Unit Overview

In Mosa Mack’s Weather unit, students are led through a progression of three inquiry lessons that focus on temperature, pressure, and the corresponding weather patterns.

Lesson Overview

Medium 1s 640Solve: Wedding Weather Mystery + Vocabulary Mind Map

Students will contextualize weather vocabulary before helping Mosa Mack solve the mystery of why storms seem to have such different characteristics in different regions. (75 minutes)

Medium 2m 640Make: Model Weather Fronts

Students plan and act out a model of the various factors that contribute to a weather front of their choice. (150 minutes)

Medium 3e 640Engineer: Become a Meteorologist

Students apply their knowledge of weather and act as meteorologists to design a weather report that predicts and explains a day of weather in a region of their choice. (150 minutes)

Next Generations Science Standards

3-ESS2-1
Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.
3-ESS2-2
Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.
MS-ESS2-4
Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth's systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity
MS-ESS2-5
Collect data to provide evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses results in changes in weather conditions.

Science & Engineering Practices

  • Developing and Using Models
  • Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • The Roles of Water in Earth's Surface Processes
  • Weather and Climate

Cross Cutting Concepts

  • Cause and Effect
  • Energy and Matter

Inquiry Scale

  • Each lesson in the unit has an Inquiry Scale that provides directions on how to implement the lesson at the level that works best for you and your students.
  • “Level 1” is the most teacher-driven, and recommended for students in 4th-5th grades. “Level 4” is the most student-driven, and recommended for students in 7th-8th grades.
  • For differentiation within the same grade or class, use different inquiry levels for different groups of students who may require additional support or an extra challenge.

Common Misconceptions

  • Students often think that the reason some areas of the Earth are warmer than others is due to its distance from the Sun. Emphasize to students using diagrams and models that the Earth’s tilt, and the angles at which the Sun hits the Earth is the reason why some areas on the Earth are warmer than others.
  • Students often associate storms exclusively with cold weather, but there are a variety of other factors at play, including humidity and air masses. Use the comic as well as the informational review in “The Make” to emphasize these other factors to students.

Vocabulary

    • Temperature
    • Weather Front
    • Humidity
    • Air Mass
    • Precipitation
    • Wind Speed
    • Sun Angle

Content Expert

  • Simon Brewer
    Storm Chaser & Meteorologist

Resources

  • Powerpoints for Make and Design
  • Vocabulary Cards
  • Vocabulary Mind Map
  • Solve Student Handout
  • Make Student Handout
  • Design Student Handout

New: RocketLit Leveled Reading

* To give our users the most comprehensive science resource, Mosa Mack is piloting a partnership with RocketLit, a provider of leveled science articles.

  • The Hydrologic Cycle

    This article is a more rigorous and thorough version of the "Your Own Pet Water Drop" article to introduce students to the Water (Hydrological) Cycle. This article details all the steps of the Water (Hydrological) Cycle and goes into additional detail to explain water reservoirs and groundwater.

  • Your Very Own Pet Water Drop

    In this article, students read about the basic steps in the water cycle. The article discusses what causes most of the evaporation, how water drops gather together in the sky and why they fall back down to earth.

  • How to Mess Up Your Hair

    The only thing students might know about wind is that it really messes up their hair. This article talks about how uneven heating, convection, and the Coriolis effect work together to produce wind.

  • The Air Around You is REALLY Pushy

    Right now, the air is pushing down on you. In the sky, how much the air is pushing will change what the weather looks like. This article explains the ideas behind low pressure, and high pressure and a front.

  • Rain or Shine?

    In this article, students learn about the basics of weather and the patterns that we see. Weather is the way the atmosphere looks at one moment, but climate is how we describe what the weather is generally like all the time. Students also learn about seasons in different parts of the world.

  • Water Doesn't Just Fall From the Sky

    To read this sentence, you need to look through water that's floating in the air as humidity. This article explains that you won't be able to see this water until the dew point is reached or as this water gathers in the sky as clouds.

  • Climate vs Weather in the Arctic

    This article uses at the Arctic as an example of the difference between Climate and Weather. We also define Temperature and Climate Change, specifically talking about the data over time that's needed to show the Climate is changing. Even though temperatures change over the course of a year, that doesn't mean the climate is changing.