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

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

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(United States Weather Bureau. Provided by the National Photo Company Collection at the Library of Congress. More about the photograph)

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We have compiled this list of great weather and water cycle resources from our collections for teachers to use in the classroom. Whether your students are observing clouds or studying climate data, there is something here for all ages.

Lesson Plans

Weather watchers
This is a week long activity during which the students record the weather, track weather changes, and make predictions about future weather patterns. (grade 2 Information Skills and Science)
This is a week long activity during which the students record the weather, track weather changes, and make predictions about future weather patterns.
Nephelococcygia--Cloud Watching
As part of the 2nd grade science objectives dealing with weather, students will learn the various types of clouds as well as the term and the act of nephelococcygia — cloud watching.
Weathering the water cycle: Evaporation
Students will learn that evaporation is one of the three stages of the water cycle. The other three lessons in this series on condensation, precipitation, and the water cycle will allow the students to explore all stages. (Grades 2 & % Science)
Weathering the water cycle: Condensation
This lesson introduces students to condensation as one phase of the water cycle. Through the use of the four lessons in this series in which students will learn that the water cycle is a continuous cycle. (Grade 2 Science)
Weathering the water cycle: Precipitation
Students will learn that precipitation is one of the three stages of the water cycle and how it relates to the other stages. (Grades 2 & 5 Science)


Droplet and the Water Cycle
Your job is to safely guide Droplet, the water molecule, as he enters the great water cycle- condensation, precipitation, infiltration, runoff, and evapotranspiration-and starts his journey home.
Water Wonders
Water Wonders includes groundwater, the water cycle, water facts and more from EEK! (Environmental Education for Kids
Web Weather for Kids:Hands-on Activities for Teaching Atmospheric Sciences
Weather activities for kids with games, stories, and instructions for creating all sorts of weather phenomenon within the classroom. There are activities and instructions for science projects and experiments related to weather, as well. A weather glossary and teacher tips are also available. There is information on temperature, pressure, volume and density, and how they are all a part of clouds, thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and blizzards.
WW2010’s Online Meteorology Guide
A collection of web-based instructional modules, activities, and teacher guides that incorporate text, colorful diagrams, animations, computer simulations, audio and video to introduce fundamental concepts in the atmospheric sciences. Topics include light, optics, winds, air masses, weather forecasting, El Nino, tornadoes, hurricanes, and more.
National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) Climate Monitoring
The United States Government’s archive of weather data which includes drought monitoring, snow data, precipitation and temperature data, and more.

Field Trip Destinations

National Weather Service - Raleigh
The Raleigh office of the National Weather Service offers tours to middle and high school student groups. The website provides local weather and hurricane data.
State Climate Office
Students of all ages will enjoy learning about North Carolina’s climate, whether on a field trip or in their classroom. Topics include extreme weather records, drought, tornadoes, El Nino and La Nina, hurricanes and North Carolina, and much more.
Museum of Life and Science
Packed with highly interactive exhibits, the Museum of Life and Science showcases aerospace, weather, geology, Carolina wildlife, farmyard, train rides, traveling exhibits, gift shops, café and more culminating with the tropical Magic Wings Butterfly House and Bayer Crop Science Insectarium.