Grade 5 Weather Watch
" ... learning is an active process in which meaning is developed on the basis of experience"
(Bednar, Cunningham, Duffy, and Perry, 1993).
Cardston Weather Report here
Grade Five Weather Watch is an exciting, interactive unit designed to pique children's natural curiosity about weather phenomena and the methods used for weather study. Students learn to measure temperatures, wind speed and direction, the amounts of rain and snow, and the amount of cloud cover. They will use their knowledge of basic weather concepts to predict and compare the weather conditions in other parts of the country. Students will also discuss human actions that can affect weather and climate. To assist your child's study, please watch and discuss the evening weather reports. When students recognize that the weather terms and concepts are part of their everyday lives, learning becomes meaningful to them.
Types of Clouds
Cirrus Clouds: These "wispy" high flying clouds (up to 10 km) usually mean dry, clear weather. In winter, these clouds usually mean cold. They are often called mare's tails or painter's brush and are made of frozen water droplets (ice crystals) because of their extreme height.
Cumulus Clouds: Puffy white clouds that are a common sight on a sunny afternoon are usually cumulous clouds. Warm air that contains water vapor, rises in the daytime. When it cools because it is so high, water droplets condense and these low level puffy clouds form.
Nimbostratus or Stratus Clouds: Nimbostratus clouds usually mean lousy weather. They form layers of thick grey clouds that block out the sun and often bring steady rain or snow. ("nimbo" means rain and "stratus" means sheet)
Cumulonimbus Clouds: These clouds usually form late on hot sunny afternoons when the air is humid. (Humid means the air has a lot of water vapur in it and feels "sticky") Rapidly rising air creates towering clouds that produce thunderstorms.
Fog: Clouds that form near to the ground are known as fog. Fog often forms in the mornings or evening and around bodies of water. In the daytime, the sun will usually heat the fog causing the tiny water droplets that it is made of to evaporate back into invisible water vapor. The fog will lift.
Thermometer: measures air temperature
Barometer: measures air pressure
Precipitation Gage: measures rain, snow hail or sleet that falls
Anemometer: measures wind speed
Wind Vane: measures wind direction
Hygrometer: measures amount of water vapor that the air can hold before it rains.
Beaufort Scale: Observation about the power of the wind based on its effects on everyday objects.
Water Cycle: Water is used over and over again. The water cycle is the continuous movement of water from ocean to air and land then back to the ocean in a cyclic pattern.
Precipitation, Evaporation and Condensation
1) The sun heats the Earth's surface which causes water to evaporate. Water evaporates from oceans, lakes, puddles, moist earth, from living things, and burning fuel.
2) Water vapor is carried up by ascending currents into the Earth's atmosphere where it cools and condenses into liquid droplets.
3) Vapor condenses in these forms (fog, rain, snow).
4) Condensed water in clouds may fall to earth as rain, snow or sleet.
5) Water returns to plants, animals, people, soil, oceans, etc.
Temperature and Wind Chill: Know how to calculate the wind chill factor. What two things must you know? (the temperature of the air and the speed of the wind) What two instruments will help you find out this information? (a thermometer and an anemometer). What else will you need? (wind chill factor chart)
Four Factors that affect the type of weather we are going to get on any given day in our region:
1) temperature 2) wind 3) air pressure 4) moisture
Air Masses: warm and cold moving air.
Science Education Websites
Forcasting Symbol Map Click Here
Vocabulary quizzes will occur on Wednesdays. In preparation, students will review the vocabulary definitions on Tuesdays. Five words out of the ten words studied will appear on each quiz. Please refer to list below.
Air Mass: A large area of air with the same temperature and moisture throughout.
Air Pressure: The force that is applied on everything on earth caused by the weight of the air.
Atmosphere: The layer of air around the earth that consists mainly of nitrogen and oxygen gases. Most of the air is found within the first 35 km above the earth's surface.
Anemometer: An instrument that measures wind speed.
Barometer: An instrument that meausres air pressure. Air pressure is measured in millibars or kilopascals.
Chinook: A dry, warm, strong wind that blows down the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.
Climate: The average range of weather conditions at any place that occur over a long period of time.
Cloud: A mass of minute water droplets or ice crystals up in the sky.
Condense: To turn a gas into a liquid by cooling.
Convection Current: The circulation of air or a liquid due to heating. As air is heated in one place, its particles speed up, pushing each other further apart. Since now there are fewer air particles in the same space, warm air is less dense than cold air thus it rises. The cooler air moves in to replace the rising warm air. As the warm air rises, it cools because less heat is trapped higher up in the atmosphere. Eventually this rising air begins to fall back down to the earth.
Cumulonimbus Cloud: A towering cloud that extends upward to levels of 6-7 km above the earth's surface. Strong updraft and down drafts are associated with this cloud generating heavy rain and often hail. Lightening and thunder are also characteristic of this cloud.
Dew Point: The temperature at which the water vapor in the air condenses out into droplets of water forming precipitation.
Drizzle: Very fine rain consisting of drops less than 0.5 mm in diameter.
Drought: A serious shortage of precipitation.
Evaporate: To change a liquid into a gas by heating.
Fog: Clouds near the ground.
Front: The boundary between a warm and cold air mass. If the cold air is moving in to replace the warm air, the front is called a cold front. If the warm air mass is moving in to replace the cold air, it is called a warm front.
Hail: Round or irregular lumps of ice formed by movement of ice through super cooled moisture in the upper part of thunderheads.
Humidity: A measure of the amount of moisture in the air.
Kinetic Energy: Energy moving particles such as atoms or molecules. The more heat added to particles the more kinetic energy or motion they have.
Mass: The amount of matter (concentration of particles) per unit volume of a substance, measured in grams.
Meteorology: The study of weather.
Precipitation: The name for moisture that falls out of the clouds.
Radiant Energy: Energy from the sun that travels in waves and does not require a medium for its transmission.
Relative Humidity: A measure of the amount of moisture in the air relative to the amound the air can hold at that temperature. It is expressed as a percentage.
Saturated Air: Air that holds as much moisture as is possible at a particular temperature.
Sleet: Super cooled rain that freezes onto cold surfaces upon contact.
Snow: A form of precipitation that comes in the form of flakes. Consists of clusters of ice crystal frozen together into six sided shapes. Snow forms only when the air is cold enough to freeze the moisture as it condenses out of the air.
Temperature: The amount of heat in a substance. Expressed in degrees or Fahrenheit or Centigrade.
Thermometer: An instrument used to measure temperature.
Water Cycle: The evaporation of moisture from a body of water into the air, the condensation of this moisture into precipitation, and its run as a river or stream back to the body of water where it started.
Weather: The condition of the atmosphere with respect to heat/cold, wetness/dryness, clearness/cloudiness for a period of time.
Weight: The gravitational force the Earth exerts on an object. Weight is measured in Newtons.
Wind: The movement of air along the ground. Light air movements are called breezes.
Wind Chill: A simple measure of the chilling effect experienced by the human body when strong winds are combined with freezing temperatures. The larger the wind chill, the faster the rate of cooling.