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Classroom Activities to Teach Students About Weather

Weather is a science topic that lends itself to inexpensive and fun experiments for elementary school students. We’ve gathered some of our favorite weather-related classroom activities from Teachers Pay Teachers. For each lesson, we included the intended grade level, cost, required materials, and whether it’s adaptable for social distance and online learning.

Weather Stations: A Big Science Stations Unit

  • Grades: 4–6
  • Price: $6
  • Materials required: Printouts from unit (some cutting required); computer (for Create It! and Tech It! activities); clay and two different size disposable cups (for Explore It! activity)
  • Adaptable for social distancing? Yes. The unit is designed as nine individual stations. Students can work through most stations individually (though you might have to print out extra copies if you want to avoid students sharing materials).
  • Adaptable for online learning? Yes, with some adjustments. If your students don’t have access to a printer or the other materials listed above, you may want to record a video of yourself doing one or two of the stations.

This unit has nine different stations that help students learn about the water cycle, climate zones, weather fronts, high and low pressure, the difference between weather and climate, how to create a weather forecast, and more. The stations touch on several different learning styles, including activities such as reading, drawing, watching videos, a simple hands-on model, and more.

Check it out here.

Weather in a Cup: Water Cycle

  • Grades: 1–4
  • Price: Free
  • Materials required: Two plastic cups, shaving cream, and food coloring
  • Adaptable for social distancing? Yes
  • Adaptable for online learning? Yes, as long as students have access to the required materials. Alternatively, you could record a video of yourself performing the experiment.

This simple activity demonstrates the three steps in the water cycle: condensation, precipitation, and evaporation. The download includes an illustration of the water cycle, directions for the activity, and an optional worksheet for students to fill out while they do the experiment.

Check it out here.

Weather & Water Cycle: Passages

  • Grades: 3–8
  • Price: $9
  • Materials required: None (printing optional)
  • Adaptable for social distancing? Yes
  • Adaptable for online learning? Yes

This collection of engaging reading activities teaches students about weather and the water cycle. Each passage is available at five different reading levels (grades 3–8) and includes CCSS-aligned questions to help students review what they’ve read. The download also includes a three-day lesson plan for guided reading groups, a teacher’s guide for using passages for homework and classwork, and a student’s guide to close reading.

Check it out here.

Weather Unit: Clouds, Weather Maps, Weather Instruments, Weather Tools

  • Grades: 2–5
  • Price: $12
  • Materials required: Printer, notebook, scissors, glue, crayons or colored pencils
  • Adaptable for social distancing? Yes
  • Adaptable for online learning? Yes, as long as students have access to the required materials and can cut and glue independently. You could also do a modified version where students don’t have to create their own notebook (see the TpT page for more details).

In this creative and interactive unit, students will become meteorologists as they learn about erosion, forecasting, types of clouds, weather instruments, and more. The unit includes articles about different types of weather instruments and vocabulary terms, which classes can read as a large group, small group, partners, or individually. These articles act as a guide as students view photos about weather events and assemble an interactive notebook.

Check it out here.

Weathering and Erosion Sorting Activity

  • Grades: 4–6
  • Price: Free
  • Materials required: None (printing optional)
  • Adaptable for social distancing? Yes
  • Adaptable for online learning? Yes

What’s the difference between weathering, erosion, and deposition? This sorting activity helps students review these terms and then decide which term fits for a variety of examples. Students can work in groups, pairs, or individually on this activity.

Check it out here.

Weather and Climate Unit

  • Grades: 3–4
  • Price: $15
  • Materials required: Shopping list included in unit materials
  • Adaptable for social distancing? Yes
  • Adaptable for online learning? Yes, with some modifications; see the TpT page for details.

These 10 engaging, hands-on lessons cover topics such as the seasons, wind, how we measure weather and temperature, the sun’s impact on weather and climate, extreme weather, how weather affects people, and more. Students will conduct experiments and keep a 75-page science journal as they build knowledge and learn independently. Lessons culminate in a unit project where students collaborate to solve the problem of how to create weather-resistant shelters.

Check it out here.

In-Depth Strategies for Science Instruction

Even with students learning at home and socially distanced this year, science is a great subject to get your students active and involved rather than just staring at a textbook or computer screen. For more ideas, activities, and teaching strategies to keep your young scientists engaged, check out these professional development courses from Advancement Courses:

  • Crafting Engaging Elementary Science Instruction with Stories: Integrate science and reading by using children’s literature to motivate and excite students, support science comprehension, and create a lifelong interest in science. Grow your students’ reading and scientific inquiry skills through engaging, student-centered lessons.
  • Closing the Gender Gap in STEM: Get strategies to empower girls to pursue more opportunities in STEM fields. Learn why there’s a gender gap and how to dramatically improve girls’ confidence as they grapple with different subjects in STEM.
  • The A in STEAM Stands for Art: Develop and implement strategies for bringing the arts into your STEM lessons. This course is founded on the principle four Cs—collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication—to help you engage with students as they grow in key 21st-century skills.
  • Teaching Environmental Science: Guide students to become critical consumers of information and develop evidence-based reasoning. Develop strategies for teaching current environmental thought, economics, ethics, problems, and the related physical, chemical, and biological principles.
  • Climate Change: Engaging Students in a Global Conversation: Help students become positive change makers in the face of climate change challenges. Learn how to teach the facts of climate change in a hopeful, empowering way that inspires students to be personally accountable and look for possible solutions.

Advancement Courses offers more than 280 online, self-paced PD courses covering both foundational topics and emerging trends in K–12 education. Courses are available for both graduate and continuing education credit for your salary advancement or recertification needs.

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