Description of activity
Students document the weather over a period of time. They will collect data on the number of sunny, rainy, cloudy and windy days.
They will develop their understanding of how the weather affects our everyday lives by recording and analysing the data collected.
Data collection will happen over a defined period, eg a week, fortnight or month.
Graphing and analysing data will take one lesson.
Many students know that weather and seasonal changes affect our daily lives. This activity allows student to investigate how the weather and seasons affect them and other living things. Students will collect, record and analyse data about the weather and use this to discuss its daily impact on our lives. This activity could be extended by collecting and recording the data within each individual season and comparing the results.
Knowledge and understanding
- Calendar of the week, month or fortnight
- Pictures of sun, cloud, rain and wind for data collection and for making graphs. Note: these pictures should be of the same size, eg on a sticky note
- Digital representation of graph
- Glue, scissors, paper, pencils
Work, health and safety
Check relevant Work, health and safety guidelines.
Students wear sun protection while monitoring the sun and should not look directly into the sun.
Evidence of work for assessment purposes
- Students record observations from the graph
- Students articulate information presented in the graph
- They will be able to give reasons for their explanation
STEM teaching and learning activities
- Students determine how they will decide whether it is sunny or not; whether it is windy or not, etc.
- Students record the weather at the same time each day in a table.
- Students decide whether they are able to record one or more characteristics, eg cloudy AND raining, windy AND sunny.
- At the end of the defined period, students discuss how they might represent the data. Teachers can introduce students to tally marks when counting the number of sunny, rainy and cloudy days.
- Teacher draws a data display which models how to construct a graph. Label the data display with:
- a title
- the X axis labelled ‘weather’
- the Y axis labelled ‘number of days’.
- Students will determine the numbers needed to label the Y axis.
- Give students time to discuss different possible ways to represent the data. Which way will be the most accurate and easy to read? Students may change their design over the course of the lesson.
- Students will use pictorial representations to display the results.
- Discuss how important it is to make sure that the pictures are evenly spaced.
- Interpret information presented in the display of objects to answer questions, eg ‘How many sunny days did we have this month?’
Axis – a reference line drawn on a graph (plural axes)
Graph – a diagram showing information
Title – a brief description of the data found in the graph
Key inquiry questions
How many days were sunny/rainy/cloudy/windy this month?
Students use the axes on the data display to identify how many days were sunny or rainy or cloudy or windy. Students count the pictures to check.
Are there any days that had the same weather?
Students look at the data display to determine if there were sunny/rainy/cloudy/windy days that occurred the same number of times.
Which type of weather occurred the most/least in the month?
Students identify the most common and least common weather types using the graph and check their answer by counting the visual representations.
What effect has the weather had on us this month?
Students recall events that have happened during the month and how the weather has affected their lives at school. Have students had to stay in at lunch because of the rain? Have there been very hot days that have affected their play? Was an excursion cancelled? Has the weather made a difference to the clothes they are wearing to school each day?
If you have more than one type of weather at any one time how do you decide which type you will record?
Encourage students to consider their observations and possibly set limits. For example, how much cloud can there be before it is considered to be cloudy? Is it possible to be sunny and raining at the same time?
Students give reasons why the weather with three pictures may look bigger than the weather with five pictures.
Adjustments for the diversity of learners
Allow individual students to tally and represent their data in their own way.
Collect and record the data within each individual season and comparing the results.
Do these weather patterns relate to it being hot or cold?
In this STEM activity your students collected, recorded and analysed data. They have discussed the data and determined how it has impacted on their everyday lives. They have been able to reason and problem-solve to ensure that their data-collection method and representation are accurate and can be read by others.
These data-collection, representation and analytical skills are essential for all studies of Mathematics, Science and Technology. The ability to read and analyse graphs is an essential skill used in all areas of life