Lesson Plan : Wind-Watchers

Teacher Name:
 Stephanie Milberger
 Grade 2

 Creation of an Excel spreadsheet to help children track the daily weather and make a connection between the seasons and wind. (Could be used as the start of a seasons lesson)
 Subject matter: wind and how it is caused; why are some seasons windier than others? Key vocabulary: wind, wind speed, wind character, weathervane
 In groups, the students will create an Excel spreadsheet/chart that reflects daily weather conditions.
 Performance indicators: clear font, easy to read font size, columns and rows spaced so that information is easy to read, each day marked with its weather condition Behavioral indicators: no one person dominates the group, positive attitude is maintained, all participate
 Computer with Microsoft Excel or similar spreadsheet program; nearby window
 Read either Feel the Wind by Arthur Dorros or Science Secrets Discovery Library: Wind by Jason Cooper to the class.
 Use cooperative learning strategies such as assigning students to small groups, structuring interdependence within the group, specifying desired behaviors, and other methods employed within the cooperative learning approach. Display an example of the desired end product in an open area within the classroom so that the students can refer to it. Place a weathervane somewhere outside near the window so they can refer to it for their daily charts. Discuss how we use wind to help us (wind turbines/energy, drying clothing, etc.).
 Each day the groups mark on their sheet what they think the weather conditions are. While still in groups, have the class perform the talcum powder experiment and the paper experiment. (Talcum powder - use a shadeless lamp to demonstrate how hot air rises, cold air takes its place to create wind; heat bulb up until hot, then sprinkle talcum powder on it; watch it rise and discuss why. Paper - use a shadeless lamp and paper to demonstrate how hot air rises, cold air takes its place to create wind; cut piece of paper into a spiral; place the spiral on the point of a pencil and hold over the lamp; discuss why the spiral spins.)
 Possible instruction accomodations may include: either creating a very large Excel chart for visually impaired children or recording on a tape recorder what the daily weather conditions are; use of joysticks, roller ball mouse, or touch pad while using Excel; use of large crayons and pencils for those with fine motor challenges
Checking For Understanding:
 Check for understanding by independent practice work as well as using a rubric for the Excel spreadsheet.
 Ask the students what they've learned about wind. Use this lesson as a lead in to other weather conditions like tornados and thunderstorms.
 Ask the children to grade their groups and their chart (smiley face/frownie face) and to take into consideration their attitudes, cooperation skills, and their work in Excel (using the rubric). After they've graded themselves and you've given them a grade, meet with them to discuss why your grade and theirs might differ or agree.
Teacher Reflections:
 What worked? What didn't? Should this lesson be used with younger or older students?

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