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Heat, Ice, Air & Water - A Teacher's Guide to Weather Lessons


Teaching middle school students about weather can be a little difficult; they may not be interested in topics like rain,  winter, heat, and extreme weather, or understand how weather directly affects their lives on a daily basis - besides what they are wearing each day. Fortunately, teachers who are working on their weather lesson plans can find many great resources on the Internet. There are many interactive and fun lessons that can certainly make the classes much more interesting for the students and help them to get excited about science and the weather. The following is a teacher's guide to fun and exciting weather lessons that can be incorporated into the classroom.

Teaching about Rain

  • Severe Storms: In this lesson plan, students would investigate how storms are formed and how to stay safe.
  • Thunderstorms & Tornadoes: Students would learn how to make convection currents in this lesson.
  • Make it Rain: A great way to teach students about how rain is formed.
  • The Rain Man: This lesson is a great way to demonstrate how precipitation works.
  • Why Does it Rain?: Explains why it rains with diagrams and quiz.
  • Rain Lesson Plan: The lesson plan shows why it rains and it can be adapted for middle school students.
  • Where Does Rain Come From?: A WebQuest which helps to answer the question.
  • The Water Cycle: An interactive lesson showing how the water cycle works.
  • Water on Earth: A diagram with description of the water cycle process.
  • Flood of 1927: The lesson plan is based on the Flood of 1927 in Greenville, Mississippi.

Teaching about Winter Weather

  • All about Snow: The National Snow and Ice Data Center provides comprehensive information about snow.
  • Don't Be Too Flaky: Students would measure the relative densities of ice, water, and snow in this experiment.
  • Snowflake Primer: Excellent place to learn about snowflakes and snow crystals.
  • Let it Snow: Students can come here to read about how snow is formed.
  • Cold, Clouds, & Snowflakes: In this lesson plan, students will learn about the relationship between temperature of clouds, amount of water vapor, cloud temperature, and snowflake shapes.
  • A Snowflake: Come here to follow the life story of a snowflake.

Teaching about Heat

Teaching about Extreme Weather

  • What is a Tornado?: In this lesson plan, students learn about how tornadoes are formed.
  • Tornado Field Trip: This is a good way to teach students all about tornadoes.
  • Tornado in a Bottle: In this simple experiment, students would be able to visualize a tornado.
  • Hurricanes: The online meteorology guide by the University of Illinois.
  • Severe Weather: Interactive program to educate students about hurricanes.
  • Tracking a Hurricane: This interesting lesson plan teaches students to use satellite imagery to track hurricanes.
  • FAQs: Provides answers to frequently asked questions about hurricanes.
  • Tropical Cyclones: Covers cyclone formation, cyclone stages, cyclone movement, and major areas affected by cyclones.
  • Cyclones: An online lesson with pictures and diagrams.
  • Lesson Plans: Some lesson plans to teach students about cyclones.
  • Dust Bowl Days: The lesson plan is centered on the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.
  • 1930's Dust Bowl: A great explanation of the dust bowl with pictures.
  • The Dust Bowl: Good collection of dust bowl pictures with commentaries.