Recently I spent some time considering how to teach middle school students about weather for the Next Generation Science Standard:
There is a lot to this standard and I decided the first thing that students needed to understand was air pressure. I was excited when I figured this out because there are so many cool experiments that can be done with air pressure.
After teaching all about air pressure, with five different labs and investigations, I knew I needed to give some direct information on air masses and weather fronts.
I used a slideshow and some nonfiction text for this and had the students do some QR code research and play with some simulations for weather fronts.
Sample from my Slideshow
Next, I had students really try to apply the information using weather maps, and answering questions to determine that they understood what they meant.
Sample Weather Map Task Card
This was a really interesting unit to plan for and ended up being really HUGE. I finished by assessing students with several quizzes that help them practice the information in a format that will be similar to what they will be asked on a standardized test.
The whole unit is available here:
Air Pressure, Air Masses and Weather Fronts Complete Unit NGSS MS-ESS2-5
I also created a unit specific to Utah SEEd which has a similar standard.
Air Pressure, Air Masses and Weather Fronts Utah SEEd 6.3.2
Investigate the interactions between air masses
that cause changes in weather conditions. Collect and analyze weather data to provide evidence for how air masses flow from regions of high pressure to low pressure causing a change in weather. Examples of data collection could include field observations, laboratory experiments, weather maps, or diagrams.
Thanks for reading!