Georgia Boatman
Elementary Education, Composition and Rhetoric, Reading Informational Text, Measurement and Data, Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Data Set, Lesson Plan, Module, Reading
Upper Primary
  • Data
  • Graphic Organizers
  • Graphs and Charts
  • National Parks
  • Research
  • Science
  • Space Science
  • Weather
  • Weather and Climate
  • Weather and Climate Extremes
  • Writing
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs, Text/HTML, Video

    Education Standards

    Third Grade Elementary Science and Integrated Subjects-Weather

    Third Grade Elementary Science and Integrated Subjects-Weather


    The Third Grade Elementary Framework for Science and Integrated Subjects, Weather, uses the phenomena of extreme weather events.  It is part of Elementary Framework for Science and Integrated Subjects project, a statewide Clime Time collaboration among ESD 123, ESD 105, North Central ESD, and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Development of the resources is in response to a need for research- based science lessons for elementary teachers that are integrated with English language arts, mathematics and other subjects such as social studies. The template for Elementary Science and Integrated Subjects  can serve as an organized, coherent and research-based roadmap for teachers in the development of their own NGSS aligned science lessons.  Lessons can also be useful for classrooms that have no adopted curriculum as well as to serve as enhancements for  current science curriculum. The EFSIS project brings together grade level teams of teachers to develop lessons or suites of lessons that are 1) pnenomena based, focused on grade level Performance Expectations, and 2) leverage ELA and Mathematics Washington State Learning Standards.

    Standards, Phenomena Big Ideas and Routines

    Development Team:

    Jamie Whitmire, Kennewick School District

    Sarah Winakur, Pasco School District

    Katy Cavanaugh, Ellensburg School District

    Third Grade


    Frameworks for Elementary Science and Integrated Subjects are designed to be an example of how to develop a coherent lesson or suite of lessons that integrate other content areas such as English Language Arts, Mathematics and other subjects into science learning for students. The examples provide teachers with ways to think about all standards, identify anchoring phenomena, and plan for coherence in science and integrated subjects learning

    Third Grade Disciplinary Core Ideas include PS2, LS1, LS2, LS3, LS4, ESS2, and ESS3

    For LS4, ESS2, and ESS3 Third Grade students are expected to develop an understanding of:

    • How to organize and use data to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.
    • How to apply their understanding of weather-related hazards to make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of such hazards.

    The Crosscutting Concepts are called out as organizing concepts for these disciplinary core ideas.

    Crosscutting Concepts:

    • Patterns
    • Cause and effect

    Students are expected to use the practices to demonstrate understanding of the core ideas.

    Science and Engineering Practices:

    • Analyzing and interpreting data
    • Engaging in argument from evidence
    • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

    Performance Expectation(s)

    Identify Performance Expectation(s) from Next Generation Science Standards that will be your focus (Climate Science related PEs preferred but not mandatory). Copy and paste below all the possible disciplinary core ideas and performance expectations that relate to your topic.

    3-ESS2-1. Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a

    particular season. [Clarification Statement: Examples of data could include average temperature, precipitation, and wind direction.] [Assessment Boundary:

    Assessment of graphical displays is limited to pictographs and bar graphs. Assessment does not include climate change.]

    3-ESS2-2. Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.

    3-ESS3-1. Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard.*

    [Clarification Statement: Examples of design solutions to weather-related hazards could include barriers to prevent flooding, wind resistant roofs, and lightning rods.]

    Science and Engineering Practices

    Which SEPs will be a focus for investigating this topic/phenomenon?

    Analyzing data in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to introducing quantitative approaches to collecting data and conducting multiple trials of qualitative observations. When possible and feasible, digital tools should be used.

    (3-LS4-1) Analyze and interpret data to make sense of phenomena using logical reasoning.

    (3-ESS2-1) Represent data in tables and various graphical displays (bar graphs and pictographs) to reveal patterns that indicate relationships

    Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to evaluating the merit and accuracy of ideas and methods.

    (3-ESS2-2) Obtain and combine information from books and other reliable media to explain phenomena.

    Engaging in argument from evidence in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to critiquing the scientific explanations or solutions proposed by peers by citing relevant evidence about the natural and designed world(s).

    (3-ESS3-1) Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem by citing relevant evidence about how it meets the criteria and constraints of the problem. (3-ESS3-1)

    Crosscutting Concepts

    Which Crosscutting Concepts will be a focus for investigating this topic/phenomenon?

    (3-ESS2-1) (3-ESS2-2) Patterns – Patterns of change can be used to make predictions.

    (3-ESS3-1) Cause and Effect - Cause and effect relationships are routinely identified, tested, and used to explain change.

    English Language Arts (ELA) Standards

    How will I Integrate ELA Standards (which standard, what strategy…?)

    RI.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

    (3-LS4-1) (3-ESS2-2

    RI.3.2 Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea. (3-LS4-1)

    RI.3.3 Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect. (3-LS4-1)

    RI.3.9 Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic. (3-ESS2-2)

    W.3.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons. (3-LS4-1) (3-ESS3-1)

    W.3.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly. (3-LS4-1)

    W.3.7 Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic. (3-ESS3-1)

    W.3.8 Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories. (3-LS4-1) (3-ESS2-2)

    Mathematics Standards

    How will I Integrate Mathematics Standards?

    MP.2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (3-LS4-1) (3-ESS2-1) (3-ESS2-2) (3-ESS3-1) (3-ESS3-1):

    MP.4 Model with mathematics. (3-LS4-1) (3-ESS2-1). (3-ESS2-2)

    MP.5 Use appropriate tools strategically. (3-LS4-1) (3-ESS2-1)

    3.MD.B.3 Draw a scaled picture graph and a scaled bar graph to represent a data set with several categories. Solve one- and two-step “how many more” and “how many less” problems using information presented in bar graphs. (3-ESS2-1)



     National Geographic Extreme Weather on our Planet

    Students view examples of various types of extreme weather in still picture images and record observations for each weather type. 

    They record which ones they have experienced and write their wonders about extreme weather. 

    • Why do some places get certain types of weather and others don’t?

    Phenomena Resources:

    Communicating in Scientific Ways | OpenSciEd

    Big Ideas

    Which one of the ideas from the curriculum and the Standards now seems the most central - meaning they might help explain other ideas you’ve listed and explain a wide range of natural phenomena? You must use more than a name to express your idea, express it as a set of relationships. Explain your choice clearly enough so a colleague could understand why you made the choice you did.

    • Some types of extreme weather
    • Why it is important to know about weather
    • Weather and climate are different things
    • How meteorologists predict weather
    •  Staying safe during extreme weather

    Open Sci Ed Routines

    OpenSciEd Routines chart



    Lesson 1: Local Weather



    • Prepare weather vs climate input chart sketched out in light lead pencil

    Example of Comparative Input Chart

    • Identify Weather and Climate Resources that you will use with students to project or use on the computer.
    • If using the NASA Poster make copies.



    • Climate: Weather trends typical of a place over a long period of time
    • Weather:  The condition of the atmosphere at a certain specific place and time
    • Meteorologist:  Scientists who study the Earth’s atmosphere


    Procedure 1: Read Aloud

    Integrated content

    • Pass out the Learning Log of the questions. Use any of the resources in the Materials list to read to or have students read. As your reading stop at pages
      • talk with students about weather and climate. ask them, “What do you know about weather? what do you know about climate?”
      • discuss with students the job of a meteorologists
      • talk about the different clouds
    • When you are done reading, look at the learning log with questions and have students answer any of the questions.
      • Ask students to share answers, passing out the SCOUT awards to any students who share out ( RI.3.3) (W.3.8)

    Procedure 2 Input Chart

    • Let’s learn about Climate Vs. Weather
    • Make sure to make the poster beforehand.  To do this lightly sketch in the key ideas you will discuss with students.  As you talk together use markers or bright colors to trace over the ideas you lightly sketched as they come up.  This makes the poster more memorable for students and focuses them on the words and ideas. 
    • Go over the definition of climate, then the definition of weather. Then glue a cut out copy of the climate map on the poster and go over the climate map and weather examples that you draw in. It's crucial for kids to understand the difference between climate and weather.
    • Have students turn back to their Learning Log questions and fill in any more of the answers to questions from the previous procedure after learning some more.

    Procedure 3

    Integrated content

    Formative Assessment:

          • In Learning logs and in student discussion look for students to express these ideas about weather and climate:
            • Weather and Climate are different
            • Weather can change from minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour, day-to-day, and season-to-season
            • Climate is the average of weather over time and space. For example, you can expect snow in the Northeast in January or for it to be hot and humid in the Southeast in July. This is climate. The climate record also includes extreme values such as record high temperatures or record amounts of rainfall. If you’ve ever heard your local weather person say “today we hit a record high for this day,” she is talking about climate records.

    Lesson 2: Vacation Data Collection

    This Lesson takes 3-5 days.






    • Average
    • Prediction
    • Claim


    Procedure 1 - National Parks Introduction

    Procedure 2 - Graphing Weather Data

    • Students will collect weather data for their location. 
    • Look up weather history online for location.  There are many weather sites to use, I recommend Weather Underground
      • On Weather Underground click MORE and Click HISTORICAL WEATHER
      • In this page enter the name of the national park, It will give you a nearby weather station
      • Enter the prior month from one year ago (ex. If it is now July 1, 2021, enter June 1 2020)
      • Scroll through the various graphs for temperature, windspeed, etc. and find the data at the bottom

    Integrated content

    Procedure 3 - Creating a Travel Brochure

    Integrated content

    Procedure 4 (Check for Understanding) - Opinion Essay or Exit Ticket

    Integrated content

      • Opinion Essay
      • Write an opinion essay  to persuade people to visit the National Park that you chose.
      • Use the graphic organizer to get started
      • Two Reasons/paragraphs could be: Things to see, things to do, Interesting facts, park history.
      • One reason/paragraph should be about the weather.  Tell us about what we could expect the weather to be.  When would be the best time to visit (Claim with evidence)? Why?
    • Use your graphic organizer to write your essay.  (student samples are in resources) (W.3.1)

    Summative Assessment:

      • Science and Math:
        •  Look for students to include information about the weather.  They should mention the typical weather for various months.
      • Writing:
        • Look for students to have a topic sentence or statement, 3 paragraphs with multiple sentences and reasons to back up their claims about the national park, and a conclusion sentence.  Spelling and punctuation should not be major factors in the grade unless that is the focus of their writing study at this point.
    • Exit TIcket
      • Write a claim supported by evidence and reasoning.
        • The best time to travel to _______________ is _____________because_____________________________. 

    Summative or Formative Assessment:

      • Science and Math:
        •  Look for students to include information about the weather.  They should mention the typical weather for various months.
        • Look for evidence from their research that supports the claim

    Lesson 3: Extreme Weather

    This Lesson takes 3-5 days.


    student version

    teacher version


    • extreme
    • tropical
    • hazard
    • eye (relating a hurricane)
    • reduce
    • impacts


    Procedure 1: Tropical Storms

    Phenomena: Ask the kids “Did you know the National Weather Service says there are 1,800 thunderstorms occurring worldwide every minute?”   Challenge them to do the math to calculate how many storms there are every day, week, or every year.

    • Visit the National Hurricane Center NOAA page Hurricane Imagery  Scroll down to choose examples.  Most have video if you explore that hurricane’s page.
    • Click around to explore different areas and different images created. (Images below are 2020 Hurricanes

    Typhoon Masak satelite image   Hurricane Delta satelite image

    Typhoon Masak Soaks Southern Japan -NOAA                           Hurricane Delta -NOAA

    • Talk about what makes an ideal setting for a tropical storm.  Show a picture of a hurricane.  Point out the directions of the wind circling and the center “eye”.  Let kids know air can become unstable when it warms and rises rapidly. Point out that warm and cold air masses, sea breezes, mountains, and heat from the sun can lift the air.  If you add moisture, it can be the perfect combination for a storm.
    • Talk about where some of the latest major tropical storms have happened.  (Find a list of Atlantic hurricanes here  scroll down to the bottom) 
    • Pinpoint on a map where some of these locations are.  Ask students: “What patterns do you see? Where are you likely to see a tropical storm? Where are you least likely to see them? How do you know?”

    Procedure 2: Extreme Weather Research Report

    Integrated content

    • Show this video without sound (video 4 in appendix)
    • Ask the students what it they notice and wonder about the extreme weather on the video and write their ideas on a class chart. 
    • Tell them that they’re going to be doing a research project. They will pick an extreme weather type to research.  Choose how you want them to pair up (they can choose partners and topics openly or you can use the partner pair cards to randomly assign partners and/or extreme weather types).
    • Introduce the Extreme Weather Graphic Organizer Frayer Model they should use to collect information on their hazard. 
    • Some good places to research are:
    •  Allow time for students to select appropriate sources and complete their graphic organizer. While students conduct their research, walk around and offer assistance as needed.
    • Once pairs have finished gathering information have them write up a summary/weather script.
      • Extensions Ideas: zoom or invite a local weatherman to talk to the class.  Possibly tour the news station and talk about the green screen they use.  2. Watch clips of weather forecasts and talk about the use of a teleprompt.  This is what they are writing “a script/prompt” to read.   (W.3.1)

    Procedure 3: Presenting your report

    • In this part of the lesson students will present their reports by either reading their summary/essay aloud or becoming weather anchors and videoing on a green screen.
    • Whichever choice you choose, be sure to stop after each final presentation/viewing and fill in the process grid of each hazard studied. (the tool it’s measured with, one interesting fact, how to stay safe, how it’s formed, and what other hazards their extreme weather is linked to).
    • Written papers read aloud
      • allow students to read their reports aloud to the class.
    • Green Screen
      • Once you have had ample time to practice reading your script with your partner, it’s time to video on a green screen. 
      • Show students the screen.  Point out that they need to use their outside voices to project so it comes through on the video.  Let them know it’s ok if they mess up, just push through and that you can always do another take it needed.
      • Pull up their “script” on a computer.  Make it as large as possible on the screen.  You will need one person to tape and one person to scroll the computer to act as a teleprompter (like a real news broadcast!)
      • iMovie (on an ipad or iphone) works wonderfully.  (see Video 5 in appendix for help)
      • Have a day to celebrate the students and watch all of the weather videos together! (SL.3.4) (SL.3.5)

    example of filming green screen 1 example of filming green screen 2

    Summative or Formative Assessment:

        • Look for evidence from their research that answers each of the 4 questions
        • See samples below for further guidance

    Student samples:

    Flood Report -Eleanor Hurricane Report Atticus Mudslide Report Maddie Tornado Report Jaxon

    Procedure 4: Reducing Impacts of Weather Hazards

    • Pair up the students.  Ask them to choose a weather hazard they want to continue on.  Could be the same topic they researched in Procedure 2 or they could choose a new one after learning about it from their classmates.
    • Introduce the graphic organizer they should use to collect information on their hazard.  There’s a blank student one to use and there’s a teacher one as an example.  You can use this link to get an editable copy of the student one in google draw (editable)

    PDF version:

    • Some good places to research are:
      •  American Meteorological Society
      • Natural Disasters Association
      •  National Severe Storms Laboratory
      •  National Weather Service – Weather Ready Nation
      •  UCAR Center for Science Education
      •  Weather Channel
      •  Weather Underground

    Formative Assessment:

    Use the teacher version  for guidance in how to evaluate the formative assessment

    Appendix: Lesson Resources

    Lesson 1:

    Video 1

    What are weather and climate?

    National Geographic Neil DeGrasse Tyson Weather Vs. Climate video

    Resource 1 Weather Vs Climate Information Resources

    Resource 2 Learning Log Questions

    Resource 3 Scout Cards

    Resource 4 Comparative Climate VS Input Chart



    Climate Map picture for Comparative Weather Vs. Climate Input Chart


    Lesson 2:

    Video 2

     History Channel - Explore the history of how the National Park Service came to be

    Video 3

    Touropia - Take a tour of 25 of the most popular National Parks

    Resource 5

    Data Collection pages and Graphs

    Resource 6

    Travel Brochure

    Opinion Essay Graphic Organizer and Student Examples


    Lesson 3:

    Video 4

    Extreme Weather kick off video: National Geographic

    Video 5

    How To video for editing iMovie

    Resource 8

    Extreme Weather Graphic Organizer Frayer Model

    Resource 9

    Weather Hazard cards Partner pair up Google Doc


    Resource 10

    Process Grid

    Resource 11

    Graphic Organizer: Weather Hazard Solutions

    student version

    teacher version



    Cover photo Image by Umut AVCI from Pixabay

    NGSS Lead States. 2013. Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press | Public License

    Common Core State Standards © Copyright 2010. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. All rights reserved | Public License



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