Adopt-a-City: Weather Report Summary

My 6th graders completed their Adopt-a-City unit and wrote their weather reports comparing the weather in Morristown, NJ to their adopted cities. Students transferred their data to the following Google Sheet Template and then analyzed their data to write their weather reports using Google Docs.

  • Google Sheets Template for Weather Report (link)
  • Google Doc Template for Weather Report (link)
  • Adopt-a-City Unit with resources (page)

Overall this was a successful unit. The students enjoyed having an independent study based classroom experience and working at their own pace. They worked cooperatively with their peers and were able to explore each topic in depth with the provided resources. They also learned so many valuable skills and had a real understanding of weather. Below are some sample graphs for different cities:

image (9)
Morristown, NJ and Butte, MT
Sunset Times
Morristown, NJ and Baton Rouge, LA
image (5)
Morristown, NJ and Miami, FL
image (3)
Morristown, NJ and Seattle, WA
humidity
Morristown, NJ and Las Vegas, NV
Moon Rise
Morristown, NJ and Baltimore, MD

Pacing for Adopt-a-City Unit – students collected data and created Mini-Maps at the start of each class, and they updated their weather data over the weekends. I checked mini-maps and gave a daily grade of 5 pts per map completed and graded completed tasks as they handed them in. I also graded weather data for completion to be sure their data was up to date. Having a shared spreadsheet, with tabs for each student in the class, made it easy to quickly check each student’s data. I also added quizzes to check for understanding along the way. Their weather report was weighted as a test grade.

  • Day 1: Tasks 1-2
  • Day 2:  Tasks 2-3, HW Task 2 completed
  • Day 3: Tasks 3-4-5, HW Tasks 3 & 4 to be completed
  • Day 4: Tasks 4-5-6, HW Task 5 to be completed
  • Day 5: Tasks 6-7, HW Task 6 to be completed
  • Day 6: Tasks 7-8
  • Day 7: Tasks 7-8, HW Task 7 part 1 to be completed
  • Day 8: Tasks 7-8, HW Task 7 – complete Part 2
  • Day 9: Tasks 7-8-9, HW Task 8 to be completed
  • Day 10: Tasks 8-9-10
  • Day 11: Tasks 9-10-11, HW complete Task 9
  • Day 12: Tasks 10-11
  • Day 13: Tasks 10-11-12, HW complete Task 10
  • Day 14: Tasks 11-12-13
  • Day 15: Tasks 11-12-13, HW complete Task 11
  • Day 16: Tasks 12-13
  • Day 17: Tasks 12-13-14, HW complete task 12
  • Day 18: Tasks 13-14
  • Day 19: Tasks 13-14-15, HW complete task 13
  • Day 20: Tasks 14-15 or begin Weather Report, HW complete task 14
  • Day 21: Task 15 or begin Weather Report, HW complete task 15
  • Weather Report due x/xx/xx

Constellations (Star Lab) page added

Image Source: Star Lab
Image Source: Star Lab

I created a page of resources for stars, constellations, and myths to use with our Star Lab experience. You can also find information on Star Lab rentals and training. In NJ, Raritan Valley Community College offers workshops in the Summer and Fall.

We spend four sessions in the Star Lab:

  • Day One – Intro to the Star Lab – Using the Dippers & Cassiopeia to find your way
  • Day Two – Perseus & Fall Constellations
  • Day Three – Orion & Winter Constellation
  • Day Four – Summer/Spring Constellation & wrap up

Constellations (Star Lab) Page – (link)

Make Your Own Planisphere (Star Wheel)

Planisphere Supplies
Planisphere Supplies

I have my 6th graders make and decorate their own planispheres for our astronomy unit. It is a quick and inexpensive way to provide planispheres for all of your students, and you don’t have to worry about running out or ordering ahead/enough for each class. When it comes time to lining up the Star Wheel and inserting the brass brad, I do that part for the students so that it lines up correctly. Students will come up to my desk when they are ready and I assembly it for them pretty quickly.

Materials:

  • Manilla folder
  • Scissors
  • Brass brad
  • Glue stick
  • Star Wheel Holder (pdf)
    • Additional Star Holders & Wheels (link)
  • Star Wheel – laminated
  • Metal Math Compass

Directions:

  1. Fold the template along the (horizontal) dotted line
  2. Glue the template to the manilla folder
    • the folded template wraps around the folded edge of the folder
  3. Cut out the shape of the template
  4. Cut out the window – be careful not to cut both layers
    • I use the toilet seat and toilet lid analogy ;)
  5. Cut out the star wheel
  6. Insert the star wheel into the star wheel holder
  7. Find Polaris
  8. Center the Star Wheel, and with the pointed end of the compass, make a hole through Polaris and the back of the manilla folder
    • Be sure that the wheel can spin freely
  9. Insert metal brad & fasten
  10. Enjoy your new planisphere!

wpid-2015-05-06-11.22.31.jpg.jpegwpid-2015-05-06-11.24.32.jpg.jpeg

 

Additional Resources:

  • Using a planisphere worksheet (pdf)
  • How to use a planisphere (video)

 

Lewis Hine – Child Labor

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Breaker boys working in Ewen Breaker of Pennsylvania Coal Co. Source: Library of Congress. Photo by Lewis Hine

As part our Mining and Minerals unit, we discuss the impact of obtaining natural resources and their effects on the environment. We look back at the Second Industrial Revolution and the impact it had not only on the environment, but on society as well. Children were working in mines, factories, and farms under dangerous conditions. Because they were working long hours in order to earn money for their families, they were not able to attend school. We then discuss the factors that lead to child labor, do they still exist today? Unfortunately, child labor still exists in many countries for the same reasons it did at the start of the 20th century, when Lewis Hine took these photographs. Lewis Hine Photography – Child Labor Purpose

  • To analyze primary sources (photographs) related to child labor
  • To learn how Lewis Hine brought awareness to the issue of child labor
  • To explore the factors that contributed to child labor

Resources

Google Slides

  1. Students will select 1-2 photographs for their assigned category
  2. Students will analyze each photograph and write a summary to accompany the photograph they chose
  3. Each group will create one presentation containing 4-8 slides with photographs
  4. Groups will share their presentations with the class

Subject: Coal Mining http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=lewis+hine+%2B+mine&st=gallery

  • Student 1 – pictures of a solitary child
  • Student 2 – pictures of groups of children
  • Student 3 – pictures of boys and men mining
  • Student 4 – pictures of boys/men along with buildings, machinery, tools, or animals at the mine

Subject: Factory Workers or Urban Setting http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=lewis%20hine%20%2B%20factory&st=gallery

  • Student 1 – pictures of a solitary child
  • Student 2 – pictures of groups of children
  • Student 3 – pictures of adults and children working side by side
  • Student 4 – pictures of buildings, industrial settings, & machinery

Subject: Farm Labor or Food Industry http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=lewis%20hine%20%2B%20farm&st=gallery

  • Student 1 – pictures of a solitary child
  • Student 2 – pictures of groups of children
  • Student 3 – pictures of adults and children working side by side
  • Student 4 – pictures of buildings, machinery, & farm animals

Subject: Family Life http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=family&co=nclc&st=gallery

  • Student 1 – pictures of siblings working together
  • Student 2 – pictures of a child/siblings working with parent(s)
  • Student 3 – pictures of families at home
  • Student 4 – pictures of families working in a factory, farming, or using machinery

Extension Students will write a journal entry or personal letter based on one of the photographs they have chosen.

Task 11 – Layers of the Atmosphere

Image Source: Windows to the Universe
Image Source: Windows to the Universe

Task 11: Adopt A City – Layers of the Atmosphere

  1. Record today’s Weather, yesterday’s Hi/Lo/Precipitation, & Astronomy Data (link) (excel).
  2. On your mini-map (pdf) record the following:
    1. WSM – add it to the classroom map of the USA (pdf)
    2. Precipitation (Rain – green, Snow – blue)
    3. H/L/Fronts (link)
  • Use the resources below to learn about the layers of the atmosphere and complete your notes (pdf).
    • Study Jams – Atmosphere (link)
    • BrainPOP – Atmosphere video (link)
    • Weather Guide pgs. 34-37 & 44-47
    • Interactive – where does it go? (link)
    • Layers of the Atmosphere NOAA (link)
  • Once you have completed your notes (pdf):
    • Complete the illustration by adding an object to each layer and color each layer lightly.
    • Add the miles to each layer.
    • Can you add the Ozone Layer and the Ionosphere to your diagram?

Adopt a City Unit (link)

Sheep Heart Dissection

Sheep Heart Dissection
Sheep Heart Dissection

As part of the 7th graders current unit on the heart and circulatory system, we had a current parent come in (Dr. C – a Cardiac Electrophysiologist) to give a presentation to the whole 7th grade about the heart, pacemakers, heart health, and perform a dissection on the sheep heart. We set up a camera and projected it onto a large screen so that all the students could see to the dissection from anywhere in the room. Dr. C gave a wonderful presentation and we were lucky to have him share his experience and knowledge with us!

The next day, students had an opportunity to dissect a sheep heart and examine the structure and function of the heart up close. The students used sheep hearts that were frozen and then thawed prior to use instead of using preserved specimens. In my opinion, this provides a more realistic experience and is easier for the students to dissect. Since the heart was fresh, the cardiac muscle, arteries, valves, and veins were much easier to see and handle this way.

Sheep Heart Dissection
Sheep Heart Dissection

Materials:

  • goggles
  • gloves
  • lab coat/apron/old shirt
  • disinfecting wipes
  • scalpel
  • pins
  • scissors
  • pre-made labels using sticky notes or masking tape
  • probes
  • dissecting tray

Resources:

  • Which way to the heart? Students learned about Heart Anatomy and Blood Flow (blog entry)
  • Pickle Dissection – Students learned how to use dissection tools (blog entry)
  • Teach Engineering: Sheep Heart Dissection (link)
  • Carolina: Sheep Heart (link)
  • BioEd Online (link)
  • Biology Corner (link)
  • PBS Learning Media (link)

Which way to the heart?

Source: Wikipedia Commons
Source: Wikipedia Commons

This is an updated version of an activity I have used with my 7th graders in the past. To get a true understanding of how blood circulates through their body, and to review the parts of the heart, I have the students sort the cards and place them in the right order starting and ending with the right atrium.

Students work in pairs placing the cards into the correct sequence on their desks. When they are ready to have their work checked, I start at the right atrium and go until I find a card out of place, then I stop and have them figure out what should come next and I’ll come back to check later. It will take several tries until they complete it correctly. When they are done, students can quiz each other using the cards or they can try the activity individually and have their partner check their work. Students can also use the Google Slides to review at home or print out a color set for their own use.

Resources

  • Heart Coloring Page – this is a great diagram of the heart. We color this together step-by-step in class when introducing the parts of the heart. Students can use pink and blue highlighters or colored pencils. (link)
    • We use blue only to distinguish deoxygenated blood from oxygenated blood in diagrams
    • I have the students hold the diagram in front of them and face each other so that they can see the right side of the heart matches their right side, but when the diagram is on their desk, the right side of the heart is on their left.
    • When we are done coloring, using their pointer finger, students trace the path of blood through the heart as I say each part in the correct sequence
  • Google Slides – (Public Link)
  • Cards to cut apart (pdf)
    • Need one set of cards per 2-4 students
    • Can laminate and reuse each year, store in a zip-top bag
  • BrainPOP – Circulatory System Video (link)
  • Circulation Song – catchy song (link)
  • School House Rock – circulation song from my younger days (link)
  • Study Jams – Circulation Video (link)
    • This video has a simplified explanation, but is incorrect in stating that deoxygenation blood cells look blue, which adds to the common misconception students have about their blood being blue when it is in their veins.
    • You can ask them if they ever had their blood drawn, it doesn’t come out blue, it comes out maroon-ish or dark-red instead of bright red like when they get get a paper cut or scrape their knee.
    • Horseshoe crabs have blue blood (link)

Adopt A City: Wind & Air Pressure

Adopt a City

Task  10 – Wind & Air Pressure (Updated)

  1. Record today’s Weather, yesterday’s Hi/Lo/Precipitation, & Astronomy Data (link) (excel).
  2. On your mini-map (pdf)
    • record the WSM and add it to the classroom map of the USA (pdf)
    • color in the precipitation
    • draw the fronts (using blue and red dotted lines), along with H and L, for today (link)
      • go to the WunderMap, click “U.S. Fronts” and “Weather Stations” (link)
      • What do you notice about the temperatures on either side of the fronts and the location of the precipitation?

A) Wind & Air Pressure

  1. Use the following resources to learn about wind and air pressure to complete your worksheet (pdf)
    1. BrainPOP – Wind (link)
    2. Study Jams -Air Pressure & Wind (link)
    3. Pages 53-59 in your Weather Guide about Wind
    4.  Pages 124-125 in your Weather Guide about the Beaufort Wind Scale
    5. Pages 60-67 in your Weather Guide about High and Low Pressure

B) Bernoulli’s Principle – try it out!

  1. Bernoulli’s Principle (link): complete 3 of the activities posted (I will supply the materials) and write 3-5 sentences for each activity using google doc or lined paper describing what you did and what you learned by doing each activity.
  2. How does wind and air pressure allow us to fly? BrainPOP Flight Movie (link)

How are frequency, amplitude, and wavelength related?

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 7.28.13 PM

In this interactive tutorial, students can explore how frequency, amplitude, and wavelength are related. Students can create 16 different scenarios, make observations, & take notes for each scenario. What patterns did they notice? How does changing the frequency affect the wavelength? How does changing the amplitude affect the shape of the wave? What happens to the boat in each scenario?

Resources

  • Interactive website (link)
  • BrainPOP – Waves (link)
  • Study Jams – sound waves (link)

Interactive Weather Maker

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 8.44.48 PM

Adopt a City Task #9 (link)

How do air masses create weather?

  • Study Jams Video – Air Masses and Fronts (link)
  • Using this interactive website (link), find out how air masses interact to create different types of weather
  • Worksheet (pdf)