I had mine make weather instruments - they got to pick between a barometer, anemometer, or rain gauge. They really learned more about the instrument that way. I also had them write a chart using their new instrument for a week.
We're in hurricane country, so I also had mine track a pretend hurricane and put it on a map showing latitude and longitude. I had numbers for each, in 2 different hats. We drew them each day, and the kids got a kick out of where their hurricane was that day. We did that for a week.
We also did 2 line graphs showing our weather each day, and tracking the weather of a state up north - to show the difference between the 2.
Make Fog-----Warm air can hold more moisture than cold. When warm air is cooled, the excess moisture condenses into fog, clouds, and finally rain, as the clouds become sufficiently heavy. Put some hot water into the quart jar (not so hot that you can se the vapor rising). Wet a rag with ice water and lay it over part of the mouth so that the rag falls partly into the jar. You can see the curls of fog close to the cloth, as it cools the moist, warm air in the jar.
Rain and Clouds----hold the mouth of a quart jar over the spout of a boiling teakettle. The water vapor will rise into the jar and become visible as a cloud. Soon it will condense on the sides of the jar and finally drip out like drops of rain. ----Clouds, Put a bit of ivory soap in the microwave for a little bit and it puffs up to look like a cloud. Ivory soap is the only one that will work (all natural).
Dew----Fill a small tin can with ice cubes. As the air close to the can becomes cold and gives up moisture, tiny drops of water will condense on the outside. In the same way, warm air above the earth cools during the night and deposits dew on the ground.
Make Frost---When air containing moisture falls below freezing, frost is formed. Fill a small tin can with ice cubes. Add a big bunch of salt to make a colder mixture. Before long, frost will form on the outside of the can.
Make a Rain Gauge---Use a glass jar or glass with straight sides and a flat bottom. Attach a ruler to the side to measure the amount of rainfall.
Make a Barometer----Stretch the round part of a balloon as tightly as you can over the top of a glass jar, and hold it with rubber bands. Glue a pointer, straw, to the center of the balloon. You will need to trim the straw extending over the jar, if it pulls the balloon to much. Indicate the position of the pointer by making a mark on the wall. Make your barometer on a nice day. The pointer goes down when a storm is coming. A barometer tells you if the air pressure is high or low. If the air is calm and pleasant, the barometer is rising. If it’s unsettled and stormy, the barometer is falling. Each day, check the barometer to see if the straw is rising or falling from the point where it was the day before. If the air pressure outside the bottle is greater than the pressure inside the bottle, the balloon will drop slightly causing the straw pointer to move up, indicating rising air pressure. If the air pressure outside the bottle is less than the pressure inside the bottle,, the balloon will rise causing the straw to drop, indicating falling air pressure.
Listen to “Thunderstorm” sounds CD. Than draw or write a descriptive paragraph of a weather scene, based on the sounds on the CD.
“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” is such a fun book. The students love to pretend it can “rain” food.
Have your students make their own set of flashcards to study the clouds by using index cards and cotton balls. On one side, they can glue the cotton balls on in a way that describes that cloud by sight. On the other side, they can write their answer of what type of cloud it is called. They can also describe what the weather will be like on that kind of day that the cloud forms. For example, "stratus" clouds are gray and are the lowest in the sky. So your students my spread out the cotton ball and color over top of it with a gray crayon or marker. It should also be positioned on the lower half of the index card. On the backside of the card it would say its name plus that it means there might be a light rain. Do the same for "nimbostratus", "cirrus", and "cumulus" clouds. These will make excellent flashcards for your students to quiz each other in pairs. http://www.fastq.com/~jbpratt/education/theme/weather.html Lots and lots of darling weather projects at this site….
Wow!I have been wanting to incorporate weather and measurement into my curriculum even though we are not "required" to teach it. I had planned on making the barometer as you suggested but really like the idea of students choosing the instrument they make. All of your ideas are excellent and I thank you in advance for what I know will be a wonderful study by me and my students!
I just completed a weather unit and it culminated with my students working in pairs putting on a weather show. I had them write a script ( I gave certain criteria ) and told them that putting in a commercial and using good A/V stuff was important. I then video taped them and they had a good time watching themselves and positively comments to assist them in future recordings.