149. Eugene, OR: Author.