Overview

Weather Buddies is a science lesson that incorporates language arts and electronic communications to share data between classrooms. The activity in this lesson engages students in research, group work, information technology, and presentation.

Using a spreadsheet is a great way to organize, track, and present data. Early elementary students are excited about using computer programs that look and behave like 'grown up' software. Teachers become more comfortable with spreadsheets while introducing them to students. Weather Buddies allows young learners to explore the capabilities of the spreadsheet while communicating with students outside their classrooms. Students learn to collect and organize information, share it with their pen pals, and then create graphs to present to their teachers and classmates.

Introduction

This assignment is designed to help students learn how to use a spreadsheet, create graphs, and learn how to communicate their ideas and thoughts through the use of electronic pen pals. It is very important that you and your students prepare for this activity by doing some basic tutorial activities on a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel. Even if you do not have full Internet access in your classroom, the pen pal letters and the graphs can be done in your word processor, saved to a folder on your server, and then emailed by someone else in the school. Have fun!

Student Outcomes

Upon completion of this unit, the student should be able to:

Technology

Materials

Resources

Preparation

  1. Review the basics of how to create and enter information into a spreadsheet. View the PowerPoint presentation on Microsoft EXCEL.
  2. Designate a student who can take pictures of all of the members of his or her group.
  3. Suggestion: Create a folder on your server where student work can be saved.
  4. Suggestion: Look up local URL's for pictures of your local community.
  5. Set up Pen Pals with other schools; the more diverse the locations, the better the data.
  6. Have at least one computer hooked up to the Internet.
  7. Have a spreadsheet program.
  8. Have a thermometer installed outside in a specific location at your school.
  9. Have a small notebook to use for recording data for each student or group of students.
  10. Students can be broken into small groups.
  11. Make sure your students know how to create a spreadsheet and graphs.

Tasks

  1. Set up a Spreadsheet Template. (example).
  2. Have students enter the daily temperature readings in their notebooks (example).
  3. Have students transfer daily readings into their spreadsheets.
  4. Have students email their results to their Weather Buddies.
  5. Have students enter their Buddies' readings into their spreadsheets.
  6. Decide how students are to display their graphs with the whole class.

Presentation

Each student or group of students should print out a copy of their graphs and present them to the rest of their class. Final projects may be posted on school bulletin boards and emailed to partner schools with digital photos attached. Also check with your principal to see if you can display your projects at the next School Board meeting.

Assessment

Students will be evaluated based on the following:

Extension

A school weather broadcast could be added. The final video data could be sent between partner schools and a joint weather video could be produced mimicking an actual "Weather Channel" broadcast.

Downloading & Printing Files

These pages can be downloaded to your computer as files. Files can then be opened and printed. You can choose either Microsoft Word format or Portable Document Format.

Microsoft Word (.doc)

Files in this format can be read, printed or edited using Microsoft Word.

Weather Buddies

Journal/Notebook example

Spreadsheet example

Graph example

Acrobat Reader (.pdf)

Weather Buddies

Files in the .pdf format can be read or printed, but not edited using Acrobat Reader. Acrobat Reader is a free software. You can download it from the Adobe site.

NM Content Standards