K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

Important Announcement about Online Courses and LEARN NC.

Important Message about LEARN NC

LEARN NC is evaluating its role in the current online education environment as it relates directly to the mission of UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education (UNC-CH SOE). We plan to look at our ability to facilitate the transmission of the best research coming out of UNC-CH SOE and other campus partners to support classroom teachers across North Carolina. We will begin by evaluating our existing faculty and student involvement with various NC public schools to determine what might be useful to share with you.

Don’t worry! The lesson plans, articles, and textbooks you use and love aren’t going away. They are simply being moved into the new LEARN NC Digital Archive. While we are moving away from a focus on publishing, we know it’s important that educators have access to these kinds of resources. These resources will be preserved on our website for the foreseeable future. That said, we’re directing our resources into our newest efforts, so we won’t be adding to the archive or updating its contents. This means that as the North Carolina Standard Course of Study changes in the future, we won’t be re-aligning resources. Our full-text and tag searches should make it possible for you to find exactly what you need, regardless of standards alignment.

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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • practice using objective and quantitative means to describe and compare the weather
  • practice using weather vocabulary
  • practice using the internet as a source to gather information
  • practice using a database program

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

1 week


Technology resources

  • computer with internet access for each child
  • Microsoft Excel or other spreadsheet program
  • disk for each child
  • printer


  • Students should have previously learned weather vocabulary words: temperature, precipitation, wind speed, and wind direction.
  • Students should be familiar with the instruments used to measure the weather conditions.
  • Students should be familiar with the internet.
  • Students should be familiar with retrieving, saving, and printing information using spreadsheet programs.


Day One

  1. Read to students the book Weather Words and What They Mean by Gail Gibbons to remind them of the weather vocabulary and reinforce the concepts.
  2. Discuss recording the weather conditions and why you would want to record it.
  3. Give students their own weather recording sheet and explain how to fill in the chart.
  4. As a class use The Weather Channel website to check the current weather conditions for your town. Have students record the conditions.

Days Two, Three, and Four

Each day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, have a student check the weather website and report the current conditions to the class for them to record.

Day Five

  1. Repeat process for checking and recording the day’s weather. Have students enter the information from their sheets into a spreadsheet that you have already set up on a disk for them.
  2. Have students save and print their new charts.
  3. Have students compare the temperature within the days and throughout the week.
  4. Encourage students to predict what the weather will be like for the next few days using the trends they have observed.

Additional Activities

  • Have students check the temperature and wind direction themselves each day using a thermometer and wind vane.
  • Have students check the weather conditions in the newspaper daily during the same week as they check on the computer. Compare the reports and discuss why they might be different.
  • Have students use the Mars Global Surveyor Radio Science Team Education Outreach Program website to see what the weather conditions are like on Mars. Compare the weather on Mars to the weather in your area.


Students will be assessed:

  • on their participation in the activity
  • on their accuracy following directions to enter the information on their weather charts daily
  • on their accuracy following directions to enter, save, and print the data in the spreadsheet

Supplemental information


North Carolina curriculum alignment

Computer Technology Skills (2005)

Grade 2

  • Goal 2: The learner will demonstrate knowledge and skills in the use of computer and other technologies.
    • Objective 2.03: Enter/edit data in a prepared spreadsheet as a class/group and observe the changes that occur to make predictions. Strand - Spreadsheet
    • Objective 2.12: Use teacher-selected Internet resources to locate, discuss, and compare information about your local community as a class/group. Strand - Telecommunications/Internet

Information Skills (2000)

Grade 2

  • Goal 1: The learner will EXPLORE sources and formats for reading, listening, and viewing purposes.
    • Objective 1.09: Demonstrate awareness that resources convey meaning and exist in a variety of formats (print, graphical, audio, video, multimedia, web-based).

Science (2005)

Grade 2

  • Goal 2: The learner will conduct investigations and use appropriate tools to build an understanding of the changes in weather.
    • Objective 2.03: Describe weather using quantitative measures of:
      • Temperature.
      • Wind direction.
      • Wind speed.
      • Precipitation.
    • Objective 2.04: Identify and use common tools to measure weather:
      • Wind vane and anemometer.
      • Thermometer.
      • Rain gauge.
    • Objective 2.06: Observe and record weather changes over time and relate to time of day and time of year.