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Science and Technology Stage 3 Unit of work


Early Stage 1


Stage 1


Stage 2

Stage 3

Weather and Climate

Year 5/6

Notes: This unit builds on previous experiences relating to weather eg measuring temperatures and reading barometers and rain gauges Suggested time: 6-8 weeks Assessment tasks are indicated with A

Unit purpose and focus: This unit provides opportunities for the students to use a variety of instruments for measuring and recording weather changes and make predictions about the weather and evaluate their predictions. This unit could be used as an extended group or individual task over an extended period. Student learning in this unit would be enhanced by being able to make contact by email or fax with students in schools in different parts of the state or elsewhere. The contact could be developed over a year to allow for comparisons during the different seasons.

K-6 SciTech Curriculum K-12 Directorate NSW Department of Education and Training

October 2004

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Learning process outcomes and big ideas

Content strand outcomes and big ideas

Investigating INV S3.7

Earth and its surroundings ES S3.6

Conducts their own investigations and makes judgements based on the results of observing, questioning, planning, predicting, testing, collecting, recording and analysing data, and drawing conclusions.

Recognises that the Earth is the source of most materials and resources, and describes phenomena and processes, both natural and human, that form and change the Earth over time.

Big ideas • Constructs appropriate self-questions to guide investigations. • Decides the type of data needed and works cooperatively to collect such data. • Identifies factors that are to be kept the same when carrying out tests or conducting investigations, and recognises the term controlled experiment. • Transforms data to show important relationships, trends, patterns or associations.

Big Ideas • Landform features such as beaches and cliffs can be explained by weathering and erosion. • Weather patterns are often consistent over an annual period in parts of the world, and this relates to the climate of that area.

Designing and Making DM S3.8 Develops and resolves a design task by planning, implementing, managing and evaluating design processes. Big Ideas • Generates design concepts that reflect the consideration of aesthetic, cultural, safety and functional requirements. • Produces annotated concept sketches and (freehand) drawings for use by other people. • Selects tools, equipment and resources to meet the requirements of production and use.

Values and attitudes

VA1 Demonstrates confidence in their own ability and a willingness to make and implement decisions when investigating, designing and making and using technology. VA2 Exhibits curiosity and responsiveness to scientific and technological ideas and evidence VA3 Gains satisfaction from their efforts to investigate, to design, to make, and to use technology. VA5 Works cooperatively with others in groups on scientific and technological tasks and challenges.

Using Technology UT S3.9 Evaluates, selects and uses a range of equipment, computer-based technology, materials and other resources K-6 SciTech Curriculum K-12 Directorate NSW Department of Education and Training

October 2004

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to meet the requirements and constraints of investigation and design tasks. Big Ideas • Evaluates equipment, materials and processes by researching, trialling and experimenting to ensure that requirements and constraints of investigation and design tasks are met. • Works independently with equipment and materials, and applies established procedures for their safe use.

K-6 SciTech Curriculum K-12 Directorate NSW Department of Education and Training

October 2004

Page 3 of 6

Overview of activities Task: To make predictions about the weather and evaluate their predictions

Task: To design and make a wind instrument to measure wind direction Note: This task is undertaken as part of the investigation

Observing and exploring • Students discuss weather and climate, differentiate between them, and list the different elements they are familiar with. Create a list. • Groups research aspects they are unfamiliar with and report to the class (This could be a jigsaw activity) • Discuss how weather experts are different in different areas of Australia (and the world) • In groups students discuss weather reports from a newspaper for different places/regions and make a list of the information provided, eg phases of moon, tides, temperature, relative humidity • In groups study the weather maps for several days for a particular place or region and note the changes over three days. Students could use email or fax to find out about another place that has a different climate A • Why is the weather forecast provided in news services and on the radio? (To whom is weather information important and why?) Hypothesising and predicting • Discuss which aspects of the weather the class may be able to predict with information they can collect. • Discuss the length of time that may be needed to predict, eg temperature and wind direction • In groups students develop a range of predictions about different aspects of the weather they can observe and measure Devising and testing • Determine the instruments that will be used to measure temperature, wind direction, cloud cover, rain etc and from where the readings will be taken. Sunrise, sunset and tides information may need to be collected from newspapers, radio or TV or their other contact • Use the wind instrument the group has developed as the variable for the class results • In groups decide on the method of recording the data

Identifying needs and wants • Students research the instruments used to record weather information • Research what types of instrument are used to measure wind direction and the scale used • Identify the type and choices of material, shapes and construction used in wind socks. • Does it need to be a sock? • Could it be hard material?

K-6 SciTech Curriculum K-12 Directorate NSW Department of Education and Training

October 2004

Generating and selecting ideas • Select and test a range of materials and a range of shapes that could be used to test wind direction • Test construction methods • Explore a range of ways they could be used to test the wind direction • What will be the measure of success the group will use? Using resources to create products and services • In groups construct a wind instrument to measure the wind direction • Identify safety hazards and discuss the measures to control risk • Undertake some initial testing of the wind sock (or other instrument) to confirm the consistency of the readings before using in the testing (investigation task) • Make modifications where necessary

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Collecting and recording • Determine the time/s of day the recording will be taken over several weeks in each season • Each group can be responsible for measuring different aspects of the weather • Establish the recording process and ensure it will go on for long enough to expose patterns and trends • Discuss patterns that are appearing during the data recording sessions Analysing and drawing conclusions • Each group presents findings • Discuss the similarities and differences – did the time of day affect the observations? • Did the different wind instruments provide different data? • How could the investigation be further developed? • What is the group prediction for the weather next week? ( at school and in another location) • Students document their procedure for the investigation and write their conclusions in terms of the big ideas A

K-6 SciTech Curriculum K-12 Directorate NSW Department of Education and Training

October 2004

Evaluating products and services • Does the wind instrument work? How do you know? • Did the wind instrument meet the success criteria? • How could it be adapted or further developed to be more effective and efficient?

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Assessment items A Task management and group participation skills A Student learning log relating to the big ideas

Links to other learning areas Mathematics – data HSIE - environment

On Line resources Weather bureau website

Equipment and materials Compass Materials to make a wind instrument Digital or SLR camera to photograph clouds Thermometer, barometer, rain gauge

Other people/places

Teacher reflections and unit evaluation

K-6 SciTech Curriculum K-12 Directorate NSW Department of Education and Training

October 2004

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Whats the Weather  

Dept based unit

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