Ohio Resource Center
[blank]
   
Grade 5 Earth and Space Sciences Benchmark D: Wind, Water in the Atmosphere, and Clouds
 
This mini-collection aligns with Earth and Space Sciences Benchmark D: Analyze weather and changes that occur over a period of time. This collection focuses on observations and measurement of wind, evaporation and condensation of water, and clouds. ORC #10827 of this series focuses on describing weather, recording weather information, and tracing weather patterns. Best practices in science instruction incorporate science process skills with science content. The process skills featured in these lessons are related to communicating observations. Resources included in this mini-collection will help students apply what they know about resource conservation to real-world problems.


   
Wind (ORC#: 5260)
Students record wind speed and direction data in their journals for several days as part of this lesson. Ask students to expand the data collection to include observations about what the wind feels like at that speed and how the wind affects objects in the environment (e.g. leaves blowing, flag waving). This provides a good opportunity to discuss the differences between data we get from measurement(quantitative data) and descriptive data (qualitative). Both are valid forms of scientific data. Stress to students that the type of data scientists collect depends upon the investigation and the question they are trying to answer. Understanding how science works, or the nature of science, is a critical component of science education. (ts)


   
Soakin' Up the Sun (ORC#: 5250)
Students continue to build their data collection and analysis skills through this lesson on evaporation. Students measure a puddle and draw a chalk outline around it. They then return to the puddle several times throughout the day, collecting data on how the size of the puddle changes over time. Students record the data in their journals. Consider asking the students to also measure the temperature of the puddle each time they collect data. When students have finished collecting the data, they should create puddle diameter/time and temperature/time graphs. Collecting, representing, and analyzing data are fundamental process skills that students must master to do well on the science achievement test. (ts)


   
The Water Cycle (ORC#: 3591)
This lesson on the water cycle offers students an opportunity to observe evaporation and condensation in a closed system. When using this lesson, emphasize the changes of state that water undergoes rather than emphasizing the water cycle per se. Students will master the details of the water cycle in the middle grades. Using the water cycle as a way to explore freezing, melting, condensation, and evaporation is acceptable, but the emphasis must be on the changes of state, not on memorizing and/or recreating the water cycle. Modify the assessment to focus on the freezing, melting, evaporation and condensation of water, and weather related examples of each. (ts)


   
NAEP Assessment Item, Grade 4: Identify source of energy needed for evaporation from a lake (ORC#: 7177)
The performance data from this NAEP assessment item suggests that students grasp the concept that the energy for evaporation comes from the sun. Seventy-one percent of students tested selected the correct answer to the question, "Where does water in a lake get most of its energy to evaporate?" Incorporate this question into the "Soakin' Up the Sun" lesson. This will help students expand what they have learned about the evaporation of puddles to include permanent bodies of water. (ts)


   
NAEP Assessment Item, Grade 4: : Predicting weather from cloud type (ORC#: 7202)
Students who responded to this test item had some difficulty identifying the type of cloud most likely to produce a heavy thunderstorm. It is important to connect the types of clouds with the weather they are likely to produce. Memorizing cloud types does not go far enough. To meet the demands of this benchmark, students must be able to describe the weather that is associated with the various cloud types. (ts)


   
NAEP Assessment Item: High, thin clouds and rain (ORC#: 1580)
Students who responded to this test item had difficulty predicting if high, thin clouds would result in rain. Only 35% of the students tested responded correctly to this question. One strategy to help students make the connections between cloud type and weather is to have students observe clouds throughout the school year rather than limiting the observations to the period during which clouds are studied. This kind of distributed practice helps students internalize what they have learned and truly make the learning part of their understanding of weather phenomena. (ts)


   
Clouds and Precipitation (ORC#: 3684)
The content presented in this resource may be too advanced for students at this level. It is an excellent resource for teachers who would like to enhance their knowledge about clouds and precipitation. It can also serve as a source of good cloud images. (ts)