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Making A Weather Map--Grades 3-5

Introduction

Students will look at today's national weather map and make their own maps, using symbols of their creation and today's temperatures and showing the weather in some cities across the country. They'll also write paragraphs analyzing the weather patterns across the country.

Time Frame: 1 class period

Objectives and Standards

Students will:

  • Draw symbols to represent various types of weather.
  • Locate and map cities on their outline maps.
  • Draw symbols on their maps to illustrate today's weather.
  • Write today's high and low temperatures on the map.
  • Write paragraphs discussing the weather across the country today.

National Social Studies Standards:

  • 3: People, Places, and Environments: Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of people, places, and environments.

National Geography Standards:

  • 1: How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective.
  • 18: How to apply geography to interpret the present or plan for the future.

Maps and Materials Needed

Materials Needed:

Additional Map Resources Used:

Procedure

  1. Show students a national weather map from today's newspaper or from The Weather Channel Online. Ask them to describe what the symbols or shadings on the map mean. It would be best if you could copy a map and give one to each student or pair of students.
  2. Ask students to draw symbols on their handouts showing how they would depict various weather conditions if they were to create their own weather maps.
  3. Give each student a United States Outline Map.
  4. Have students look at today's weather map more closely to determine what the weather is like in the following cities, and have them draw the appropriate weather symbols on their outline maps in the locations of these cities. They will probably need to refer to the U.S. Reference Atlas to locate the cities. You can first have them mark the cities with pencil points on their maps, and then ask them to draw the symbols.

Anchorage, Alaska

Chicago, Illinois

Montgomery, Alabama

Miami, Florida

Phoenix, Arizona

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Los Angeles, California

New York, New York

Denver, Colorado

Portland, Oregon

Honolulu, Hawaii

Your city or a city near you

  1. Have students find out what the temperatures are in these cities. They can find this information in the newspaper or at the The Weather Channel Online. Ask them to write today's high and low temperatures next to the cities on their weather maps.
  2. Ask students to write paragraphs describing the weather patterns across the country today, answering the following questions: Where is it raining? Where is it sunny? Is the weather what they would have expected for this time of year? Do they think it's important to consult a weather map before traveling? Why or why not?

Assessment Suggestions

Check to make sure that students have:

  • Drawn a symbol for each of the given weather situations.
  • Accurately mapped the cities on their outline maps.
  • Drawn their symbols next to the appropriate cities on their outline maps.
  • Accurately written the high and low temperatures on their maps.
  • Thoughtfully and carefully written their paragraphs.

Extension

Have students repeat steps 4-6 of this lesson once each month (or bimonthly) for the upcoming months and compare changes in weather throughout the country. Do they see results that they would expect to see? Do the weather patterns in any particular part of the country surprise them?



Student Handout

  1. Draw symbols for each of these types of weather:

The weather

Your symbol

sunny

 

partly cloudy

 

cloudy

 

raining

 

snowing

 

lightning and thunderstorms

 

 

 

  1. Find out what the weather is like in these cities, and draw symbols on your map to show the weather:

Anchorage, Alaska

Chicago, Illinois

Montgomery, Alabama

Miami, Florida

Phoenix, Arizona

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Los Angeles, California

New York, New York

Denver, Colorado

Portland, Oregon

Honolulu, Hawaii

Your city or a city near you

  1. Write a paragraph that talks about today's weather around the country. Your paragraph should answer these questions:
    • Where is it raining or snowing?
    • Where is it sunny?
    • Is the weather what you would have expected for this time of year?
    • Where would you like to travel today?
    • What parts of the country would you like to stay away from today?
    • Is it important to look at a weather map before traveling? Why or why not?
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