Draft as of July 2009
FOSS Air & Weather Unit Overview

Unit Files

Air & Weather Unit Overview

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS

How does the weather change?
Why is it important to learn about the weather?

ENDURING UNDERSTANDINGS

Students will begin to understand and appreciate that . . .

• The Sun is the most important source of heat. The Sun provides the light and heat necessary to maintain the temperature of the Earth.
• Weather changes from day to day and over the seasons (wet and dry).
• We need to dress appropriately for the weather conditions.
• We need to behave safely in response to storms.
• Weather observations can be organized, compared, and predicted, which can help keep people and animals safe.
• Objects in the sky have patterns of movement. The Moon
moves across the sky on a daily basis much like the Sun.
The movements can be observed and described.
• Understand that scientists use different kinds of
investigations and tools to develop explanations using
evidence and knowledge.

SKILLS

Students will be able to. . .

• Ask and answer questions.
• Plan and conduct simple investigations.
• Employ tools and techniques to gather data.
• Use data to construct reasonable explanations.
• Communicate investigations and explanations.
• Describe the properties of air as it interacts with other materials.
• Describe the properties of air when it is
put under pressure.
• Compare the path a balloon rocket travels
along a flight line to that of an air-filled
plastic bag.
• Compare the action of
moving air and its effects on pinwheels,
bubbles, and kites.
• Describe the direction of the
wind using wind vanes.
• Describe the speed of the
wind using an anemometer.

• Record and organize data from daily weather observations using a class calendar and individual journals.
• Compare cloud types.
• Measure temperature and rainfall.
• Compare seasonal weather
conditions.
• Identify the changing location of the Sun
during a day.
• Record nightly weather and
the changing appearance of the Moon.

KNOWLEDGE

Students will know that . . .

• Air is matter and takes up space. It is all around objects.
• Air interacts with objects.
• Air can be compressed.
• Air resistance affects how things move.
• The pressure from compressed air can
move things.
• Air is a gas.
• Wind is moving air.
• Wind speed and wind direction are
components of weather that can be
described using anemometers and wind
vanes.
• Wind scales are tools used to describe
the speed of the wind.
• Air has specific properties, which can be measured using tools.
• We use tools to collect data about weather conditions.
• Tools help scientists make better observations.


Developing Vocabulary: Air, Air resistance, Barrel, Bubble, Compress, Distance, Fountain, Gas, Inflate, Invisible, Matter, Move, Paper Towel, Parachute, Plunger, Pressure, Propel, Rocket, Submerge, Syringe, System, Travel, Tubing, Vial, Water, Change, Column, Graph, Row, Total, Anemometer, Bubble, Moderate Breeze, Wind Vane, North, Calm, Pinwheel, Direction, South, East, Strong Breeze, South, Flying Line, Tail, Gentle Breeze, West, Kite, Wind


• Weather can be described by measurable quantities, such as
temperature, wind direction and speed, and precipitation.

• Meteorologists are scientists who study
weather.
• There are different kinds of clouds.
• Rain is water that comes from clouds.
• The Sun heats the Earth during the day.

• Each season has a typical weather
pattern that can be observed, compared,
and predicted (in Bangkok - wet and dry seasons).
• Earth materials include air (gases of the atmosphere).

Developing Vocabulary: Cirrus, Cloud, Cold, Cool, Cumulus, Degrees Celsius, Degrees Farenheit, Freezing, Hot, Meteorologist, Monitor, Overcast, Partly Cloudy, Rain Gauge, Rainy, Snowy, Stratus, Sunny, Symbol, Temperature, Thermometer, Tool, Warm, Weather, Weather Instrument,
Moon, Precipitation, Season, Star, Sun,



ASSESSMENTAlong with on-going student observations and anecdotal notes, the following assessments can be used to form instruction and provide evidence of student understanding:
FOSS Student Sheets, FOSS Checklists, End of Module FOSS Assessment, Student Inquiry Notebook