Why Weather?

Kevin Hagerman's picture
Content Area(s):  
Grade Level(s):  
Grade Level Expectations:  
Science › Fifth Grade › Weather conditions change because of the uneven heating of Earth’s surface by the Sun’s energy. Weather changes are measured by differences in temperature, air pressure, wind and water in the atmosphere and type of precipitation
Lesson Plan Details
4 Class periods
Essential Question: 

How can we tell what the weather will be?

Learning Objectives/Student Outcomes: 

Students will: Understand that there are several factors in the atmosphere that affect weather. Know how air pressure and temperature affect weather conditions. Able to explain how the Earth's shape and tilt affect temperature.

Key Topics: 

Weather, air pressure, barometer, insolation, troposphere


Materials: black trash bags, kite string, cardboard, black construction paper, thermometers, tape, wide mouth bottle, hard boiled eggs, matches.


Prior to instruction, the teacher needs to...

Review the vocabulary words and gather all the materials.  Also quiz the students about what they already know about weather.

Learning Experiences and Activities: 

In this lesson, the teacher will...

1.  Go over the vocabulary for the lesson.

2.  To demonstrate that warm air is less dense than cool air, create hot air balloons using black trash bags.

  • fill bag with air and tie off with kite string.
  • as the air in the bag is heated by the Sun, it becomes less dense and the bag begins to float.

3.  To demonstrate how the angle of the Earth affects temperature, create angle boards.

  • tape black construction paper to 3 pieces of cardboard about 12" x 12".
  • tape a thermometer to the middle of each board.
  • place each board in the Sun at different angles (flat, verticle, 45*) and record the temperatures at 20 minute intervals.
  • record the data in tables and graph.

4.  To demonstrate air pressure at work, perform the egg in the bottle trick.

  • find an egg slightly larger than the mouth of the bottle.
  • boil the egg and peel it.
  • show the students the egg will not fit in the bottle
  • light a small piece of paper on fire and drop it into the bottle.
  • quickly place the egg on top of the bottle.
  • the egg should eventually be PUSHED into the bottle by air pressure.



To assess comprehension of the lesson, have the students write down their explanation as to why the trash bag floated, why one board was hotter than the others, and how the egg got into the bottle.

Colorado 21st Century Skills
Critical Thinking and Reasoning: 
A. Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation
C. Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions
Information Literacy: 
D. Process data and report results
A. Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes
Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 
A. Apply logical reasoning and analytical skills
Creativity and Innovation: 
A. Demonstrate intellectual curiosity
C. Develop new connections where none previously existed
Work Ethic: 
D. Learn from instruction and criticism
A. Read, write, listen and speak effectively
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