Jeff Ryan, Clancy Wolf
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Unit of Study
Upper Primary
  • Climate
  • ClimeTime
  • Elementary
  • OESD114
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Weather
  • climetime
  • weather maps
  • weather-maps
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs

    Education Standards

    Weather and Climate (3-5)

    Weather and Climate (3-5)


    This elementary storyline developed for remote and hybrid teaching was made available through the Growing Elementary Science Project a part of the Washington State ClimeTime initiative. 

    This storyline is developed for 3-5 grade students and presents a weather phenomena in the form of a annual precipitation map from Washington State. Students analyze and interprete the graphical representation and ask questions about the difference between weather and climate. 

    The storyline builds interest and student engagement through an interesting phenomena and then supprorts investigation to consider what is weather and what is climate.


    This sequence of instruction was developed to help elementary teachers who are working remotely.  We developed a short science storyline that ties together a few sessions to help explore a specific concept.  We included some activities that honored and included the student’s family and experience, and some that included the potential for ELA learning goals.
    "Weather and Climate" is designed around students making observations of precipitation data in Washington State through analysis of a color coded annual prrecipitation map for Washington. Students then investigate the weather patterns over time in their specific city looking for rainfall and termpature on their birthday for their city.

    This resource was developed as part of Clime Time - a collaboration among all nine Educational Service Districts (ESDs) in Washington and many Community Partners to provide programs for science teacher training around Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and climate science. Thanks to the money made available to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) by Governor Inslee and the Washington State Legislature for ClimeTime programing. 


    - Growing Elementary Science Distance Learning Storyline -



    Ask and Explore 


    Introduce Phenomena or Problem

    Carrying Out an Investigation


    Investigation – discussion questions- support student use of three-dimensions

    Read, Write, Make Sense

    Discuss Results- Read to gather information- Make Sense of our Ideas

    Putting the Pieces Together

    Bring together evidence from activities-synthesize- extending the learning based on student interest


    Engaging Students in Practices 


    Next Generation Science Standards



    Explore WA State map with graphical representation of precipitation

    Identify where you live- pin it using annotate feature in Zoom

    Introduce colored WA map

    Discuss patterns on the map

    Notice and Wonder

    Introduce precipitation key

    Clarify terms: precipitation; weather vs climate




    What causes these strange patterns of precipitation here in WA State?


    Breakout rooms for groups to consider the question and spend further time observing and providing inferences for the causes of the patterns.


    Session Padlet:



    Investigate the Weather on Your Birthday



    Students research the weather on the day they were born and each day for the 10-11 years they have been alive. The class data is plotted on a provided graph


    Becoming a Meteorologist- Career Connections

    What was the weather yesterday?

    Investigating the weather on your birthday.

    How do we gather weather data?

    What was the weather like on the day that you were born?

    What was the weather like on your birthday for the last 10 years?

    Investigation Documents:

    Weather Research 







    “On the Same Day in March”


    See the Read-aloud Guide for options on ways to access this book and options for student interaction with the book.

    Optional Student Home-Fun: Career Connections

    NewsELA Articles

    Note: You may wish to assign this work any time throughout the learning arc.






    Choice Board Activities include:

    Weather Hazards and My Family

    My Washington Weather

    Weather Activism and COCORAHS

    Washington State Mountains and Rainshadows

    Choice Board Options Here


    On the Same Day in March (Option 1 and 2)




    Family and Community Connections

    Family weather stories


    What are some memorable weather stories you and your family have experienced?


    Exploring weather patterns over time (precipitation and temperature) to develop data tables and  interpret information about the climate.




    Technology Considerations



    Jamboard for modeling for sensemaking & Notice and Wonder


    Exploring historical weather data using







                    Storyline Launch →                      Investigating →                                 Sensemaking ⇢