Educator Exchange

Classroom Activities
Links for Teachers
Professional Development Opportunities
Gaming in the Classroom

Educator Exchange
The Young Meteorologist Program’s Educator Exchange is the place to find science lesson plans and hands-on classroom activities related to severe weather as well as disaster preparedness lesson plans and learning opportunities for educators.

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Lesson Plans

Hurricanes 1: The Science of Hurricanes
Lesson plan from AAAS’ Science NetLinks for grades 3-5 that introduces students to the science of hurricanes in an effort to highlight how forces change the speed and direction of motion. Follow up with Hurricanes 2: Tracking Hurricanes.

Jet Stream Online Weather School
JetStream is the National Weather Service Online Weather School designed to help educators, emergency managers, or anyone who is interested in learning about weather and weather safety. Focus on global and large scale weather patterns or take advantage of lessons on air masses, wind patterns, cloud formations, thunderstorms, lightning, hail, damaging winds, tornados, tropical storms, cyclones and flooding. Use the Lesson Plan Overview to access a specific area of interest.

Jet Streams and Weather
This PBS LearningMedia resource for students in grades 9-12 provides multimedia content and lesson plans about jet streams and explores the effects of the jet stream on daily weather.

Operation: Monster Storms
Available in print and free online editions, Operation: Monster Storms is designed to fit within school districts’ core curriculum. It provides at least five to nine weeks of material with suggested lesson plans, extensions, interdisciplinary connections and other teacher resources. Curriculum aligns with National Science Education Standards (NSES) for grades 5-8. Operation: Monster Storms transports students to the center of Earth’s most extreme weather events as they learn the science needed to save lives and protect property.

Ready for Any Weather
Standards based lessons and reproducible worksheets for grades 4-6 from Scholastic and FEMA that uses geography and maps to prepare students for severe weather.

Ready Classroom
In partnership with the Ad Council and Ready Kids, Discovery Education offers weather and disaster preparedness lesson plans, videos, bulletin board ideas, puzzles and other resources for students in grades K-8.

Masters of Disaster® Educator’s Kit
Masters of Disaster® by the American Red Cross covers 11 topics that address specific types of disaster that are either weather-related, geological or human caused and includes lessons, activities, and demonstrations tailored for lower elementary (K–2), upper elementary (3–5) and middle school (6–8).

Rising Waters and You
An American Field Guide unit from Oregon Public Broadcasting for grades 9-12 examines how floods are created and observe the damage they can cause to the landscape and human structures.

Severe Weather Trackers
While this science curriculum unit is recommended for first graders, Connecticut first-grade teacher Kacey Jackson has pulled together excellent background materials and lessons that could be easily adapted for older students.

Storm Clouds — Fly over a Late Winter Storm onboard a NASA Earth Observing Satellite
Use this My NASA Data Lesson Plan to help students in grades 6 – 12 use CERES cloud data and a weather map to explore cloud coverage during a winter storm.

What is a Flood Plain?
This lesson plan for grades 7-12 from PBS Newshour provides background, activities and critical analysis relating to economics, geography
 and other subjects.

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Classroom Activities

This interactive site from NASA and NOAA teaches middle school kids about the weather. Includes classroom activities that can be adapted for grades 4-8, some of which may also be of interest to grades 9-12.

JeopardyLabs makes it easy to create jeopardy games templates without PowerPoint. Try the sample Weather template here.

Meteorology: An Educator’s Resource for Inquiry-Based Learning for Grades 5-9
A NASA guide designed to be a supplement to existing Earth and space science curricula that includes review of some principles and facts of meteorology as well as activities that have students building and using weather instruments

Science Notebooking
This blog by South Carolina teacher Eve Heaton offers inspired ideas for educators interested in adding notebooking to their science curriculum at the elementary school level. See her weather unit:

NOAA Research and the College of Education at the University of South Alabama provide middle school science students and teachers with research and investigation experiences using online resources to study hurricanes, tornadoes, and lightning by tracking their courses and measuring their strength

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Links for Teachers

Bad Meteorology
Alistair B. Fraser sets readers straight on the real shape of raindrops, the Coriolis force, and other “intellectual disasters” related to weather and climate

Children’s Misconceptions about Weather: A Review of the Literature
This paper synthesizes existing research about children’s misconceptions relating to weather, climate and the atmosphere

National Science Digital Library
The National Science Digital Library allows you to search through quality digital resources in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education community, from both formal and informal, institutional and individual sources

Professional Development Opportunities

DataStreme Atmosphere
DataStreme Atmosphere is a teacher enhancement initiative of the American Meteorological Society with the main goal of training of Weather Education Resource Teachers who will promote the teaching of science, mathematics and technology using weather as a vehicle, across the K-12 curriculum in their home school districts. Enrollment in the 13-week DataStreme Atmosphere distance-learning course is limited. Download the application if you’re interested in gaining the knowledge and capabilities to transform a virtually endless stream of environmental data into exciting and creative learning experiences for young people

The Maury Project
The Maury Project, a teacher enhancement program of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) based on studies of the physi­cal foundations of oceanography, operates in cooperation with the United States Naval Academy and the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command and offers a summer workshop training and peer-led training sessions

NSTA Learning Center
The Learning Center is National Science Teacher Association’s online professional development portal featuring more than 7,400 different resources, of which over 2,300 resources such as journal articles, science objects, podcasts and web seminars, are available for free. Jointly developed NSTA and NOAA resources for teachers related to weather and climate can also be found on the NOAA Ocean Service Education website

Professional Development in Environmental Education
The National Environmental Education Foundation offers an extensive listing of professional development resources for educators relating to environmental education, climate, oceanography and more.

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Gaming in the Classroom

Tell us what you think of the demo game by filling out our feedback form here.

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